Editor’s note: Changes to this year’s college map

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Editor’s note: Changes to this year’s college map

Piper Hansen

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At the end of every school year, the Manual RedEye staff puts together a multimedia presentation of the senior class’ post-graduation plans. It typically includes names of students who plan to attend colleges and universities through Kentucky and across the nation.

This year, RedEye planned to follow that same tradition but after reading an editorial from the newspaper editors at Palo Alto High School, watching the national college admissions scandal unfold and experiencing the rising stress levels of students within our own school, we knew we needed to rethink our decision.

Throughout their letter from the editors, newspaper staffers from Palo Alto expressed that their school “fosters a goal-oriented student mindset” that they believe “dictates self-worth and view of [their] peers.” The senior editors closed their statement with a personal touch explaining how “as seniors [they …] witnessed firsthand the way that [college decisions] erodes one’s sense of value and place.”

Their words and experiences hit home for a lot of this year’s top RedEye leadership. We’ve seen students compare themselves to one another based on test scores, comments during class discussions, participation in after school clubs, athletic performance and their number of college acceptances.

It’s no secret that Manual is a competitive place. While we appreciate our school for pushing every student to do their very best and perform to the highest of standards, we feel that the college list — and attitudes surrounding the topic — feeds into our toxic environment that has quickly become obsessed with the most conventional indicators of success.

There should never be any reason to undermine or compare career paths, forms of education or individual accomplishments which is why we wanted to follow in Palo Alto’s footsteps and make a change.

After staff deliberation, we decided that we still wanted to recognize Manual students for their accomplishments but try not make the college list seem like a scorecard. We attempted to cover students who are taking gap years, joining the military and working as interns and this year’s college list only includes the names and locations of schools students will attend rather than the school name and list of students in future attendance.

We hope that this is a step in the right direction toward improving how students see themselves as part of the Manual student body and as a contributor to society and post-graduation life. If you have any questions about this decision please feel free to reach out to our Editorial Board via [email protected].

Fondly,

Piper Hansen, Editor-in-Chief