Editorial: Calling out the decision to conform


The pressure to conform can prevent students from pursuing individual passions and prioritizing personal values. When making decisions, students should consider multiple options, rather than defaulting to popular choices among their peers. Graphic by Claire Satkiewicz

Each spring, social media accounts are flooded with posts of seniors announcing their commitment to post-secondary institutions, and college apparel fills hallways on May Day. Upperclassmen and underclassmen alike are exposed to a large number of recognizable college names during this time.
Hidden from view are smaller, lesser-known schools or entirely different paths students may not consider seriously due to a high exposure to mainstream colleges.
Whether students decide to attend a popular college, enroll at a smaller, lesser-known school or pursue an alternative path, such as taking a gap year or going to trade school, students should prioritize their own ambitions instead of conforming to the most popular routes.
When students are making decisions and feel the pressure of conformity, it is important to consider what is best for them. Beyond post-secondary plans, students may feel pressured to sign up for many Advanced Placement and honors-level classes if they see their peers doing so or believe that is the only way to succeed academically.
Students may also feel pressured to conform to social trends, such as following the latest outfit trend.
Conformity can also apply to situations in which students feel the need to take drugs in order to fit in with a group.
Although the pressure to conform is ever-present, prioritizing personal values and resisting the decisions of others to dictate individual decisions is a definitive aspect of one’s character.