Why high school students should not base their entire lives on getting into college

Adiel Davis

More stories from Adiel Davis


The thought of college admissions is so stressful for many students, that they find themselves basing entire lives off of it.

Everything we do is, “Will this look good for college?”

— Adiel Davis

As freshmen, we walk into the school overwhelmed by the size and expectations, as well as fear of the unknown.

As sophomores we have the lay of the land, and understand time management; however we are still in search of the right friend group and clubs to join.

As juniors we are stressed. College. SATs. ACTs. Applications. Essays. College visits. Recommendations. Resumes. When building a resume, we want to embellish all the activities we did, those we wanted to do, or maybe thought about doing. One of my home duties is to bring up and take down the trash cans and recycling bin. I guess that makes me an environmental advocate. I also empty the dishwasher, so I guess that makes me back-of-the-house supervisor. Our life has taken on a new meaning. Everything we do is, “Will this look good for college?” This is when we realize it’s not enough to just have good grades, solid SAT/ACT scores, and extracurricular activities, for colleges want more. I haven’t found the cure for cancer, I haven’t come up with a multibillion-dollar media platform, and I haven’t started an orphanage in a third world country. Will any college accept me?

As a result of my unsuccessful attempts, I created the perfect solution that will highlight my many talents and allow me to have freedom after such stressful and exhausting junior and senior years: NGYP, the Netflix Gap Year Program. This plan will account for lost time I was wasting while studying and focusing on college. I will able be able to spend time with my “Friends” Chandler, Joey and Rachel just to name a few. I will take the bus to Stars Hollow and hang out at Luke’s Diner with Lorelai and Rory. There will probably be time to catch up on the latest gossip and trends on the Upper East Side XOXO. I cannot wait to complete this program. Maybe I will be able to tell my kids the story of “How I Met Their Mother.”

Although this program isn’t the typical gap year plan, it will rejuvenate me and strengthen my college application. I have not discussed this with my parents yet, but I can’t imagine they would be anything but supportive; I’m just waiting for the right time. As the pioneer of this program, I would be happy to answer any questions.

People are constantly telling me not to worry about college. “There’s a college for everyone,” and “it doesn’t really matter where you go to school.” If it doesn’t really matter, why is it all high school juniors and seniors seem to think about? It is all-consuming. In our community it is expected that we adhere to a specific script of what is to happen after high school. Students should not feel ashamed if they do not fit into this mold—there are other options.