The days of easy and painless admission to college are officially over. For the kids of this generation, it takes blood, sweat, and an extensive amount of tears to finalize applications, not including the amount of work they have to endure leading up to them.
These standards have been taking a mental toll on teens as they progress through their education.
“A new study has found that five times as many high school and college students are dealing with anxiety and other mental health issues than youth of the same age who were studied in the Great Depression era,” the Associated Press reported in 2010.
This increase in mental strain can be traced back to the high number of extracurriculars and advanced class levels that students have increasingly joined in the last few years. Instead of joining activities and challenging themselves because it’s what they enjoy, students challenge themselves because they know it is necessary in order to get into an upper-level college.
The “standards” that are necessary for a college resume are mostly common knowledge. It takes extracurriculars, advanced classes, multiple instances of charity work, a credible GPA, etc., to have a chance to be considered at an accountable school.
For a second glance, applicants need leadership positions, work experience and SAT/ACT scores that are respectable. That’s quite a bit of work that’s expected for teenagers to do while still staying sane.
Most colleges have to fit in certain criteria for a percentage of their potential students. When a school accepts a percentage of minority students, it encourages the diversity of their campus and allows all types of students to enter. Having diversity at a college enhances its social spectrum, increases its worldliness and enables its students to prepare for a multicultural world.
“America’s workforce is more diverse than at any time in the nation’s history, and the percentage of America’s working-age population comprised of members of minority groups is expected to increase from 34 percent to 55 percent by 2050,” Jeremy S. Hyman and Lynn F. Jacobs reported.
But does this rule have a negative affect on other students? Colleges enforcing the use of affirmative action give certain students an advantage but take away a potential spot for another student who has a better resume, but not the right skin color or ethnic background.
The standards surrounding this generation’s intellect are at an all-time high. Harder classes are being offered in high schools in order to prepare students for the grueling collegiate classes they will soon face.
Students in high schools today are faced with some of the most difficult information that has ever been taught. Therefore, colleges have raised the intellectual standards of the type of student that they want at their campus.
“[The American Psychological Association’s] “Stress in America” survey found that 30 percent of teens reported feeling sad or depressed because of stress and 31 percent felt overwhelmed,” Jonel Aleccia said. “Another 36 percent said that stress makes them tired, and 23 percent said they’ve skipped meals because of it.”
This is an unsafe phenomenon that has plagued the teens of today. The expectations for students in the last few years have skyrocketed: the price of colleges has increased, workload has increased, and difficulty has increased. It’s no wonder this generation is perpetually stressed out.