Mystery of College Apps 

By Keira De Vita

One of the most influential things in society today is Hollywood; the American entertainment industry. Throughout the course of the 2000’s popular movies curated around preposterously ideals glamorized the life of coming of age films set during high school. Most of these movies rapidly gained popularity, which influenced United States pop culture, most importantly, influencing teenagers. 

Featured in these movies are the pivotal points in high school: junior and senior year. With the end of high school inevitably comes college applications. Though I am not a senior, plenty of second hand sources have confirmed my belief that Hollywood and the entertainment industry overdramatize and glamorize the college application process. Whether the character performs unrealistically (for an actual average student) to just make it into a top college, or an undeserving wealthy character slides their way into ivy leagues, the college application process remains a mystery until one applying for college falls into the hustle and craziness. Prime examples of exaggeration are illuminated through Legally Blonde where main character Elle Woods (played by Reese Witherspoon) easily glides her way into Harvard Law with test scores just scraping the surface and the most unique college application video. Although clearly unrealistic, unknowing standards are set; “Well if Elle Woods can I most definitely can.” Spotlighted in High School Musical, main character Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens) follows a story line of Hollywood’s basic STEM female who gets into her dream college. Getting accepted into Stanford, Hollywood perpetuates the ideal that a student such as Gabriella can get into a prestigious college without stress highlighted in the film at all. Most of her stress falls on whether she is attending! The fictional reality of the studious STEM student is presented all while able to simultaneously live her high school life with minimal stress. 

Personally, I find fiction more entertaining, but such influential media has left me wondering what senior year and college applications truly are like.