Editorial- March 2022

This year was one of the most competitive and selective years for college applications seen in a long time. Because of the test optional applications in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, more students have been influenced to apply to top institutions. Many students are ready to aspire for higher education right after high school, ready to move away at 18 and are motivated to apply to universities after a two year period of isolation. In this past year, there were more than 210,000 applicants to UC schools, a 3% increase from last year. Applications to California schools are at an all time high in general this year. There are just too many incredibly qualified applicants, and without test scores, it becomes more difficult to distinguish which students are the best competitors. As college decisions trickle in, it is imperative that students remember they are competing against students from not only all over California, but other states and countries as well. These college decisions do not determine a student’s worth, and they absolutely do not discredit a student’s hard work and successes in school.

Students of this generation have been faced with an intense pressure to work hard, make good grades and to be involved in extracurriculars so that they would be qualified for higher learning. Even students who have decided to take a gap year, attend trade school or a junior college have felt these pressures and stigmas their whole lives. Some students are told that their lives will be unsuccessful or unfulfilling if they were to not attend college or a specific prestigious university. Somewhere, as a society we have decided that it is okay to instill this idea in the minds of kids as young as kindergarten. Children are told that they need to prepare for the next grade, to prepare for middle school, to prepare for college in order to prepare for a successful, lifelong career. There is a difference between being motivational and being overbearing. Schools, teachers and parents should encourage students to find an environment that they feel they will thrive best, give them guidance and set them up for success in the path that they choose.

As acceptances, rejections and waitlist decisions are released, the disappointment, panic and feelings of worthlessness that students are feeling demonstrates the damage that this mindset has done on incredibly bright, promising young people. PVHS has a wonderful student body and whether you are a senior deciding what your next move will be, a junior perusing your options or a freshman or sophomore working hard and figuring out what interests you, it is important to remember wherever you end up will be fulfilling and will help you grow into the person you are destined to become.