The Admissions Möbius Strip: Getting Nowhere Fast, or How to Avoid an Admissions Crisis

By: Judi Robinovitz | Last Updated: May 13, 2011

MobiusStrip - Score At The Top

We’ll bet that someone has shown you this strange paper-and-scissors phenomenon: a long, adhesive-taped strip that has only one edge and one surface. It’s “non-oriented” as a mathematician might say. And we think if we were specks navigating that paper, we’d get nowhere fast. Could produce a sinking feeling.

You might get a hint of the same sort of vertigo if you were to watch the film “The Race to Nowhere.”

In it students are stressed out, physically and mentally exhausted from homework and from the high expectation that they present themselves as teenage idols of academia. Every voice in the movie expresses the tension, the overload, the breaking-point strain of the high school balancing act between academics and everything else.

In the movie you’d hear students use the word “perfection” time and time again. Pressures come from any and every direction: school, family, peers, and the inner voice. A grade of “B” might as well stand for BAD, BUM, BEATEN. These kids think that only top schools could do. Sure enough, most high schoolers (yes, most, a majority) cheat to achieve the ideal. And the beat(-ing) goes on: eating disorders, depression—suicide. It’s not an easy screening, this movie.

The problem: “Prestigious school or nothing.” Only the name brands will secure a life worth living. Anything less would be…what? Let’s see.

Educational consultants like us confront this mindset almost daily. We work best at breaking down barriers of miscomprehension. With about 4,000 colleges and universities to select from, a knowledgeable, experienced and well-traveled consultant opens up the world to students and their families. There’s so much to consider when providing a student with appropriate choices. Our individualized guidance can’t be matched in most school settings. Check us out. Get off the Möbius strip and move into a comforting, 3-dimensional future teeming with choice and satisfaction.

Topics: College Admission


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