How to Survive at an Ultra Competitive High School

What are some tips for making it through an ultra-competitive high school? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. Answer by Sabrina Ali, went to a competitive high school, on Quora: Either play the game or stay away from the game. The “game” is the quest to get into a highly-ranked college. That’s why certain high schools are competitive, after all — they offer you the chance to get into a top university, but only if you check the required boxes better than your peers do. I went to a competitive high school, and I’ve found that there are two schools of thought about the “game”: School of thought #1: The “game” is terrible for students. People with this mentality believe that ultra-competitive high schools push students to game the system rather than learn — they think that test scores are less important than knowledge and that your resume isn’t the total of your worth as a human being. School of thought #2: The “game” is a means to a worthwhile end. There’s a reason these schools promote an atmosphere of “working the system” — because colleges do care about test scores, GPA and the like. So people in this camp are fine with students doing what it takes to rise to the top of the pack, because going to a highly ranked college is a worthwhile goal. If you’re at a competitive high school, you should figure out which of the above schools of thought you believe in. You might not wholly subscribe to one or the other, but most people I’ve met lean towards...

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