Should LHS Bring Back the Wall of Rejection?

Izzi Schulte and Laura Yang

Once again, Lexington High School seniors will not have the Wall of Rejection during their college admissions journeys. In 2020, the LHS administration rejected the Wall of Rejection, an in-person and online bulletin board where students could reframe college rejection in a humorous light. The school has maintained its decision due to the profanity in student comments and difficulty monitoring the board.

Should LHS bring back the Wall of Rejection?

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During the 2019-2020 school year in Commons I, students posted their rejection letter on the Wall of Rejection. Within days, the letter would be marked with jokes about the college.

By easing anxiety around the college application process, the Wall helps boost student morale and mental health.

“I think it would help fight the anxiety for people who are seniors who have gone through the process to show them that everybody gets rejected and it’s just a part of the process,” Kimaya Bhangle, a sophomore, said.

Bhangle isn’t the only member of LHS with this appreciation for the Wall.

“I think it would make me feel better about the college rejection letters I received that year, even if it is anonymous,” Tasbia Uddin, another sophomore, said.

Teachers present when the Wall of Rejection was still around believe that it successfully encouraged students during the college process.
“The intention was empowering, the actual effect would be tough to say for sure, but it’s communal pain rather than individual pain,” Christopher Doucette, the advisor of the LHS Senate, said.

In addition to reducing anxiety, the Wall also empowered students not to fear failure when applying.

“I think it would help keep people’s motivation up, and it would make people motivated to apply to ‘reach colleges,’” Uddin said.

However, concerns about the strong language used towards admissions officers and educational institutions ultimately led to the removal of the Wall.

“Honestly, it’s a big possibility that [vandalism] could happen. We are high schoolers, after all… But if someone makes sure there isn’t anything negative, that’s great too. The positives would outweigh the negatives overall,” Bhangle said.

Doucette notes how difficult it was to monitor the board and vet the jokes and drawings made on the board.

“The reality is it would require extensive supervision,” Doucette said. “Someone could be in an after school event and write something on there, and it shows up the next day, people freak out. So, not likely to have that level of supervision, and no one wanted to take it on for that, like, bang for the buck was not worth it.”

LHS school culture is often described as competitive and cutthroat. By addressing the reality of failure, the Wall offered students a chance to cathartically destress and tackle their feelings head-on with humor.