College-Related Tensions for Seniors Across the City Reply

During the Fall Semester, high school seniors around the country, and quite possibly the world, undergo a shift in moods within their graduating class. The cheerful and open environment that they once held with their peers from 9th to 11th grade has now disappeared with the appearance of the looming college application process. At least, that is what most high school seniors go through – except at BSGE.

When asked about their thoughts on the current level of tension within the Class of 2015, most BSGE seniors felt that there was an absence of said tension. Max Fischman ’15 commented, “Our grade is so close to the point that we are really supporting one another in the college process rather than trying to gain an upper hand.” Another senior, Marcos Delgado ’15, agreed, saying, “I feel like most BSGE students I know are actually encouraging of one another when it comes to the college process.”

This supportive feeling throughout the senior class is quite unique, especially when it comes to other New York City high schools. Former BSGE student and now Bronx Science senior Andrew Piliero explained the current negative interactions between seniors in his high school.

He said, “I find that Bronx Science students are usually embarrassed to talk about what colleges they are applying to, especially around people who are generally better students than they are.” Piliero added, “People are also very self-conscious about applying to anything that isn’t top-tier, even if it is still a good school.”

Another student who preferred to remain anonymous agreed with Piliero, describing the level of tension within her school, the infamous Townsend Harris High School, located in Queens.

She feels that Townsend Harris students are extremely reluctant to tell other students about which colleges they are applying to, explaining, “For a lot of students, when they really want to gain acceptance to a specific school, they refrain from talking about it to not give other students the idea of applying to that same school.” She continued, “It would just further increase competition.”

Some seniors believe these are not issues within BSGE’s Class of 2015, such as senior Steven Becker ’15. He elaborated, “I know how sometimes there is tension in other schools because people don’t want others applying to the same schools as them. But that hasn’t been the case here.” Becker added, “Perhaps not having GPAs and class rankings has contributed to that.”

However, other seniors feel that despite the significantly lower amount of tension in BSGE, there are still some underlying problems. Bradley Stewart 15’ noted, “There are a few people that continuously express their accomplishments in ways that put down other seniors. This is usually done through social networking and or common conversation about what colleges different students are applying to.”

Joleyne Herrera ’15 also added to this, saying, “I’m pretty sure some people have held back from talking about their prospective college list because kids in our school can be competitive.” She gave an example, saying, “Of course they [BSGE seniors] won’t bring up their rejection from Princeton if it makes them look bad.”

But overall the BSGE college process has seemed to be more of a bonding experience than the cutthroat competition that media often portrays it to be.

Nick Anastasio ’15 summed it up, explaining, “At the end of the day, going through all these college visits and writing our supplements and waiting on endless lines for Peter Wilson has been a chance for us [the Class of 2015] to grow a little closer.”

He added, “BSGE is definitely a school in which students want to help one another rather than hinder. And that is something pretty special.”

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