Naviance induces stress among juniors


There are plenty of perks to junior year: the arduous effort put into standardized testing preparation, the GPA-demolisher classes––better known as Advanced Placement classes––and the stress and anxiety that comes with the fact that this is the last full year of grades and accomplishments that colleges will see. Oh wait, that reminds me: there are no perks.

Since junior year is so clearly gruesome––sucking the life out of each student who dares to attend each day of classes––a reminder that you are seen by a set of numbers and a couple decimals that not only contributes to the soulsucking but also induces unnecessary stress and anxiety among students is not needed.

Yes, this ghastly resource is called Naviance: a very thoughtful idea, brought to us by our very own guidance department and College and Career Center in the hopes of reducing stress. I hate to break it to you all, but the word around the halls is that, if anything, Naviance has increased stress among students.

Here’s the rundown. The anticipation of searching for the college of your dreams is in the air and you type in each letter slowly and with caution. You hesitate to press the “go” button because you’re nervous for what the next page has in store. You end up saying “what the hell” and pressing the grey “go” button anyways, only to be crushed by Naviance’s response with your GPA printed in red font next to the ideal GPA, indicating that your grades are lower than what that college usually accepts.

Some may argue that people need to see this data so that they can make realistic choices when applying to colleges. Others may argue that seeing what schools are above your GPA motivates students to work harder to reach that goal. I agree that these points are adequate; however, most of the time motivation is not what comes out of seeing this data. In fact, it usually results in the opposite: devastation and giving up.

I’m not here to insult a recourse that was a bright idea and clearly had good intentions. What I do have is a proposition for a solution to the predicament that Naviance has gotten itself into.

I believe that if Naviance takes into account other elements beyond a student’s GPA and standardized test score such as summer programs, awards, clubs, community service, sports and other activities that also contribute greatly to their chance of getting into a school. They could do this by providing data on what extracurriculars and achievements previous Staples students had who got into the school being searched.

This would at least provide more hope for students and motivate them to experience new things outside of the classroom as well. Now students will be less stressed when they see that their GPA or test score is under the average amount because they will see all the other aspects that take account in their admission.

So don’t get me wrong: Naviance has potential; however, as long as it remains in its current condition that provokes hopelessness and emotional devastation to students, it will be seen as the same anxiety-inducing recourse it is today.