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This website is toxic?

lightsgooutlightsgoout Registered User Posts: 160 Junior Member
Hi everyone!
I've only been an official member on this website for a few weeks. I found myself spending a LOT of time on chance me threads, and other stuff like that.
Before beginning this website, I was reasomably proud of my extracurriculars (involvement and leadership in debate and involvement, school/community theater all through high school, some minor awards for debate and a lead role in a play, a leadership position in a club that is active and that I care about, creative writing, a selective summer program or two, staff writer for an online publication, etc). Now, I've noticed 2 things happening:
1) I feel inadequate because I've never won anything on the state level, raised hundreds of dollars, spent 20 hours a week on extracurriculars...the list goes on. I feel inadequate because I don't know why I'm "pointed" or "unique" or "special," even though I like to think I am a genuine person and a good conversationalist, a strong writer, someone who loves to learn, etc.
2) I have began to quantify my accomplishments based on what will look good for college as opposed to what I love. (OBVIOUSLY I know that it's only what you love that "looks good," and that was very much the philosophy I was following before starting on this website. But since starting, I always think "does that extracurricular fit in with my 'narrative?' Does it show passion?" Instead of actually spending time on being passionate.

Maybe it's just my insecure personality that's leading me to these issues? Or is it the toxic nature of competitive personalities all in one place? (I think most people who frequent this site are lovely and not at all toxic as people. But other high achievers can be very stressful to be around when one is a high achiever oneself. :))

Does anyone else feel this way? I'd love any of your thoughts or ideas. I'm also writing a satire/humor play about the college admissions rat race with a friend, so if anyone wants to share stories about competitiveness or rat behavior in your school, I'd love that, too.

Replies to: This website is toxic?

  • agentaquastaragentaquastar Registered User Posts: 348 Member
    edited May 2017
    Gosh I feel the same way. But it's addicting in a very bad sense as well. The need to feel good abt yourself vs the need for validation. I think this site has some good advice and good people, but as you said, the cummulation of stress can be a little unhealthy to ppl with self esteem issues such as myself.
    Also good luck w your play! Sounds fun.
  • lightsgooutlightsgoout Registered User Posts: 160 Junior Member
    @agentaquastar i just read through your chance thread! you're so impressive!
    I think it IS my self esteem problems that make me feel this way about myself because I see other people (like yourself) who haven't necessarily done items in the #1 section on my OP as impressive. But myself...not so much.
  • bjkmombjkmom Registered User Posts: 7,442 Senior Member
    I don't know about "toxic" but I think you need to pick and choose pretty carefully when deciding which threads to open.

    This site tends to represent the top 5% of all students.

    The rest, those low A's, B's, C's and D's?? Not so much.

    So choose the threads that will help, and ignore the rest.
  • Bobbybob444555Bobbybob444555 Registered User Posts: 367 Member
    This website is toxic if you choose it to be.
  • 1d51jklad11d51jklad1 Registered User Posts: 95 Junior Member
    Having visited this site infrequently since my own college applications process a year and a half ago, I'd hesitantly guess that around 80% of what you read in the chances/stats forums is at best heavily embellished and at worst flat out fictional.

    Kids post in those subforums primarily for reassurance and validation. You can get good information out of several parts of this site (college search/selection, financial aid, and admissions hindsight tend to be helpful), but you'll also find a lot of junk (chances, most of the parents' forum, anything to do with rankings).

    If you're planning on regularly browsing these forums, learn how to filter out the junk.

    I know of high schools whose guidance counselors explicitly told kids that they were better off avoiding this site during the most stressful periods of the application process, and I'd say the same.
  • shkodra14shkodra14 Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member
    Everyone at school tells me to stay off this site because its toxic :p But I've learned a lot of valuable info since I joined. Don't regret it one bit.
  • Sportsman88Sportsman88 Registered User Posts: 1,581 Senior Member
    Agree that you have to know what to pay attention to and as a HS student, you don't have time to read as many threads as a bored parent might.

    There are tons of "I started a business, non-profit, school club, etc." posts but the reality that is conveyed in good threads is colleges want you to be yourself. You have to be involved but many students who get in to great schools did not win national or even state competitions. I also think colleges see through the business and non-profit mumbo jumbo. If you look at international development, experts beg people to not start new non-profits because many small efforts hurt the overall cause. Business start ups require 80 hours per week for college educated adults. It's rare that a HS student has done much while trying to manage school and other commitments, although certain businesses are realistic for a HS student compared to staring a non-profit without adult help.

    The value of reading a book, attending a conference, or reading CC is to pick up a nugget here and there and think critically through what should be discarded. Keep that perspective and you'll be fine.
  • gopgalgopgal Registered User Posts: 97 Junior Member
    It's only toxic if you let it be toxic.
This discussion has been closed.