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Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

[OPINION] Stop watching college reaction videos

Nikhil+Kulangaroth%0A
Isabel Li
Nikhil Kulangaroth

After working furiously on my college applications one night, I decided to take a break and watch some YouTube videos. A particular video caught my eye. The title read “college decision reactions!!! | 20+ colleges.” My curiosity took over, and before I knew it, I was watching video after video. I was hooked, and my YouTube feed soon became filled with college decision reaction videos. 

If you want to learn how to get thousands of views by creating your own college decision reaction video, you’re at the right place. After watching far more of these videos than I’d like to admit, I’ve noticed that all successful college decision reaction videos share some common characteristics.

The thumbnail is always plastered with logos from different schools, typically schools in the top 20 of the U.S. News college rankings. The title reads something like “8+ Ivies and 32+ colleges applied to.” 

The video will usually start with an anxious individual sitting in front of their camera and a quick, heartfelt introduction where the applicant states that getting into top schools should not determine your happiness.

The video then jumps to a series of different reactions, in which the applicant takes forever to click the “check status” button, and when they finally do, it is followed by either indifference for an acceptance to a “safety,” a school where acceptance was reasonably certain, screams of joy for an acceptance to a top school or held-back tears for a rejection from a dream school. 

Finally, the video ends with another reminder that “it doesn’t matter where you go to college” and “the college application process shouldn’t determine your happiness.” The problem is that all of their actions in the video contradict this message.

At first glance, these videos seem motivating by providing hope for people applying to their schools, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

For one, the fact that these students apply to a ridiculous number of schools places immense pressure on other teens to do the same. Overall, these videos imply that the more colleges you apply to, the more accomplished you will be, when, in fact, most advisers will suggest applying to no more than 10 schools. 

Additionally, this genre is filled with overachievers — 5.0 GPA-ers, national merit scholars and extracurricular-stackers — and is certainly not representative of the majority of applicants, creating unrealistic standards for high school students. Most colleges accept the majority of applicants, and receiving a few Bs or lacking extracurriculars will not bar you from an excellent education.

These overachievers whine about getting rejected from schools ranked amongst the top 10 in the nation, yet they are indifferent to getting accepted into a college lower on their list — colleges that would be other students’ dream to get into. There’s nothing wrong with applying to top schools, but these videos give off the impression that happiness only comes with acceptance and that highly ranked schools are inherently better than less-selective schools.

At first, watching these videos gave me hope that I, too, could get into my dream college. However, one video led to another, and before I knew it, I watched 15 videos in a row. And instead of feeling hopeful and motivated for the future, I felt even more anxious about getting accepted into my schools of choice. 

My suggestion is to stop watching these videos. They only further perpetuate the looming anxiety of college admissions. Relax, trust the process and embrace the uncertainty. 

About the Contributors
Nikhil Kulangaroth, Online Managing Copy Editor
Hi! I am Nikhil Kulangaroth, and I am the Online Managing Copying Editor for the school year. In my free time, you’ll usually find me playing tennis or working out. I like to draw and read, and some activities I am a part of are Investment Club, HOSA and NHS.
Isabel Li, Spread Editor and Online Editor
Hi, my name is Isabel, and I am super excited to be an editor this year. Outside of the Viewer, I am a member of the girls' cross country and track team at Mounds View. I also enjoy playing violin and piano, listening to music, and taking photos. Don't forget to pick up a copy of the Viewer! Awards:  Best of SNO - Our community's car dependency
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