To (All) the Colleges That Rejected Me

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RxCowboy

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#1
From WSJ.com:
If I saw this for a college admissions essay I would accept the kid in a heartbeat.
Rx

To (All) the Colleges That Rejected Me
If only I had a tiger mom or started a fake charity.
By SUZY LEE WEISS

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.

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.
 

Binman4OSU

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Aug 31, 2007
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Get over it, the school of your dreams didn't want you...and apparently so did quite a few other schools from the title. Quit crying and get an education. Being in the buisness world for 14 years now, the name of the school on the degree or the type of degree is not nearly as important as the skills, work ethic, and ability that you demonstrate on the job

You going to act this way too when the job of your dreams isn't offered to you as well?

She has no idea the reasons she was rejected by that school and other schools as well, but she sure has a list of issues to blame it on, regardless of what the actual reason may have been. If multiple locations are rejecting you, then you need to start looking at you and NOT other people to blame it on

It is time for personal responsiblity to come back in this country and quit blaming your short comings or disappointments on something else or somebody else!

Everytime you point a finger at someone or something else to blame, you have 3 fingers pointing right back at yourself

She didn't even mention that she still has the option to attend the school by transfering in after taking classes elsewhere. If she REALLY wanted this "Dream" school...she would work hard to make it happen, and not blame everyone and everything else when she is denied on her initial attempt to obtain her dream.

If everyone in the world gave up on their dream after their first failure of trying to reach it....we would still most likley live in caves and grunt at one another.
 

Binman4OSU

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#4
Here is a GREAT response to Suzy Lee Weiss


It’s weird: A recent Wall Street Journal op ed by embittered high school senior Suzy Lee Weiss — an open letter to all the colleges that rejected her — reads like an April Fools’ Day joke. Except it’s not, and Ms. Weiss seems to believe that it’s everyone else, not her, that’s responsible for her failure to get accepted to her preferred schools.
Writes Weiss in the lengthy screed, “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.”
Weiss then notes that in order to impress colleges she should have “started a fake charity” — a statement that undermines all the actual good works her peers do as volunteers. Then she blames her parents, whom, she says, “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.” And if that wasn’t enough, she argues that her lack of life-changing summer camp experiences are to blame for her failures. “I should’ve done what I knew was best,” Weiss writes in a breezy, nonchalant tone. “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.” And internships? Well those are just for people who are lucky enough to have relatives that will let them hang out at their offices. “I could have been a gopher in the office of someone I was related to. Work experience!”
Plus, she says, aren’t colleges all about you just “being yourself”? Well, no, actually. Colleges aren’t about coddling your very low personal expectations because you’re such a unique little snowflake. And in reality? Most colleges — good ones, anyway — have fairly high expectations for potentials students. They want kids that push themselves to achieve, who exhibit social and intellectual curiosity. Because, as Gawker’s Caity Weaverputs it, “Being yourself is not a talent. If you worked two full-time jobs all the way through high school and one of them was ‘being yourself’ and the other was ‘trying your best,’ you actually worked zero full-time jobs. It’s important to make time for yourself, of course, but you should be making other things in addition to that. Like goals and plans and effort.” In other words, you shouldn’t get a trophy (college acceptance) just for showing up (being yourself).
So what did Suzy Lee Weiss do to prepare for college applications instead? It seems that she treated herself to the world’s biggest pity party. While her classmates were out getting internships, participating in after-school activities and volunteering, Weiss was doing what? Whining about how it was so unfair that other people were developing themselves? Complaining that her parents didn’t offer her the best of everything and “Tiger Mom” her into a success?
Maybe the lesson for Ms. Weiss isn’t that she’d have gotten into college if only she’d “worn a headdress to school,” but that colleges are no different than the general population: They don’t like assholes. And they, like the rest of us, don’t appreciate deep-seated resentment, mild racism and selfishness in potential friends, mates and students.
Maybe, Ms. Weiss, you were rejected because your piss-poor attitude of entitlement and privilege seeped out of every word you wrote on your college application. No one “lied to you” about what colleges want. They want you to “be yourself,” as long as the “you” in question isn’t a smug jerk who believes you’re entitled to get everything you want just because you want it. And that, Ms. Weiss, is where you went wrong.
 

Birry

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She makes some good points. She also makes some stupid points.

Entitled, unrealistic, cynical, unmotivated, jaded, skeptical, lazy, and probably really smart - pretty typical of today's young people.
 

Ball

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#6
She makes some good points. She also makes some stupid points.

Entitled, unrealistic, cynical, unmotivated, jaded, skeptical, lazy, and probably really smart - pretty typical of today's young people.
Just like what our generation's parents said about us. And so it goes.
 

RxCowboy

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#7
Get over it, the school of your dreams didn't want you...and apparently so did quite a few other schools from the title.
Where does it say that she didn't get accepted to the school she wanted to go to? She is commenting on the process. Having sat on admissions committees now for 20 some odd years I can categorically state that the process is a crock. We've studied what factors influence success in pharmacy school. We have failed to come up with a single admission criteria that is a significant predictor of success... because it is entirely about motivation once you get in. All the admissions crap she mentions will tell me about who is motivated to look good to a college admissions panel, but it doesn't tell me spit about who will be successful once they put their butt in a seat in a college classroom.
 

Cimarron

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#8
I'm not sure how ambitious she is or isn't, but she has accomplished something as a senior in high school that I suspect none of us did. She is published in the Wall Street Journal.
 

Philranger

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I've noticed that you're better off being marginally involved with a bunch of different extracurriculars than being super involved with just one or two. The more obscure, the better.