My admission to you: don’t compare yourself to college reaction videos

Hannah Kim, Editorial Board Member

It starts with one video. Then two. Then three. Before I know it, I’ve wasted my entire afternoon binge-watching college reaction videos. These seemingly harmless videos posted on YouTube chronicle high school seniors’ reactions to their college admission decisions. While it’s clear that the intent of posting these videos is only to share their experience with the college admissions process, the videos promote unhealthy comparisons. These videos add to many prospective university students’ anxiety and increase insecurities. 

Many students will share their stats—GPA, test scores, and class rigor—in these videos. Although this information can be helpful for many students, this can also lead to unhealthy comparisons. These videos make it easy to do an unintentional mental comparison. How did they even get in? With that GPA? But I had a higher score, why didn’t I get in? Because every student’s history is different, admission is not guaranteed just because a student has a similar GPA and standardized test score. These videos give many prospective students unrealistic entitlement to acceptance and should not be used as gauges for the possibility of acceptance. 

In reality, there are many things a university will consider that have nothing to do with stats. Essays, activities, intended major, and a host of other factors are all taken into consideration. In fact, each applicant has their own unique story to offer. Admissions officers aren’t looking for students to be the perfect cookie-cutter applicant on paper—students who are authentic and showcase their own unique talents will bode better than those who count on admission based on having the same stats as a person in a video. 

Students should stop the mental comparisons and mental calculations of their projected acceptance. Instead, they should be proud of the things they’ve accomplished in high school. High schoolers must realize that another person’s success and achievement do not take away from their own accolades.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where the people in these videos got in. College admission is competitive and unpredictable. Watching these videos should just be for fun and nothing more.