Admissions season is a time of stress and anxiety for everyone. The constant feeling of pressure put on by family, friends and peers is almost too much to handle for some. Often, college applicants feel as if they are in competition with the other students from their high school to get into the colleges to which they’re applying. More times than not, this leads students to say some pretty crazy things. I asked the TP staff to tell me some of the most obnoxious things they’ve heard during admissions season. I’ve split up their responses into five categories: the casual school insult/safety shaming, the (not-so) humble brag, the clueless kid, the race card, and the flat-out lie.
1. The Casual School Insult (AKA Safety Shaming). Students are obsessed with brand name schools (something that has unfortunately been perpetuated by College Confidential). In order to show their peers how smart they are, applicants will casually insult other high-ranking schools, as if a school with less than a 20% admissions rate is trash.
- “If I don’t get into Harvard, I’ll just transfer later from Brown.” –A girl whose backup schools are Yale and Stanford
- “Oh, this school only has a 35% admissions rate, so it’s my safety school.”
- “My brother only got into Vanderbilt. My mom is so mad. Hopefully I can do better.”
- “Yeah, I’ll probably end up at Wharton (University of Pennsylvania’s business school), but just in case I’m applying to Duke as my safety.” *Note: This girl did not get into either school.
- “I’m, like, really good at taking tests. I’m only looking at small private liberal arts colleges–I’m too good to go to a public college!”
- “Ugh I can’t believe my mom’s making me apply to UVa. Like I would even think of going there!” –A high school valedictorian from Virginia (She also refers to herself as “number one”)
- “Liberal arts college? You could do better than that.”
- “Yeah, but it’s only Cornell.” / “Cornell is like, the community college of the ivies.”
2. The (Not-So) Humble Brag. Similar to the first category, some students try to show how smart or qualified they are by mentioning the name schools they’re applying to.
- “I can’t believe that Georgetown isn’t on the Common App! Ugh, their application is so much more difficult to fill out than Yale’s.”
- “I already know I’ll get into Princeton. I’m just waiting to find out how much merit aid I’ll get.” (*Note: Princeton does not give merit aid)
3. The Clueless Kid. Some students should definitely think before they speak.
- “Liberal arts college? Like a community college?”
- “Liberal arts college? Do you study visual arts there?”
- “I just want to go to Stanford. I heard that the selective colleges in the east are really competitive. Like, kids throw away each other’s homework when they’re not looking. Sometimes, they light them on fire.”
- Student 1: “Yeah, I’m thinking of applying to UW Seattle, UC Berkely, UCLA and Stanford.” Student 2: “Oh yeah? Cool. So what APs are you in? What’s your SAT score?” Student 1: “Wait, what’s the SAT?”
- Student 1 (different from the one above): What Ivy Leagues are you applying to?” Student 2: “Stanford.”
4. The Race Card. While affirmative action does help minority students, many take their opinions on race a little too far.
- “You’ll totally get in. You’re not a typical Asian.” (*Note: With college applications, Asians are generally not considered a minority.)
- “My parents signed onto my application without me knowing and changed my race to African American so I would have a better chance of getting into colleges.”
- “I should have married an Asian chick so it would have been easier for you to get into college.” –A peer’s father.
5. The Flat-Out Lie. This is pretty self-explanatory.
- “I got denied from Princeton, but I could totally get in if I wanted to; they told me I could take this test and if I passed I would be accepted.” (*Note: THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN. EVER.)
So, there you have it–the craziest things the TP staff has heard. We’re all guilty of saying obnoxious things during applications season (myself included). Just remember, attempting to prove your qualifications shows just how insecure you really are.
Happy admissions season, y’all!