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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

HS Senior rips into the Ivy League

Posted by on Apr. 21, 2013 at 10:58 AM
  • 45 Replies
1 mom liked this

But does she have a point? Is it just unacceptable now to be yourself? Do you have to be all these things in the name of diversity or can you just be who you are and still get in?



Like me, millions of high-school seniors with sour grapes are asking themselves this week how they failed to get into the colleges of their dreams. It's simple: For years, they—we—were lied to.

Colleges tell you, "Just be yourself." That is great advice, as long as yourself has nine extracurriculars, six leadership positions, three varsity sports, killer SAT scores and two moms. Then by all means, be yourself! If you work at a local pizza shop and are the slowest person on the cross-country team, consider taking your business elsewhere.

What could I have done differently over the past years?

For starters, had I known two years ago what I know now, I would have gladly worn a headdress to school. Show me to any closet, and I would've happily come out of it. "Diversity!" I offer about as much diversity as a saltine cracker. If it were up to me, I would've been any of the diversities: Navajo, Pacific Islander, anything. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, I salute you and your 1/32 Cherokee heritage.

Related Video

Suzy Lee Weiss, a senior at Taylor Allderdice High School, on how colleges lie to prospective students. Photo: Associated Press

I also probably should have started a fake charity. Providing veterinary services for homeless people's pets. Collecting donations for the underprivileged chimpanzees of the Congo. Raising awareness for Chapped-Lips-in-the-Winter Syndrome. Fun-runs, dance-a-thons, bake sales—as long as you're using someone else's misfortunes to try to propel yourself into the Ivy League, you're golden.

Having a tiger mom helps, too. As the youngest of four daughters, I noticed long ago that my parents gave up on parenting me. It has been great in certain ways: Instead of "Be home by 11," it's "Don't wake us up when you come through the door, we're trying to sleep." But my parents also left me with a dearth of hobbies that make admissions committees salivate. I've never sat down at a piano, never plucked a violin. Karate lasted about a week and the swim team didn't last past the first lap. Why couldn't Amy Chua have adopted me as one of her cubs?

Then there was summer camp. I should've done what I knew was best—go to Africa, scoop up some suffering child, take a few pictures, and write my essays about how spending that afternoon with Kinto changed my life. Because everyone knows that if you don't have anything difficult going on in your own life, you should just hop on a plane so you're able to talk about what other people have to deal with.

Or at least hop to an internship. Get a precocious-sounding title to put on your resume. "Assistant Director of Mail Services." "Chairwoman of Coffee Logistics." I could have been a gopher in the office of someone I was related to. Work experience!

To those kids who by age 14 got their doctorate, cured a disease, or discovered a guilt-free brownie recipe: My parents make me watch your "60 Minutes" segments, and they've clipped your newspaper articles for me to read before bed. You make us mere mortals look bad. (Also, I am desperately jealous and willing to pay a lot to learn your secrets.)

To those claiming that I am bitter—you bet I am! An underachieving selfish teenager making excuses for her own failures? That too! To those of you disgusted by this, shocked that I take for granted the wonderful gifts I have been afforded, I say shhhh—"The Real Housewives" is on.

Ms. Weiss is a senior at Taylor Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh.

A version of this article appeared March 30, 2013, on page A11 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: To (All) the Colleges That Rejected Me.





by on Apr. 21, 2013 at 10:58 AM
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krysstizzle
by on Apr. 21, 2013 at 11:03 AM
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Well, I suppose if one had mediocre sat scores, no hobbies and didn't trip over themselves to pile on the extracurriculars, (oh, and likely have money or family alum) most likely they wont get into ivy league schools. Just how it goes.

Of course, I've never understood the hoopla around the ivy league. *shrug* it's always seemed to me that you get out of college what you're willing to put into it.
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lga1965
by on Apr. 21, 2013 at 11:04 AM

 Sour grapes.

And Elizabeth Warren didn't get into Harvard due to her ancestry....

Wow. Talk about hanging onto rumors and innuendos  from equally resentful right wingers....just to show how you are so badly treated.....

Sour grapes.

lga1965
by on Apr. 21, 2013 at 11:07 AM

 YES!  Good point! big smile mini

You do get out of college what you put into it. Same with life. You can't expect something for nothing.

Quoting krysstizzle:

Well, I suppose if one had mediocre sat scores, no hobbies and didn't trip over themselves to pile on the extracurriculars, (oh, and likely have money or family alum) most likely they wont get into ivy league schools. Just how it goes.

Of course, I've never understood the hoopla around the ivy league. *shrug* it's always seemed to me that you get out of college what you're willing to put into it.

 

talia-mom
by Gold Member on Apr. 21, 2013 at 11:08 AM


If you don't understand the degree from Harvard opens many more doors than the degree from the University of Florida, I don't know what to tell you.

Quoting krysstizzle:

Well, I suppose if one had mediocre sat scores, no hobbies and didn't trip over themselves to pile on the extracurriculars, (oh, and likely have money or family alum) most likely they wont get into ivy league schools. Just how it goes.

Of course, I've never understood the hoopla around the ivy league. *shrug* it's always seemed to me that you get out of college what you're willing to put into it.



krysstizzle
by on Apr. 21, 2013 at 11:11 AM
1 mom liked this
Oh, I understand. I just find it quite silly. *shrug*

Quoting talia-mom:


If you don't understand the degree from Harvard opens many more doors than the degree from the University of Florida, I don't know what to tell you.


Quoting krysstizzle:

Well, I suppose if one had mediocre sat scores, no hobbies and didn't trip over themselves to pile on the extracurriculars, (oh, and likely have money or family alum) most likely they wont get into ivy league schools. Just how it goes.



Of course, I've never understood the hoopla around the ivy league. *shrug* it's always seemed to me that you get out of college what you're willing to put into it.




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momtoscott
by Platinum Member on Apr. 21, 2013 at 11:12 AM
3 moms liked this

Nothing in the article makes me see her as someone who would have done well at Harvard.  Maybe it's better to finish a degree at a "lesser" school than flunk out of Harvard, freshman term.  I don't have any pity for her.  

LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Apr. 21, 2013 at 11:13 AM
I like the author's writing style, but don't understand your question, OP. Are you referring specifically to being yourself in regards to admission into an Ivy League college? Or being yourself for life in general? It seems like you're trying to take a swipe at "diversity" but I'm not sure.
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talia-mom
by Gold Member on Apr. 21, 2013 at 11:18 AM

I think sometimes that for the admissions, diversity doesn't fully encompass how diverse this country is.

From what I have seen with the children of friends applying for these places and others, doing a 3 month mission to build wells isn't seen as good as creating an organization for the homeless or a charity for immigrant children etc.

Often, I think that you do have to pretend for 4 years to be something you may not necessarily be in order to get into the Ivy league if that is the goal of the student.


Quoting LauraKW:

I like the author's writing style, but don't understand your question, OP. Are you referring specifically to being yourself in regards to admission into an Ivy League college? Or being yourself for life in general? It seems like you're trying to take a swipe at "diversity" but I'm not sure.



fireangel5
by Gold Member on Apr. 21, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Why on earth are you making this a Left/Right thing?


Quoting lga1965:

 Sour grapes.

And Elizabeth Warren didn't get into Harvard due to her ancestry....

Wow. Talk about hanging onto rumors and innuendos  from equally resentful right wingers....just to show how you are so badly treated.....

Sour grapes.



talia-mom
by Gold Member on Apr. 21, 2013 at 11:29 AM


Just look at the source of the quote and that will answer for you.

Quoting fireangel5:

Why on earth are you making this a Left/Right thing?


Quoting lga1965:

 Sour grapes.

And Elizabeth Warren didn't get into Harvard due to her ancestry....

Wow. Talk about hanging onto rumors and innuendos  from equally resentful right wingers....just to show how you are so badly treated.....

Sour grapes.





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