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Stop the spread: infectious college admission talk infests Staples

With the college decisions that were released in recent weeks, seniors speculate and gossip over every decision given back, creating very negative talk surrounding college.
Talia Varsano ’24
With the college decisions that were released in recent weeks, seniors speculate and gossip over every decision given back, creating very negative talk surrounding college.

Last Wednesday, I sat down in the cafeteria after a lengthy math class, eager to grab lunch and decompress with friends. A group of kids were hunched over a phone, scrolling through a senior student’s classes on Saturn who had just been admitted into a top 10 school. 

Phrases like, “they’re only in three APs,” “They must have had really good extracurriculars,” and “I don’t get how they got in but my friend didn’t” clashed in my ears. I, too, have been a part of these same “discussions.” I don’t know, maybe it’s human nature, but I do wonder if we can be better. 

 

In recent weeks, many of the seniors that applied to dream schools on an ED and EA basis had to confront long anticipated news- the good, the bad and the disappointing– and so the talk surrounding college admissions decisions, of course, reared its ugly head.  These conversations are nothing short of intense, competitive, and certainly not very healthy for any of us. 

 

Nobody truly knows exactly what drives admissions decisions today and, let’s be honest, none of us in the senior class are unbiased or objective in our analysis of the decisions. Making subjective and hurtful assumptions about the competitiveness of a person’s profile only adds to the stress surrounding senior year. 

If we start redirecting our energy around college decisions towards uplifting one another and offering support, we will form a more accepting and supportive environment.

— Talia Varsano ’24

It feels as though there’s hardly any room left for us to simply be happy for one another, with the constant temptation to check the Saturn app and form conspiracy theories about other students’ success.

 

There’s no grand solution to solve this issue. It’s inevitable for Westport to remain a very intense community surrounding academics, sports and future plans. However, there may be a small step we can take to change this toxic dynamic.

 

The next time you hear about a classmate’s college acceptance, and the feeling of envy inches up your spine, build a new habit. Instead of racing off to speculate about their Saturn, head over to the person, give them a huge hug and fist bump, and see what it feels like to share their monumental happiness. 

 

If we start redirecting our energy around college decisions towards uplifting one another and offering support, we will form a more accepting and supportive environment surrounding this pressure-filled time. The next time you learn of a college acceptance, my self-imposed request is that we choose to go out of our way to celebrate with them—we’ll make their day, and that positive energy will come back to you.

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About the Contributor
Talia Varsano ’24, Paper Managing Editor
Paper Managing editor Taila Varsano ’24 is no stranger to managing. She is a social media manager for a company called “Total Sense.” “I get to network and learn about finance,” Varsano said. “That’s one of my passions.” One of her other passions is journalism, ever since she took Intro to Journalism her freshman year. Though Varsano will be graduating next year, she wants to continue this passion. “I can see myself having a career in journalism,” Varsano said. “Inklings has set me up perfectly for outside of high school and I’m super excited to continue exploring the field.”

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