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Is such a strong emphasis on getting into a good school good for society?

IndianSupermanIndianSuperman 79 replies25 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
edited January 2017 in College Admissions
I attend an extremely competitive high school where kids intentionally sabotage others to obtain higher gpas. They spend there entire days studying for school tests or SAT's and taking part in Extracurriculars they don't truly care about. This repeats 24/7 and it seems like parents even encourage it. Many of the students are depressed and have the personality of a robot Is this type of society good for the world?
edited January 2017
20 replies
Post edited by skieurope on
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Replies to: Is such a strong emphasis on getting into a good school good for society?

  • NorthernMom61NorthernMom61 4078 replies29 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,107 Senior Member
    I think you already know the answer. The challenge is how to correct it.
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  • me29034me29034 1642 replies74 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,716 Senior Member
    edited January 2017
    Not every high school is like this. The one my kids attend is not. I'm sure there are a handful of kids at the top of the class who are focused on gpa and ECs but the majority are completely unaware of the rat race that seems to dominate the lives of so many posters here on cc. I had no idea this level of competition existed until I started visiting this site during my oldest child's junior year. I feel very lucky.
    edited January 2017
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41142 replies445 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 41,587 Senior Member
    Few high schools are like this.
    Transfer if you can.
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  • IndianSupermanIndianSuperman 79 replies25 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
    The thing is that the school is a pipeline to the ivy league and I am going to graduate soon. But my question is how do we make a society that values education, but doesn't overdue it to the point where learning becomes a competition. Is this just a bitter fruit of capitalism?
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  • Snowball CitySnowball City 1714 replies51 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,765 Senior Member
    I think it is your environment. In my area, few people apply to Ivies, have balance in their lives, and are curious about the larger world. Get off the hamster wheel. Apply to some liberal arts colleges or Colleges that Change Lives colleges.
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  • hebegebehebegebe 2647 replies37 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,684 Senior Member
    The right school(s) for each child, depends greatly upon each child.

    For some, the Ivy+ schools (including MIT, Stanford, Chicago, CalTech, and the liberal arts equivalents) are just naturally where they belong, because they have the inner drive to accomplish what it takes to be there. Some kids really are academic superstars, exceptional athletes, or natural leaders, and they benefit greatly by being among their peers.

    The kids I worry about are the ones that are pushing themselves beyond reasonable limits to get into an elite college. If the idea of working hard enough to get into an elite college repulses you rather than motivates you, and you are barely sleeping, perhaps you should set your sights a bit lower.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41142 replies445 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 41,587 Senior Member
    edited January 2017
    @Indiansuperman: Read Where you go is not who you'll be, read Colleges that Change lives, and instead of obsessing about Ivies, think about what you want in life beside prestige.
    You can't do anything about your peers.
    America's main problem is that most kids do NOT push themselves, are content graduating with Algebra 2 as their highest math and 2 years of a foreign language, see high school as being mostly a place for socializing and practicing sports, and think of college as a 4-year party that's due to them and that'll somehow end with a job, realizing a bit late that they're not ready for it and may not be able to do what they want.
    (TIMMS and PISA results are quite eloquent on the achievement issue, as is Paying for the party wrt to many students' view of college).
    Considering how many top colleges have more children of the 1% than children of the 60%, I'd say the main problem isn't how some pockets go insane with college admissions.
    The problem you mention is real, but it doesn't affect society as a whole.
    edited January 2017
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  • FluriteFlurite 195 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 199 Junior Member
    you're probably right. the way OP words the question asks for a discussion far more in-depth than what he intends. does economic prosperity lead to greater happiness? I think when comparing individuals and nations at the same specific point of time, I would say yes. I would imagine people in America are generally happier than people in Cambodia. However, I have no idea how this would be measured (maybe HDI?) and I am probably just pulling stuff out of my butt.

    Regardless, OP probably just has beef with a competitive culture and if he doesn't like it, he doesn't have to partake in it. Hebegebe's last sentence hits it right on the spot.
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  • IndianSupermanIndianSuperman 79 replies25 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
    I don't have a problem with moderate competition, but when you look at countries like Korea where from the age of 5 they study 24/7 for one test that determines there future, you can see that it leads to a culture where happiness and general enjoyment of life is diminished in exchange for success. This constant academic pursuit seems to stifle curiosity as well.
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  • FluriteFlurite 195 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 199 Junior Member
    edited January 2017
    Korea has problems, but America is not even remotely comparable. BTW, I wouldn't say that Korea's cutthroat, stressful education system is "bad for society."
    edited January 2017
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  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger 2645 replies137 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,782 Senior Member
    edited January 2017
    No matter how you slice admissions, there's far more smart kids than there are slots at the ivies+MIT+Stanford+Caltech. You can bring demand in line with supply in two ways. The possible solutions on the supply side are improve the quality of state flagships and to use online classes to expand enrollment at the top colleges. The solution on the demand side is for hiring managers to get over the credential snobbery of assuming learning only happens at the top 20 colleges in the US.
    edited January 2017
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41142 replies445 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 41,587 Senior Member
    edited January 2017
    MOST hiring managers in the US, outside of specific industries, aren't that interested in where you went to college and most don't know USNWR rankings. They know some programs because they themselves attended, have colleagues who attended, have hired interns who performed well. But they know they can't possibly know the thousands of colleges in the US.
    They're more interested in what internships you've had, if you've had this or that class they've found important for the position, what leadership experiences you've had, etc. Essentially, what do you bring to the table.
    If it's an industry where name-dropping matters or a pedigree is expected (IB, IR, film) it makes a difference, but in many cases it doesn't.
    Rather than prestige, what matters is how good the career center is, how connected the college is, how they use their alumni network.
    State schools do very well in hiring simply because there are lots of high-quality kids in one location, which makes sending someone to the career fair more efficient for a company. Location sometimes helps, such as what happened with SJSU which is a pretty mediocre university except it's located in the Silicon Valley and is thus heavily recruited for CS and related majors.

    Societies' emphasis on a single test is bad for society in that it's bad for kids and has a funnel system that emphasizes rote learning, conformity, and physical resistance.
    In the US, you don't demonstrate value to a company by passing one 9-hour test, but what you're able to do. It's a very hands-on, experience-based culture.
    edited January 2017
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  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers 3321 replies75 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,396 Senior Member
    It's okay. Stay on the hamster wheel if you want. "My school is a pipeline to the ivies"

    Oy.

    Believe the hype that an Ivy = success = happiness.

    In my mind: this is a false deity.

    There is a rich world out there. Break your chains and find it.

    Wander until you are lost and come back again. Be a hero. A true hero. College waits for you forever.

    Even the ivies, if you're still stuck on them.
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