No, Commit Culture Is Not Toxic

By Jessie Wang (IV), Assistant Forum Editor

If you log onto any form of social media around mid-April, you might be swarmed with college decision reactions featuring ecstatic students celebrating acceptances to their dream schools. That is commit culture, which provides more benefits than drawbacks when it comes to the students’ efforts and learning.

It is no secret that college is demanding. In fact, getting into college is quite impressive in itself, and admittees should be proud of that feat on its own. In four years, professors cover many difficult subjects.

Commit culture allows a smoother transition, placing an emphasis on education during one’s high school years. All of the effort students put into their studies is ultimately rewarded. Commit culture encourages them to work harder during high school, which majorly pays off when the students head to college, an objectively tougher environment. The focus on academics significantly increases student engagement.

The payoffs of commit culture are not only limited to the absorption of educational material but also include the positive development of many essential skills.

Since admission to more prestigious colleges requires a high GPA and various achievements, students are driven to challenge their own limits and exceed expectations, refine both their problem-solving skills and work ethic. It also gives them a taste of what college will be like mentally.

High school students often can begin to learn college material, either outside or within their schools. For instance, AP classes and accelerated courses can translate into college credit and help the student get ahead. Commit culture motivates students to exceed expectations when it comes to learning. Instead of having students learn the material taught in high school solely for their current class, commit culture gives the students incentive to pay attention to all the content during their high school years, relieving many from having to do more work in the future.

Furthermore, commit culture also encourages students to take extracurricular activities, which would allow students to engage in interests they may enjoy and possibly pursue later. Aside from that, there are numerous advantages to partaking in non-academic activities. Playing a sport, for instance, reduces stress and improves physical health.

High school is an explorative period to begin thinking about the next steps of life when one matures. Students can explore different subjects and extracurricular activities while pondering what path they want to take. They are encouraged to think about their future ahead of time, rather than coming up with last-minute decisions. While some may argue that commit culture discourages other paths like trade school or community college, the manifestations of commit culture themselves are not innately college-centric. Just because commit culture currently places an emphasis on going to college, doesn’t mean it can’t be more diverse than that if society allows it to be. Commit culture does not restrict its application to only colleges but also can encompass every other career path.

Some may also claim that the idolization of dream schools makes people view their peers as their enemies. A competitive environment, however, is not as harmful as people think. The whole point of dream schools is to find the top students and provide outstanding education for those high-ranked scholars. There is no way to eliminate a competitive environment without also getting rid of those types of opportunities. Commit culture is often misunderstood as being the mindset that causes high schoolers to stress over resumes and spend hours doing unpleasant tasks with no visible benefit. There are many clear benefits, however, that come as a result of the work students put in. In fact, commit culture ultimately inspires many to contemplate their next steps. Like every guidance counselor suggests, thinking about the future is absolutely imperative and such an initiative may impact your future for the better.