By now, most high school students are back to school. If you're a high school junior or senior, you likely have college on the brain, and the topic may come up with your peers and adults around you. Keeping your mouth shut about your college journey and avoiding invasive questions can be difficult.
In my high school, people tried to find out about everyone else’s statistics. Whether the reason was to feel better about their own chances at college or simply because of curiosity, I decided that I did not like comparing myself to others and chose to keep my own information private.
If you automatically share your grades, test scores, and thoughts about colleges with people in your grade and no longer want to do that, here are some ways I was able to manage this dynamic in high school:
Don’t mind the braggers. Some people will want to tell you how they performed on tests and then expect that you do the same. If you simply make it clear that you do not want to share, people will stop asking you.
Don’t ask other people to share their scores. This is obvious if you do not want them asking about yours. However, it also does you no good to hear how other people did. I cannot think of one instance in high school when learning about someone else’s GPA or standardized test scores calmed me—in fact, it was always just the opposite, it made me feel worse.
Remember that just as test scores should not define you as a person, they should not define your life. There are so many other things to talk about...choose another topic.
It is totally fine and understandable to tell your friends you do not want to talk about college with them because you are sick of hearing about it at home. Most likely, your friends’ families also discuss college and standardized tests, and it’s normal to want a break from that topic. Avoiding the topic with your friends is a smart move altogether because there are fewer chances for score comparisons and situations that are potentially awkward.
When you decide to which colleges you will apply, it is not necessary to tell your friends. Of course, you will want to share exciting news when you get accepted, but if you get rejected or deferred, you will probably not want people nagging you. As hard as it was to keep such a huge decision private, I did not tell my friends I applied early to Cornell until I got in.
It can be uncomfortable to not share your information when asked, but resisting the temptation to get caught up in the drama and gossip will allow you to stay calm throughout an anxiety-producing process. You'll enjoy applying to college more if you're able to share only the exciting news at the end: where you'll end up.