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Wednesday's Most Active Threads

by Jeff Steele last modified Mar 16, 2024 06:36 PM

Yesterday's topics with the most engagement included a warning to college applicants, a new view of Harry and Meghan, a student arrested with a gun at a MCPS high school, and fear of flying on Boeing aircraft.

The Kate photo thread once again led as the most active thread, racking up more than 10 times the number of posts as the next most active thread (nearly 11 times in fact). The next most active thread was titled, "a final warning to high school students in the college admissions game", and posted in the "College and University Discussion" forum. The original poster linked to a YouTube video by a current student at Princeton University who expresses strong disappointment with Princeton and warns high school students who are currently in the process of choosing colleges to avoid the university. He warns about a number of other top colleges as well. His main complaint is that rather than being a supportive environment, Princeton — at least according to him — is very cutthroat and, he believes, damaging to students' mental health. He advises applicants to ignore college rankings. He argues that instead, students should investigate the atmosphere of schools to ensure they choose a school with a supportive environment. Due to the video's name starting, like the title of this thread, with "a final warning" and the very depressed attitude of the narrator, I was a little concerned that this was a suicide message. But, hopefully that is not the case. Despite the serious nature of the video, I almost broke out laughing as I read the replies. Multiple posters blamed the student's distress on test optional admissions policies. Their theory being that he is an undeserving student who probably would have been filtered out by a low test score and is now discovering that he doesn't have the chops for Princeton. I don't know whether this demonstrates the posters' determination to protect Princeton from criticism or their one-track fixation on test optional policies. A number of posters wonder why the student simply hasn't transferred. Others just brush off his complaints with one poster even describing him and others like him as a "tik tok like ‘geniuses’" from whom she would never take advice. For the record, this video was on YouTube and the other social network is "TikTok". Other's suggest that while the student may be accurately portraying his own personal experience, he is wrong to extrapolate that experience broadly across Princeton, let alone other top universities. Some posters come to the students defense, though many of them tend toward offering explanations for his struggles rather than accepting that his description of student life at Princeton is valid. A few posters, however, do find the student's complaints to be believable. They point to a rash of suicides at Princeton and its relatively low freshmen retention rate as evidence that the environment might be overly stressful. The bottom line is that those posters who want their children to pursue top universities such as Princeton appear unlikely to heed this warning. Some others who either have ruled out the school or don't consider it to be a realistic option in the first place, find some solace in believing their children are better off elsewhere.