The Challenges of Ivy League Schools

Flags+of+the+Ivy+League+fly+at+Columbias+Wien+Stadium.

Kenneth C. Zirkel

Flags of the Ivy League fly at Columbia’s Wien Stadium.

Dhir Patel, Editor in Chief

There are many prestigious schools in the United States, but none are quite as prestigious as the Ivy League schools found in the New England area.

If you have not heard of the Ivy League, they are some of the hardest colleges to get accepted to. The colleges look at not only your grades, but your leadership roles, extracurricular activities, participation in events, and a variety of skills in different areas. 

The Ivy League is defined as academic and athletic conferences that contain eight private research universities in the U.S. These facilities are top of the line with many programs and projects offered to the students going there. Ivy League colleges include Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Yale University, Princeton University, and my dream school, Harvard University.

Ever since 9th grade, Harvard University has been my dream destination to study at as I want to study theoretical physics. When looking at some of the best colleges near me for studying this major, my eyes came across Harvard, one of the best colleges in Massachusetts for the field. 

Even though this university has the lowest acceptance rate out of any other Ivy League school with a whopping five percent, I have always loved a challenge and try to aspire in being better and as successful as I can be. With a university like Harvard, however, there come many challenges that people have to face and overcome.

If you think high school is hard, I can tell you college is much harder. Just by looking at Ivy League schools and information about them, it is easy to see the different obstacles already standing in the way of students. 

First of all, even if you are taking advanced placement and honors classes in high school, classes at these eight colleges will take way more focus. You will have to be devoted and put your studies and attention towards them over everything else in college as it should generally take priority, which is what I plan to do. If it doesn’t, it may be hard to balance the different parts of your life and may lead you to perform poorly on exams in college.

Another aspect of the Ivy League that seems difficult is the importance of maintaining your life and making everything efficient. When in a prestigious school like Harvard, you may put focus into your work, but you have to make sure you are working hard and efficiently. This way, if you have a job while you are in school, you will still be able to balance your work for courses you’re taking and additional clubs or activities you might do after the college day ends or in between your classes. Something that can also help with this is the ability to spread your classes throughout the day as you get to choose what time you would want the class. When in college, I plan to be involved in many after school activities including theater, band, etc. It is important for me to manage my time wisely, which is why I am going to devote specific hours to work for classes so I do not waste time that is needed or get distracted to perform successfully in college.

Some other parts of colleges that can be presented as challenges to students are the acceptance rate, which I had previously mentioned, and also a universal for most colleges alike; debt and payments. Acceptance rates are more challenging for people who are trying to get into an Ivy League college or another school that takes a lot of hard work as well. With an early decision to apply for a college early, it is a risk for many students as you can only apply to one early decision college. If you do make this choice, then the acceptance rate will be higher, but if you do not get accepted, it could slow you down a lot in your search for a college or university. 

Additionally, debt has been a problem with all schools, and not just the Ivy League. The only difference is that Ivy League schools might be less expensive than other colleges, but are harder to get into, which makes people have to work twice as hard in school with having impressive grades, skills, qualities, and with working or getting a loan that you have to pay back so you can afford to go the school. Loans lead to debt and this is very stressful for the students, who still have to concentrate on their studies, but managing what you do in your day-to-day life when in college will be very important.

If you are interested in going to some of the top colleges in the country with amazing programs and resources for students to study and perform activities, maybe you should give an Ivy League school a try. If you have the dedication and perseverance to push through these challenges and manage your life with your future education, maybe look at some of the Ivy Leagues schools that may contain a good program for the major you will want to take. The Ivy League can be intimidating and is not for everyone, but it is important to remember that your qualities, skills, accomplishments, activities, and leadership roles will help you in the future, and the right mindset can get you through these challenges I mentioned.