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Courtesy of Disney +

Julia Stiles featured above playing Kat Straford in 10 Things I Hate About You, showing her excitement when receiving her acceptance letter to her dream school.

Ashlynn Harding, Editor in Chief

   High school goes by in the blink of an eye; one second you are a freshman just entering into a big school, and the next thing you know you are applying to college. 

   It’s such an exciting time in a young student’s life to go through the college application process since it’s a monumental moment in the beginning stages of earning independence. But what everyone fails to mention is the lack of reward the system offers. 

   I watched movies about the idealized appeal of high school and graduating. I yearned to have the same experiences the actors and actresses had in the movies. I longed to recreate the scene out of 10 Things I Hate About You when Kat Straford, played by Julia Stiles, jumps onto her couch clenching the acceptance letter to her dream school. 

   Just like how businesses have their first dollar as a keepsake, parents, guardians, and students want a keepsake of their achievements. They all want the positive reinforcement of their world over the years. Ever since I was younger, my mom has kept momentums in a “baby box” from my childhood to now. She has kept special writings, projects, and report cards for over a decade, and now that I am a senior, my box is full and only has room for a few more items. The space left is reserved for final grades, acceptance letters, and my diploma. Due to the fact that colleges are not mailing out acceptances, we resorted to printing out my email just to celebrate how my future changed. 

   As someone who just submitted three college applications, I felt an absence of reassurance after completing the process. After I paid around $200 just to be considered by a college, all I received was a redirect to a pop up page that said “congratulations” in small print. My stress, anxiety, and uneasiness were not comforted by the little to no celebration through the Common App. To get a small sense of validation, I spammed the celebration button. It’s not about the trophy for participation in my 13 years of school, it’s about the validation of my hard work. 

   After taking advanced, AP, and DE classes every semester, the reward of passing and striving in my academics was moving on to take more advanced classes. When going through the checklist of working, school work, and extra curriculars, students do a tremendous amount of work just to be considered as an applicant. Students spend years in the education system to meet the expectations of everyone around them to pursue a life after graduation. 

   The need to hype up the process of going to college ends up being derailed by the lack of enthusiasm to complete the application process. I felt unappreciated for pursuing my life at the colleges I applied to. In the end, I felt a lack of value by the schools I think so highly of. The only thing I felt was that they were grateful for my payments.  

   Now, colleges and schools are set on using less resources and strictly being online. This dismisses my feelings of victory of establishing an emotion of success and validation needed by actually receiving a letter. Because applicants have to pay to even be evaluated, I believe the acceptance or rejection letters should be mailed. With all the money spent, the physical letters validate the accomplishment of our time time spent working on school. After accepting the payment application, the least the university could do is spend 60 cents and mail a letter to the applicants.