Urban dictionary defines it as “a place to go where you can read about snotty geniuses who feel the need to brag”. The average high school junior or senior sees it as the perfect place for “chances”, or threads that allow other students to evaluate their GPAs and ECs. College Confidential (henceforth referred to as CC) has been plagued with its fair share of criticism however, mainly stemming from college guidance counselors and admissions officers who protest that that the website propagates misinformation.
Oh yeah, and there are the students who look at CC as an impossible measuring stick for their own accomplishments, much as the person from Urban Dictionary so eloquently put it.
Putting aside the rather thorny issue of misinformation (after all, which contributor website does not suffer some degree of inaccuracy?), I would like to focus on those aforementioned students who view CC as little more than a bragging spot.
I use CC frequently, but frankly, I haven’t started a nonprofit organization, nor have I swam at the Olympics. Many people describe the posts as “depressing”, because they feel that their own accomplishments are overshadowed and thereby insignificant. Yes, there are many talented students prowling CC with resumes that rival that of a graduate student, but equally important to recognize is that every person is different from another, not to sound clichéd. Rather, I use CC for personal evaluation to see, in comparison with other students in the nation, if my SAT scores are weak or conversely, if my GPA is higher than average. Moreover, reading people’s resumes/applications gives me ideas as to how to better my own “chances”.
In a nutshell, CC is only what you make of it. CC can be a powerful online tool for those with enough confidence to embrace themselves, flaws and all, and enough humility to recognize the possibility of improvement. For others who are crippled by insecurities, however, CC just serves as another painful reminder of their perceived shortcomings. In the end, it all boils down to your self-confidence or lack thereof.
Perhaps CC would be better named Confidence Confidential after all.