College rejection and acceptance board creates negative attitude among students

The+Career+Center%E2%80%99s+college+rejection+and+acceptance+board+came+into+creation+after+the+proposal+of+a+rejection+wall+was+denied.+Although+it+was+created+with+good+intentions%2C+ultimately+it+perpetuates+a+failure-focused+outlook+among+the+student+body.+Photo+by+Soumya+Kurnool.
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College rejection and acceptance board creates negative attitude among students

The Career Center’s college rejection and acceptance board came into creation after the proposal of a rejection wall was denied. Although it was created with good intentions, ultimately it perpetuates a failure-focused outlook among the student body. Photo by Soumya Kurnool.

The Career Center’s college rejection and acceptance board came into creation after the proposal of a rejection wall was denied. Although it was created with good intentions, ultimately it perpetuates a failure-focused outlook among the student body. Photo by Soumya Kurnool.

The Career Center’s college rejection and acceptance board came into creation after the proposal of a rejection wall was denied. Although it was created with good intentions, ultimately it perpetuates a failure-focused outlook among the student body. Photo by Soumya Kurnool.

The Career Center’s college rejection and acceptance board came into creation after the proposal of a rejection wall was denied. Although it was created with good intentions, ultimately it perpetuates a failure-focused outlook among the student body. Photo by Soumya Kurnool.

Eva Spitzen

In 2010, a rejection wall on which students could post the colleges they were rejected from was proposed. After the the proposal was blocked by administration in because it would potentially cause students to become angry and frustrated, Career Center Liaison Miriam Taba designated an area of the career center white board for students to post both college acceptances and denials.

The Career Center’s college rejection and acceptance board came into creation after the proposal of a rejection wall was denied. Although it was created with good intentions, ultimately it perpetuates a failure-focused outlook among the student body. Photo by Soumya Kurnool.

The Career Center’s college rejection and acceptance board came into creation after the proposal of a rejection wall was denied. Although it was created with good intentions, ultimately it perpetuates a failure-focused outlook among the student body. Photo by Soumya Kurnool.

While administration has stated a school-wide platform for posting rejections would foster a mob mentality, what is more significant is that a rejection wall would encourage a negative attitude that is already too prevalent among students: the acceptance of failure as permanent and life-changing.

The acceptance and denial board encourages the thought of a college rejection or acceptance as a permanent, unduly important factor in determining one’s success: physically posting the rejection both places the rejection in a place of prominence and acknowledges that the event is worth dwelling upon. This in turn produces the opposite effect that Taba hoped for in making the board, causing students to dwell upon their failure rather than move past it.

Although the rejection board may have a therapeutic effect for some students, the board’s negative effects outweigh any potential benefits. In addition, there is no way to determine whether students who see colleges listed in the “acceptance” section of the board from which they personally got rejected makes them feel inferior.

Ultimately, students’ ability to grow from negative circumstances is one of the most crucial lessons the college application process imparts on students. While students may be comforted by seeing their peers’ rejections as well, the board does not encourage a positive outlook on life which students will need in the long run.  By defining the college experience as a series of failures rather than an opportunity to learn and improve, students will only leave with negative emotions, rather than being empowered to improve throughout their lives.