Andrew: I don't know if you really got my question. You said that in the room, you didn't have a social life much in high school because you're always studying, you were always focusing on all of that and of course your business also developed into something else. So wouldn't that be something that you would change -- you would have more of a social life?
Weina: I am going to have some sort of social life, considering that I won't be working as much as I used to in terms of my business. I cut my hours. Is that what you're. . .
Andrew: I'm just referring to high school. In high school, you didn't have much time. You said that you have to work really hard to be valedictorian, salutatorian. Is the only reason you wanted that position for you was the colleges? Because there are a lot of people who still aren't No. 1 and No. 2 and they still get into higher universities.
Weina: The overall thinking is that colleges like Harvard and Yale, they want top of your class. So that's why I pushed and pushed to be top of my class. That was the thinking. But you're right, there are students who are ranked 26 and they do get into the best universities in the United States.
Q: I was curious about some of the bad aspects of competition.
Weina: We can't call each other for homework help, because we're competing against each other. I remember that I was competing against this girl, who's to remain nameless, and I asked her for a favor once. And she said no, I'm not going to help you because guess what, I'm competing against you. I think I would have been a better person if we had collaborated with one another instead of backstabbing or competing against one another.
Jessica: In my school, we were also very competitive, but in our competitiveness we were never overly hostile at each other. If anybody asked me for help with anything, I was going to help them. . .
I know out of our top 10, some of my best friends were in the top 10. We were all competing against each other, but we were still able to be friends. There were one or two kids who were kind of back-stabbing, like taking extra classes without telling anybody else and things like that, but in the end, when I look back on it now, I don't regret it. The competition just made me better.
Becky: We're always going to know who's smart; we're always going to know who's at the top of our class. Kids talk. We get back our test scores and we look at each other's. We look at who's next to us; it's the nature of being in high school. But I think that having a system that literally promotes ranking and designates numbers to students, No. 1, No. 2, what have you, clearly is feeding into this craze, and it's making students go nuts.
Andrew: But that's still going to exist, though. You would need to change the whole system for the whole nation because when a college is asking for applications -- and I filled out five of them -- they have all asked me for my class rank.
Becky: They can figure it out themselves; it's not really a big deal. Private schools don't rank; 85 percent of them don't. It's something the public schools need to catch on to.
Weina: Actually, college applications have a section that says, "Does your school rank? Yes or no." So you can always say no, and I don't think they'll look down on you badly if your school doesn't rank. . . .
Also, colleges don't rank themselves. Harvard, Yale, they don't have salutatorians or valedictorians, and you know why? Because they want their students to be well-rounded. They want students to take the classes that interest them.