As the college admissions process gets more selective and competitive, students become more competitive. The reality is that competition between students is harmful for their mental well-being.
High school students are under an immense amount of pressure from the moment they enter ninth grade, especially college-bound students. This pressure leads to vicious competition which has negative effects on students.
In my experience, much of the competition between high school students exists in class rank. Students push themselves to take extra Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment classes for the sole purpose of boosting their grade point average.
According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), over half of the nations high schools don’t report student rankings. This makes the high schools that do have class rank an anomaly in the college admission process. Additionally, many colleges don’t put a large emphasis on class rank.
Students who are extremely competitive oftentimes fill their schedules with extracurriculars that are irrelevant and unnecessary to their college resumes. The Princeton Review recommends that students take part in extracurriculars that demonstrate leadership and career focus.
After feeling the effects of competition in my four years of high school, I recommend that students focus on bettering their own academics and extracurriculars. Take classes that you will enjoy, not classes that will only boost your GPA. Stop comparing yourself to others, because at the end of the day you are the only person that matters in your academic career.