New York City prep schools are trying to take some of the sting out of college admissions season. To soften the blow for students who've received rejection letters, the super-competitive Horace Mann School forbids all pupils from wearing college apparel — including the ultimate "I got in" status symbol, the Ivy League sweatshirt — until after May 1, when most college-bound seniors will know where they're going. Other schools are telling students not to boast about their acceptance letters until the school year ends. Will banning bragging really do any good?
This is pointless coddling: "I can't imagine a more ridiculous, over-the-top example of the coddling" kids get way too much of these days, says Julie Ryan Evans at The Stir. Students who've worked hard and get into top schools have earned the right to "go around shouting." As for those who get rejected, "well, perhaps they should have studied more." Kids need to get used to disappointment: They'll get plenty more once they enter the real world.
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And what about hardworking teachers? Teachers "spend their days and many nights" doing everything they can to help kids get into their dream schools, says Danielle Smith at Babble. It's unfair to deny them, and their students, the right to celebrate success just because it might hurt somebody's feelings. Besides, getting a rejection letter isn't the end of the world. I went to the University of San Diego — "not my first choice" — and it was "one of the best decisions of my life."
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It's just humane to be considerate: This time of year "can be bad and it can be weird," Darby McHugh, college coordinator at Bronx High School of Science, tells the New York Post. Some kids are over the moon, and others are finding out they'll be going to one of their "safety schools." We just tell everyone to be sensitive, and that means "no high fives" to the students who got into their dream schools while some of their classmates are walking the halls in tears.
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