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(The Daily Beast)   The Wall Street Journal goes full Onion as it publishes an open letter from a high school senior to all the colleges who rejected her application   (thedailybeast.com) divider line 168
    More: Asinine, Wall Street Journal, Amy Chua, onions, University and college admissions, bake sales, college application, disaster recovery, war correspondents  
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16146 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Apr 2013 at 9:45 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-03 09:49:14 AM
Assuming the letter is real, she has managed to validate the wisdom of the institutions that rejected her.
 
2013-04-03 09:52:49 AM
rack.1.mshcdn.com
 
2013-04-03 09:52:52 AM
I think she has a good point.  There's a lot of hypocrisy in college admissions nowadays.  Students are rewarded for trying to be someone they're not, rather than for excelling at doing the things that they want to do.
 
2013-04-03 09:53:05 AM

sinanju: Assuming the letter is real, she has managed to validate the wisdom of the institutions that rejected her.


To quote the author of that pile "Hear Hear".
 
2013-04-03 09:53:10 AM
That's a lot of douchebaggery in one letter...
 
2013-04-03 09:53:19 AM
It hasn't been that long since I was accepted to college (10 years), but I don't remember it being that difficult... I took a few honors courses, didn't sit around and smoke weed all day every day, and surprise: I got into a good school!

Sure, if you didn't do anything in high school you might have had trouble, but those people didn't really want to go.  I don't think I knew anyone from my graduating class who wanted to go to college, but didn't get in anywhere.

As long as you're not ONLY applying to Ivy league status schools, you should be able to find a good fit.
 
2013-04-03 09:53:34 AM
daily beast/WSJ aside, the letter does make a good point. The higher-ed industry is a ridiculous place.

The higher education system needs to be reformed. We need to stop making it all about profits, we need to educate our kids about how you don't need to go through college if you're gonna waste it on a degree that'll get you as far in life as not having a college degree at all (I'm looking at you, philosophy majors). We need to stop the stigma of vocational schooling in lue of high school. We need to stop compounding so much debt on the kids who do want to go through college so that they don't have to keep paying off the loans until they're in their mid-40s.

The younger generations are completely screwed with our education system. We keep going on and on how we absolutely, positively need to have an bachelor's in something,anything, as long as it's a bachelor's. and then, 3 years into our 4 year degree, we get told that the degree is utterly useless and you were better off going into this degree or that degree, or hell, if you just worked your ass off in a factory or something, you'd be making a shiatload more and without all the student debt by now.

Stop treating us like children on the realities of education and give us honest answers as to what we can expect in life if we choose this path or that path.
 
2013-04-03 09:53:40 AM
Avoiding $100,000 Of Debt? Sounds Like Hard Work Paid Off!


/Why Is My Phone CapitAlizing Every First Letter?
 
2013-04-03 09:53:46 AM
Or just volunteer you lazy biatch
 
2013-04-03 09:54:15 AM

sinanju: Assuming the letter is real, she has managed to validate the wisdom of the institutions that rejected her.


Disagree, that was hilarious. And accurate.
 
2013-04-03 09:54:18 AM

sinanju: Assuming the letter is real, she has managed to validate the wisdom of the institutions that rejected her.


The real letter shows that it was tongue in cheek, and the writer admits underachievement.

Regardless, this young lady's unworthiness of an ivy league education doesn't make college admissions policies any more sensible.  The overvaluation of extracurricular activities have contributed to income disparities in top colleges, as well as outright fraud in the application process.  It's been this way at least since the 80s, possibly longer.
 
2013-04-03 09:56:08 AM
I wish someone would clue high school kids into the fact that Ivy Leagues are a waste for undergrad.   First off, if you're looking to be a top dog academically, then no one cares about your undergrad, it's grad school all the way.  And, while it's better to have an Ivy League undergrad if you want to get into an Ivy League grad program, if you take the time to research the rankings Ivy Leagues are usually outranked, or closely followed, by high end state schools in almost every technical discipline.
 
2013-04-03 09:56:12 AM
so your parents never gave you an extracurricular activity, except swimming and karate which you quit on, and you couldn't go find something on your own that interested you.

That's all I'm getting form this, anyone else reading something else?
 
2013-04-03 09:56:44 AM
I didn't volunteer, have internships, have a family connection, or any after school activities beyond golf and school newspaper.  I applied to two schools, Duke (sucks) and GT. I was never going to go to Duke, but I applied for the hell of it just to see if I qualified.

Got in to both and never bothered with another school application ever again.

How are people making it this difficult?
 
2013-04-03 09:58:11 AM

Nickninja: It hasn't been that long since I was accepted to college (10 years), but I don't remember it being that difficult... I took a few honors courses, didn't sit around and smoke weed all day every day, and surprise: I got into a good school!

Sure, if you didn't do anything in high school you might have had trouble, but those people didn't really want to go.  I don't think I knew anyone from my graduating class who wanted to go to college, but didn't get in anywhere.

As long as you're not ONLY applying to Ivy league status schools, you should be able to find a good fit.


I did some accounting/Excel temp work about a year ago for a foundation in Anaheim. They do medical stuff in Africa. One of the things that allows them to survive is the constant stream of unpaid interns, who are all 16-18 years old and still in high school. I talked to several of them, and they all validated what the lady said in her letter.
 
2013-04-03 09:59:49 AM

HMS_Blinkin: I think she has a good point.  There's a lot of hypocrisy in college admissions nowadays.  Students are rewarded for trying to be someone they're not, rather than for excelling at doing the things that they want to do.


Tough shiat.  Life is not a big invitation to do the things you want to do.  Or, if that's your goal, don't be surprised if people aren't lining up to give you the fruits of their own labor.

Life's hard.  It takes work.  And success, be it educational, financial, athletic, etc.., is the result of hard work and sacrifice.  That's sort of the opposite of what most people (all generations) would prefer doing.  The difference is the current generation is being given a different message.

To the author of the letter: It's easy to claim everyone else is faking it and it's all bullshiat.  The reality is others are probably working harder and sacrificing more to achieve their goals.  Is there some fakery and bullshiat? Of curse there is, there always has been.  Is it ALL fakery and bullshiat?  I suspect not.  Want to get into college?  Turn off HoneyBooBoo / Real Housewives / reality shiatshow du jour and read a farking book, you nimrod.
 
2013-04-03 10:01:15 AM
She is wrong
There is no evidence that warren has any Indian blood

But she is right to use her as an example. Just need to notch it up a bit.
 
2013-04-03 10:01:46 AM

FARK rebel soldier: sinanju: Assuming the letter is real, she has managed to validate the wisdom of the institutions that rejected her.

Disagree, that was hilarious. And accurate.


With respect to Ivy League schools, I agree.  Their admissions process is a thinly veiled system of weeding out applicants who are academically where they need to be, but who are not the children of the "establishment".

There are a lot of excellent non Ivy league schools though which don't have this level of insanity in admission though.  The situation she's describing really only applies if you just haaaave to go to Haaaaavard.  U of M took me (and my B's and my extracurricular activities that just amounted to activities I actually enjoyed like Mock Trial and theater).
 
2013-04-03 10:01:51 AM
These days, a nearly-perfect GPA is the barest requisite for an elite institution. You're also supposed to be a top notch athlete and/or musician, the master of multiple extracurriculars.  Summers should preferably be spent doing charitable work, hopefully in a foreign country, or failing that, at least attending some sort of advanced academic or athletic program.

So doing more than the bare minimum is too much work for this girl? Maybe if she had SOME kind of extra-curricular life to show that she was doing more than going through the motions, but from the sound of her letter, she lacks focus, drive and ambition. I'm sure a high end college wants those kinds of students. Yeah, maybe they have a ridiculous amount of expectations, but it sounds like this girl did absolutely nothing.

Regardless, this chick could have bothered to do at least the littlest bit of prep for her higher ed dreams. Seriously, it's like she didn't bother to talk to ANYONE about what might have been expected of her. I actually have zero sympathy for her.
 
2013-04-03 10:02:16 AM
Funny ... I also graduated in 1989 and would have had no shot at getting in to the college I went to in 2013.  I spent every free second of time from the day I turned 14 working my ass off to pay for myself, and my parents were too busy with managing a failing business and taking care of two elderly parents who moved in with us to worry about driving me to some bullshiat after-school activity.  I like to think I did just fine in undergrad, and looking at all of my peers who were the product of "Tiger Moms", I can say with certainty I've been a far more productive adult.

The problem with college admissions - and "higher education" in general - is that it's run by people who on the whole have never, ever participated in the actual world, and have spent every moment of their lives from age 5 on wrapped in the suffocating, insulated world of "education".  They wouldn't have a clue what it takes to be an actual contributing member of society.
 
2013-04-03 10:03:11 AM
Or you could just go to a regular school and be a normal well-adjusted human being instead of hyperventiliating over the fact that you're not super number #1 best amazing kid.
 
2013-04-03 10:04:13 AM

Necronic: I wish someone would clue high school kids into the fact that Ivy Leagues are a waste for undergrad.   First off, if you're looking to be a top dog academically, then no one cares about your undergrad, it's grad school all the way.  And, while it's better to have an Ivy League undergrad if you want to get into an Ivy League grad program, if you take the time to research the rankings Ivy Leagues are usually outranked, or closely followed, by high end state schools in almost every technical discipline.


This.

Ivy Leagues Leagues do work well, however, for validating the expression "It's not what you know, it's who you know".  If you need a job that relies on the latter (like politicians), you may do better at an Ivy League.
 
2013-04-03 10:05:04 AM
I'm sure if the admissions officers discounted all those other factors that she'd be accepted right in instead of the other thousands and thousands of other kids who are just like her.


Go to Amherst and then enjoy your career selling oranges on highway off-ramps.
 
2013-04-03 10:05:22 AM

somedude210: Stop treating us like children on the realities of education and give us honest answers as to what we can expect in life if we choose this path or that path.


Work hard, take difficult, unpopular majors that have a proven track of financial success, such as engineering, accounting, etc.. Realize that you will stat on the bottom rung of the ladder and your first 5 years will be sucky drudgery, JUST LIKE EVERY GENERATION BEFORE YOU.  You will work long hours for low pay.  Realize that you will not: become CEO in your first year, invent Facebook, get a million dollar signing bonus, succeed as a professional actor/musician/athlete, etc..

This is as it has been, and should be.  Don't expect anything different.  And the next person that says, "just follow your dream, do what you like"?  Slap them.  Hard.  And ignore everything else they say.
 
2013-04-03 10:05:34 AM

swankywanky: so your parents never gave you an extracurricular activity, except swimming and karate which you quit on, and you couldn't go find something on your own that interested you.

That's all I'm getting form this, anyone else reading something else?


Yup. And she doesn't even mention her grades. I suspect somewhere in the C+ range...

This reminds me of the white suburban kids with rich parents and B+ GPAs who sued U-Mich over affirmative action.

/3.94 and worked for it
 
2013-04-03 10:05:34 AM

Necronic: I wish someone would clue high school kids into the fact that Ivy Leagues are a waste for undergrad.   First off, if you're looking to be a top dog academically, then no one cares about your undergrad, it's grad school all the way.


Bingo.  My father gave his very similar advice.  And it worked really well---I went to a small mid-tier school for undergrad, where I was able to get an academic scholarship and work closely with faculty.  That experience helped me get into a top-flight grad program where I am today.
 
2013-04-03 10:05:41 AM
I went to a state university as a non-trad on the G.I. Bill after dropping out of college a few years earlier because I couldn't afford it and I had a whopping 1.8 GPA. I didn't know what to do with my life, so I joined the infantry.

I can safely say that my alma mater didn't give a fark about my extracurricular high school activities.

Now, I review applicant resumes every day as part of my job. So long as you didn't attend a degree mill, I really don't even care where you went to college. There are just as many dumbasses attending Princeton as there are Boise State, believe me. Why get hung up on rejection?
 
2013-04-03 10:06:44 AM
www.patriciaebauer.com
You never go full Onion!
 
2013-04-03 10:07:53 AM
And right now those colleges are celebrating the fact that they won't have her passive aggressive bullshiat on their campuses for the next the semesters.
 
2013-04-03 10:08:38 AM

Necronic: I wish someone would clue high school kids into the fact that Ivy Leagues are a waste for undergrad.   First off, if you're looking to be a top dog academically, then no one cares about your undergrad, it's grad school all the way.  And, while it's better to have an Ivy League undergrad if you want to get into an Ivy League grad program, if you take the time to research the rankings Ivy Leagues are usually outranked, or closely followed, by high end state schools in almost every technical discipline.


So much THIS.  If you're going to grad school, don't bother with Ivy league. Hell, higher end non-Ivy private schools aren't necessarily any better than states.  If you know exactly what you want to do, find out what school specializes in your tiny little niche and go there. That'll give you the best bet.
 
2013-04-03 10:08:55 AM

FARK rebel soldier: sinanju: Assuming the letter is real, she has managed to validate the wisdom of the institutions that rejected her.

Disagree, that was hilarious. And accurate.


Accurate? She did NOTHING to prep for college, or she would have seen this all coming down the pipe. She deserves this. I'm not expecting her to have logged 4,000 hours of community service on 4 continents, I'm expecting er to have done SOMEthing, and to have known what was coming in advance. Instead, she coasts through school, doesn't bother to find out what's expected, then starts crying when she's told that she doesn't qualify. It's not like Ivy League admissions are some well-kept secret that only approved people are clued into.
 
2013-04-03 10:09:22 AM
If the institution of higher learning you're trying to get into is showing a preference for phonies and over-achievers, then maybe you should count your blessings that you won't be wasting your tuition dollars there.  Your local state college offers the same exact opportunity for learning (at the undergraduate level, surely) without all of the pretentiousness and at a fraction of the cost.
 
2013-04-03 10:09:29 AM

Nickninja: It hasn't been that long since I was accepted to college (10 years), but I don't remember it being that difficult... I took a few honors courses, didn't sit around and smoke weed all day every day, and surprise: I got into a good school!

Sure, if you didn't do anything in high school you might have had trouble, but those people didn't really want to go.  I don't think I knew anyone from my graduating class who wanted to go to college, but didn't get in anywhere.

As long as you're not ONLY applying to Ivy league status schools, you should be able to find a good fit.


I didn't sit around and smoke weed until college. That should also be a tip for the kids: there's a time and a place for everything, and it's called 'college'.

And ditto what the other guy said about not going to the Ivies for undergrad - my dad was at NYU for undergrad and Yale for his PhD; which one do you think people care more about? If I get a Master's from Princeton, will anyone care that my undergrad was U of MD (besides NCAA fans who focus on the early-2000s seasons)? You'll save everyone a lot of money, too (especially if you go undergrad at a state school - I am glad I didn't end up at Rutgers not because I hate Jersey [I don't; I was born there], but because the amount of time I wasted at $8k/year feels less bad than if it'd been $14k).

And I know that HS guidance counselors are useless, but the one time they earn their keep is in college prep. Assuming they're worth a damn at all, they will have all kinds of info worth having. And don't wait until senior year to stack up those creds - I think part of the reason community-service requirements started appearing in schools is to help with that (I had to do 36 hours for each year in order to graduate - not even court-mandated!).

CSB: my junior year, I started worrying a lot about college. A 5-minute conversation with my GC cleared all that up (mostly because a 3.25 is not a bad GPA, I just went to a school where that's almost the dividing line for half of the class). At 16-17, it's not surprising that so many of them don't fully grasp how college admissions work.
 
2013-04-03 10:09:31 AM
Universities have turned the admissions office into a profit center.  They market themselves to way to many students they could not possibly accept.
 
2013-04-03 10:09:42 AM
I quit all extracurriculars my senior year and held down 3 jobs for both my Junior and Senior year. This was about 17 years ago so things may have been different, but I was sick of all the teachers pet extracurricular junkies. Their parents bought them everything. If I wanted a car or to go out on fri night I had to pay. I did have a great GPA 10th in class maybe that helped a little, but Admissions weren't solely about all this other BS.

My admissions essays all sounded like this girls letter and I got into every school I applied to including Carnegie Mellon and Yale(Chose Syracuse because I hated New Haven(and I wanted a party school LOL) and really only applied to Yale for an ego boost). My parents have a great deal of money too, but my father/mother thankfully raised me like they were poor and I love them for doing it. I cant imagine how exponentially more unbearable I would be to be around if I had been some spoiled brat.

On the other side of the coin, if you want to go help kids in Africa, go do it. Whatever floats your boat. Its alot more noble that what I wanted to do with my spare time over High School summer. Smoke weed, drink beer, try to get laid.
 
2013-04-03 10:09:59 AM

blipponaut: Or you could just go to a regular school and be a normal well-adjusted human being instead of hyperventiliating over the fact that you're not super number #1 best amazing kid.


see, now I don't think that's as widespread a mindset as you would think.

elvindeath: Funny ... I also graduated in 1989 and would have had no shot at getting in to the college I went to in 2013. I spent every free second of time from the day I turned 14 working my ass off to pay for myself, and my parents were too busy with managing a failing business and taking care of two elderly parents who moved in with us to worry about driving me to some bullshiat after-school activity. I like to think I did just fine in undergrad, and looking at all of my peers who were the product of "Tiger Moms", I can say with certainty I've been a far more productive adult.


Aren't tiger moms just overbearing "super helicopter moms"? Why in god's name are we advocating this crap. This is the crap that gave us "EVERYBODY GETS A MEDAL!!!" parenting. Fark, your kid isn't awesome and super and the best at everything, I'd be willing to bet that they want you to calm the fark down a bit and let them explore life on their own without you interfering in everything.

When we make "helicopter parenting" and "tiger moms" bad things to be, will our generations start to fix themselves.

It's like an entire generation got a giant rod up their ass and wants their kids to make up for the rod in their ass taking away the life they wanted
 
2013-04-03 10:10:00 AM
When did we stop looking at higher ed as both a privilege and something you got if you had the money to pay for it and start looking at it as a competition to see who could fluff their resume the most?
 
2013-04-03 10:12:03 AM
She sounds fat.
 
2013-04-03 10:12:23 AM

Priapetic: Tough shiat.  Life is not a big invitation to do the things you want to do.  Or, if that's your goal, don't be surprised if people aren't lining up to give you the fruits of their own labor.

Life's hard.  It takes work.  And success, be it educational, financial, athletic, etc.., is the result of hard work and sacrifice.  That's sort of the opposite of what most people (all generations) would prefer doing.  The difference is the current generation is being given a different message.


But when young people who do work for money during HS rather than non-paying work, that gets looked down upon by college admissions people.  The problem isn't that "kids these days" aren't working---it's that the admissions process values some kinds of work more than others.

I never said that hard work and sacrifice aren't important.  The problem is that college admissions places too much emphasis on doing a whole bunch of things badly rather than drilling down and focusing on doing one thing really well.  Colleges would rather have a kid who did some BS volunteer work they didn't really care about + was crappy at 3 different sports rather than a kid who had a real passion for one extracurricular activity and excelled at it, or a kid who put in lots hours working a job through the school year and the summer.
 
2013-04-03 10:14:12 AM

Priapetic: Work hard, take difficult, unpopular majors that have a proven track of financial success, such as engineering, accounting, etc.. Realize that you will stat on the bottom rung of the ladder and your first 5 years will be sucky drudgery, JUST LIKE EVERY GENERATION BEFORE YOU. You will work long hours for low pay. Realize that you will not: become CEO in your first year, invent Facebook, get a million dollar signing bonus, succeed as a professional actor/musician/athlete, etc..

This is as it has been, and should be. Don't expect anything different. And the next person that says, "just follow your dream, do what you like"? Slap them. Hard. And ignore everything else they say.


I would also toss in that you shouldn't try and do engineering, science, accounting, etc. if you have no desire to do it. If you want to major in what you love and it has no real purpose in the corporate world, then accept that you're paying for something that won't have the return you think you'll get with a bachelor's in it.

can we also get rid of the idea that business majors are gonna be the cream of the crop? Cause most of them failed out of tougher majors (like engineering)

we need scientists, educators, engineers, doctors, nurses and accountants. Those should be your first priorities

/art degree? If you're the next Picasso, a piece of paper isn't going to be required
 
2013-04-03 10:14:25 AM
'Elite' schools want overacheivers and ones that look like they have rich parents. Who else is going to give them big donations? The slacker who is content with just making enough to get by or be comfortable in life?/slacker//laughs at received donation requests from my university as they go in the recycling bin///extra long slashie
 
2013-04-03 10:14:56 AM
Solution: Take away all colleges ability to award derplomas and have state or nationalized tests based on the degree you want to challenge.  If you pass the test you get the degree.  I'm not talking some multiple choice crap shoot. I'm talking about a down and dirty real test.
 
2013-04-03 10:15:06 AM
I was all prepared to hate the author of this letter.  Then I RTFA.

Dammit!
 
2013-04-03 10:15:17 AM
maybe things have changed in the 14 years since i graduated high school, but i applied to four colleges and got accepted at all of them, and i didn't have a single extra-curricular activity to my name.  i sent them my transcripts, my sat scores, and my teacher recommendations, and they accepted me based on that alone.  do colleges these days really disqualify students with good grades just because they didn't work for a charity?
 
2013-04-03 10:15:44 AM

Necronic: I wish someone would clue high school kids into the fact that Ivy Leagues are a waste for undergrad.   First off, if you're looking to be a top dog academically, then no one cares about your undergrad, it's grad school all the way.  And, while it's better to have an Ivy League undergrad if you want to get into an Ivy League grad program, if you take the time to research the rankings Ivy Leagues are usually outranked, or closely followed, by high end state schools in almost every technical discipline.


Ivy League undergrad can land you a first job that will make you almost a shoe in for a top grad program.  If you had two students applying for a top MBA program with the exact same GMAT scores and one had a kick-ass recommendation from McKinsey - who would you choose?

While I agree undergrad doesn't matter as much for graduate school - the path it initially puts you on will give you a huge advantage as several companies will only recruit from Ivy Schools.  Sucks but that's how the world works.

/Didn't go to an Ivy League
//Still doing fine
 
2013-04-03 10:16:32 AM

somedude210: can we also get rid of the idea that business majors are gonna be the cream of the crop? Cause most of them failed out of tougher majors (like engineering)


Hey, having to transfer from one of the engineering majors to management is a difficult choice. I mean, at GT that means they'll have to walk across the bridge to get to all the business classes. The engineering students have it easy since their classes are all on the main campus.
 
2013-04-03 10:16:55 AM

somedude210: Priapetic: Work hard, take difficult, unpopular majors that have a proven track of financial success, such as engineering, accounting, etc.. Realize that you will stat on the bottom rung of the ladder and your first 5 years will be sucky drudgery, JUST LIKE EVERY GENERATION BEFORE YOU. You will work long hours for low pay. Realize that you will not: become CEO in your first year, invent Facebook, get a million dollar signing bonus, succeed as a professional actor/musician/athlete, etc..

This is as it has been, and should be. Don't expect anything different. And the next person that says, "just follow your dream, do what you like"? Slap them. Hard. And ignore everything else they say.

I would also toss in that you shouldn't try and do engineering, science, accounting, etc. if you have no desire to do it. If you want to major in what you love and it has no real purpose in the corporate world, then accept that you're paying for something that won't have the return you think you'll get with a bachelor's in it.

can we also get rid of the idea that business majors are gonna be the cream of the crop? Cause most of them failed out of tougher majors (like engineering)

we need scientists, educators, engineers, doctors, nurses and accountants. Those should be your first priorities

/art degree? If you're the next Picasso, a piece of paper isn't going to be required


Plan that whatever you learn, you're gonna be stuck doing it day in and day out until you retire, so pick something that's at least tolerable over the course of 40+ years.  If you have no real interest in it except for the salary you think you'll earn, your days are gonna suuuuuck and your life is gonna suuuuuuck.
 
2013-04-03 10:17:09 AM

Mateorocks: I went to a state university as a non-trad on the G.I. Bill after dropping out of college a few years earlier because I couldn't afford it and I had a whopping 1.8 GPA. I didn't know what to do with my life, so I joined the infantry.

I can safely say that my alma mater didn't give a fark about my extracurricular high school activities.

Now, I review applicant resumes every day as part of my job. So long as you didn't attend a degree mill, I really don't even care where you went to college. There are just as many dumbasses attending Princeton as there are Boise State, believe me. Why get hung up on rejection?


Your alma mater didn't give a fark about your extracurriculars for the same reason my state school didn't.  They knew I would be able to pay my tuition, in full and on time.  The GI Bill is pretty much a guaranteed entry into a state school these days.  They know you can come up with the money, and they don't have to worry about you whining about crippling debt.
 
2013-04-03 10:17:16 AM
I was expecting a letter whining about how "you should of (sic) picked me!" and how special she is... but she did have a point.

Luckily, my college selection process consisted only of "which state school is farthest away from home?" and the admission process was cake. And I don't feel I missed much. And considering I changed careers pretty quickly after graduation, I'm REALLY glad I didn't kill myself with stress and debt to attend a prestigious school.

/Southern Oregon University, class of 02 & 03
//yeah, you've never heard of it
 
2013-04-03 10:17:48 AM
She has some points, but in the end it's a basic problem of supply and demand.

Elite colleges get far more applicants than they can accept.  I work at a tier ~1.5 liberal arts school and we take roughly 1 in 3 applicants, and if you want to go to someplace with a better name those odds worsen rapidly.

Given that the vast majority of people aren't going to get in, what do you have that makes you special enough?  It could be a perfect GPA with a lot of AP courses.  It could be an extracurricular or sport.  (And talking to the admissions folks, it's a hell of a lot better to have one thing that you're really devoted to than 10 resume fillers)  It could be a life situation- minority, poor, interesting background, etc.  It could be work experience if you've done something other than work the fry machine at McDonalds.  (And yes, getting promoted after working  for a while at McDonalds is a good point in your favor)  If you don't have *something* you're not getting in.

That said, there are a ton of schools where you'll get a good education.  Work hard at a Cal Poly and you'll do just fine in life.
 
2013-04-03 10:18:10 AM

bulldg4life: somedude210: can we also get rid of the idea that business majors are gonna be the cream of the crop? Cause most of them failed out of tougher majors (like engineering)

Hey, having to transfer from one of the engineering majors to management is a difficult choice. I mean, at GT that means they'll have to walk across the bridge to get to all the business classes. The engineering students have it easy since their classes are all on the main campus.


I always enjoyed seeing the business majors biatch and moan about a 5 page paper they have to write....in a bullshiat history class, I might add
 
2013-04-03 10:18:11 AM
Don't make the critical error of not being born into a legacy family, who keep as a birthright a place for their progeny one of the elite universities.

Learn your place, proles.
 
2013-04-03 10:18:35 AM
Ms. Weiss is a senior at Taylor Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh twat.
 
2013-04-03 10:19:48 AM
bulldg4life: "How are people making it this difficult?"

Because the writer's talking about Ivy League schools.
Which underscores the truly absurd part of this whole rant.

If they *weren't* ridiculously exclusive, she wouldn't have wanted to go.
But now that she can't actually get in, she's going to moan about how exclusive they are?

I mean, the entire Ivy League 'prestige' *revolves* around self-aggrandizing bullshiat.
If the clueless rant-writer *really* doesn't want any part of that nonsense, her even applying was a huge mistake and they've done her a favor.

But upon being rejected, she felt liking climbing up on the cross and having a nice little "everyone look at me" moment. 
Which makes it a *touch* hard to believe that she's actually a naive innocent who had her dreams stymied by a snooty club that wouldn't let her in.
 
2013-04-03 10:20:11 AM

somedude210: daily beast/WSJ aside, the letter does make a good point. The higher-ed industry is a ridiculous place.

The higher education system needs to be reformed. We need to stop making it all about profits, we need to educate our kids about how you don't need to go through college if you're gonna waste it on a degree that'll get you as far in life as not having a college degree at all (I'm looking at you, philosophy majors). We need to stop the stigma of vocational schooling in lue of high school. We need to stop compounding so much debt on the kids who do want to go through college so that they don't have to keep paying off the loans until they're in their mid-40s.

The younger generations are completely screwed with our education system. We keep going on and on how we absolutely, positively need to have an bachelor's in something,anything, as long as it's a bachelor's. and then, 3 years into our 4 year degree, we get told that the degree is utterly useless and you were better off going into this degree or that degree, or hell, if you just worked your ass off in a factory or something, you'd be making a shiatload more and without all the student debt by now.

Stop treating us like children on the realities of education and give us honest answers as to what we can expect in life if we choose this path or that path.


Stop acting like this advice is ubiquitous and realize that whoever sold you on it is an idiot.  If you want to go into a certain career, find out what kind of education it requires and go from there.  By the time you're 18 years old you should be able to come up with a better plan than
1) Get a degree in "anything"
2) See what happens next
 
2013-04-03 10:20:21 AM

Kiwimann: Plan that whatever you learn, you're gonna be stuck doing it day in and day out until you retire, so pick something that's at least tolerable over the course of 40+ years. If you have no real interest in it except for the salary you think you'll earn, your days are gonna suuuuuck and your life is gonna suuuuuuck.


exactly, but we need to stop treating all degrees as equal. They're not. That general liberal arts degree isn't gonna get you anything. Don't get a degree because you want a degree in something, do it if you want to be a professional in that area but accept that that degree may not have the financial return you think it will because it's a degree
 
2013-04-03 10:21:30 AM

somedude210: I always enjoyed seeing the business majors biatch and moan about a 5 page paper they have to write....in a bullshiat history class, I might add


Look, Physics 1101 was a hard class. And, don't even get me started on Calculus 2...what kind of person invents linear algebra?

On a side note, the Physics 1101 class I took ended up with 60% of the class getting Cs or worse. The two professors teaching that semester ended up getting suspended from teaching classes for a semester and the class was noticeably easier the next semester.

Bastards.
 
2013-04-03 10:23:00 AM

somedude210: art degree? If you're the next Picasso, a piece of paper isn't going to be required


You know, I used to think like that (then I took an arrow to the knee).

Then I spoke with a friend who did video game character design (including for Skyrim. Some of the gear is her handiwork, and I think she did some off-book VO work as well). I was talking about how I suck at art, and she countered: "You play bass, right? Were you this good when you first picked it up?" Another friend who majored in Set Design (I think) from Knox, Stephen Colbert's alma mater, told me that you can see all the art without a class, but to know why the art was important beyond "it looks good", you may need someone to explain it.

It takes hard work to be a good artist, but also good/the right tutelage. Even Picasso was taught by his father (who was an art professor).
 
2013-04-03 10:23:03 AM
Sorry, worse than Cs. Getting Cs or worse makes the class seem fine.
 
2013-04-03 10:24:05 AM

BEER_ME_in_CT: I quit all extracurriculars my senior year and held down 3 jobs for both my Junior and Senior year. This was about 17 years ago so things may have been different, but I was sick of all the teachers pet extracurricular junkies. Their parents bought them everything. If I wanted a car or to go out on fri night I had to pay. I did have a great GPA 10th in class maybe that helped a little, but Admissions weren't solely about all this other BS.

On the other side of the coin, if you want to go help kids in Africa, go do it. Whatever floats your boat. Its alot more noble that what I wanted to do with my spare time over High School summer. Smoke weed, drink beer, try to get laid.


These days, admissions is all about a perfect GPA, plus being a letterman athlete and a superior musician, and the master of multiple extracurriculars. Your summers should be spent doing charity work, preferably in a foreign country full of brown people. If you couldn't get a passport, you should have spent your summer doing advanced academics at the community college or participating in the Olympic tryouts.

Of course, this sort of thing favors kids from affluent backgrounds with the time and money to found a charity or establish a house band for the local disco. Kids who have to work to pay for gas/clothes have a hard time amassing these "enrichment" activities.

The hard fact is that every admissions officer I've spoken to (and I've worked in higher ed for more than 20 years at several different universities) hates this dynamic. They even admit that the "cool" thing nowadays is to have some enlightened thoughts about the sufferings of the underprivileged, not actually being underprivileged. This "proves" that the candidate will want to do something to improve the world, but we all know that the university hopes they will make a pile of money to "give back" when the time comes. And, of course, get their kids into the institution as well. It's the circle of life, of sorts. The boomers who had enlightened thoughts about themselves on their admissions essays, now coach their kids to have enlightened thoughts about the poor folks in Kenya, or wherever.

So that's the current arms race of admissions. Everyone knows the score, everyone plays the game.

Luckily, both my kids got into top ten universities. And we did it the old-fashioned way: my daughter had a major donor intercede in her behalf (she knew the rich guy's daughter from cheerleading) and my son had a state senator pave the way (the senator's son was his best friend).

Frankly, the higher ed admissions game is the most lie-encrusted institution in American outside of  Congress. But as long as that diploma is considered the ticket to the middle class, the game will continue and every year a new class of future consumers of cheap Chinese textiles will move into the groves of academe.
 
2013-04-03 10:25:04 AM
I got through two paragraphs and was sickened by the pretentiousness.  Yes, kiddo, it's totally your parents fault that you didn't get off your ass and do things that would help you get into the school you wanted.  It's totally their fault that you spent your time partying and basket weaving and whacking off instead.  Blaming others in a public forum for your own inadequacies is sure to garner positive attention from the colleges you desire.

I'm hoping this is a belated April Fools joke.
 
2013-04-03 10:25:09 AM
The most exciting thing an admission person can hear is that if the applicant is a "winner", someone they'd be proud to say is a member, someone who'd carry the university's name well.
More so for grad/mba.
Want something to copy and paste into your essay?* here:
"I love challenges and learning new skills and applicable information. The biggest benefits were working summers (as a young teen) and two afternoons a week (in high school) at my father's IT company. He made sure I started in the mailroom and every year he'd "promote" me to a higher position, that way I got to see how most if the functions in the company work and made a lot of friends in the meantime. Towards my last year in high school, I was actually managing small projects and also attending high-level meetings with my father and on the drive home he'd explain to me why he made certain decisions or why he had treated people/situations differently. I dream of the day that I can be by his side, helping him manage this 200-employee company."**

So the messages are:
1) I already have it made
2) I can take responsibility and challenges
3) I won't default on the tuition

And presto, you are admitted.***


*no, of course I don't recommend actually doing that. They'd screen your application and throw it out for plagiarism by either googling your essay or using some of the sites that actually check for that. Maybe even blacklist you.
**none of this resembles me
***YMMV


/everyone loves a winner
//a more realistic approach would be to build a decent connection to the admission people, be nice to them and ask "what key areas or points are you looking for in an application so that I can highlight them in my application? Thank you"
 
2013-04-03 10:25:47 AM

haterade: Or just volunteer you lazy biatch


Ah yes, the Tracy flick route every good do-bee pre-med follows
 
2013-04-03 10:25:49 AM

babygoat: Stop acting like this advice is ubiquitous and realize that whoever sold you on it is an idiot. If you want to go into a certain career, find out what kind of education it requires and go from there. By the time you're 18 years old you should be able to come up with a better plan than
1) Get a degree in "anything"
2) See what happens next


dude, guidance counselors have been selling the idea of "get a degree, it's worth it" since at least the 90s. The college system has been selling it for longer. Remember the old "if you have a degree, you'll make $1 million dollars more over your life than someone who doesn't" posters? They failed to mention that most of that money would be spent paying off the debts you have from your education
 
2013-04-03 10:26:35 AM
^^^good thing you have "service" background because the 1.8 GPA pretty much sums it up.
 
2013-04-03 10:27:18 AM
Next up: Kerry Killinger's letter bemoaning the FDIC takeover of Washington Mutual as poopy and unfair.
 
2013-04-03 10:29:59 AM

bulldg4life: Look, Physics 1101 was a hard class. And, don't even get me started on Calculus 2...what kind of person invents linear algebra?

On a side note, the Physics 1101 class I took ended up with 60% of the class getting Cs or worse. The two professors teaching that semester ended up getting suspended from teaching classes for a semester and the class was noticeably easier the next semester.

Bastards.


pfft, Calc3 was enjoyable. Hated Calc 2 though. inital learning of integrals was terrible. By calc3, doing triple integrals was fun. (yes, I'm a freak)

Dr Dreidel: You know, I used to think like that (then I took an arrow to the knee).

Then I spoke with a friend who did video game character design (including for Skyrim. Some of the gear is her handiwork, and I think she did some off-book VO work as well). I was talking about how I suck at art, and she countered: "You play bass, right? Were you this good when you first picked it up?" Another friend who majored in Set Design (I think) from Knox, Stephen Colbert's alma mater, told me that you can see all the art without a class, but to know why the art was important beyond "it looks good", you may need someone to explain it.

It takes hard work to be a good artist, but also good/the right tutelage. Even Picasso was taught by his father (who was an art professor).


I don't deny that something like graphic design isn't something that may require a degree, but degrees in painting and whatnot just seemed unnecessary. a few classes make sense, but not a degree program.
 
2013-04-03 10:30:39 AM

HMS_Blinkin: Priapetic: Tough shiat.  Life is not a big invitation to do the things you want to do.  Or, if that's your goal, don't be surprised if people aren't lining up to give you the fruits of their own labor.

Life's hard.  It takes work.  And success, be it educational, financial, athletic, etc.., is the result of hard work and sacrifice.  That's sort of the opposite of what most people (all generations) would prefer doing.  The difference is the current generation is being given a different message.

But when young people who do work for money during HS rather than non-paying work, that gets looked down upon by college admissions people.  The problem isn't that "kids these days" aren't working---it's that the admissions process values some kinds of work more than others.

I never said that hard work and sacrifice aren't important.  The problem is that college admissions places too much emphasis on doing a whole bunch of things badly rather than drilling down and focusing on doing one thing really well.  Colleges would rather have a kid who did some BS volunteer work they didn't really care about + was crappy at 3 different sports rather than a kid who had a real passion for one extracurricular activity and excelled at it, or a kid who put in lots hours working a job through the school year and the summer.


This is true. It appears they prefer you join every club even if you don't do anything. Also, for you to have an elected post, as though that isn't bogus. I was voted president of pur model u.n. ... Because I was out of the room when they took the vote and nobody wanted the position.
 
2013-04-03 10:31:46 AM

somedude210: I always enjoyed seeing the business majors biatch and moan about a 5 page paper they have to write....in a bullshiat history class, I might add


In my engineering undergrad we had a requirement of x number of humanities courses and one of them had to have a 'writing credit' because engineers and business students are apparently really stupid when it comes to communicating.  In my second year I already had my writing credit but I needed another humanities course. The only one that interested me and fit my schedule was a philosophy class which also had a writing credit. The professor told the whole class on the first day that her course has a writing credit and if they don't need any more that students should consider switching to a different philosophy course that doesn't have the credit.

I read the course syllabus and totaled the amount of writing for the semester. It was less than 20 pages of writing.  I have written detailed technical reports that dwarfed that workload by an order of magnitude in a single evening. Still the next time we had the class there were a lot less people in it.
 
2013-04-03 10:31:47 AM
As an Ivy League grad, I'm getting a kick out of these responses!
 
2013-04-03 10:33:12 AM
I'm impressed that she understands just how shiatty the system is so young. It'll be much easier to navigate the insane amounts of hypocrisy when she's doing her studies. I wish someone had given me a crash course in 'university administrative bullshiat' before I started.
 
2013-04-03 10:33:48 AM
And, white trash I am, I dropped out of Community College.

/Had to work full time to support self
//Wasn't ready for college anyhow.
 
2013-04-03 10:36:35 AM

sinanju: Assuming the letter is real, she has managed to validate the wisdom of the institutions that rejected her.


This. Also there are a lot of excellent schools that are not Ivy League that are also a lot easier to get in to.
 
2013-04-03 10:36:46 AM
The author's sister, Bari Weiss, is a former Wall Street Journal editorial features editor.
 
2013-04-03 10:37:45 AM
Wait, so one needs to do these things to get into college? Well luckily I live in Europe.
 
2013-04-03 10:37:59 AM

Egoy3k: somedude210: I always enjoyed seeing the business majors biatch and moan about a 5 page paper they have to write....in a bullshiat history class, I might add

In my engineering undergrad we had a requirement of x number of humanities courses and one of them had to have a 'writing credit' because engineers and business students are apparently really stupid when it comes to communicating.  In my second year I already had my writing credit but I needed another humanities course. The only one that interested me and fit my schedule was a philosophy class which also had a writing credit. The professor told the whole class on the first day that her course has a writing credit and if they don't need any more that students should consider switching to a different philosophy course that doesn't have the credit.

I read the course syllabus and totaled the amount of writing for the semester. It was less than 20 pages of writing.  I have written detailed technical reports that dwarfed that workload by an order of magnitude in a single evening. Still the next time we had the class there were a lot less people in it.


Oh yeah. We had a writing component (english 1&2) as well as an engineering writing (technical comm.) course we had to take. Both english classes had like 5 papers to write and the tech comm class built up to a 20 page research paper (mine was on whether nuclear power had the possibility of returning (this was before Fukishima). I knew a bunch of business majors because they were all failed engineering majors. They smoked pot daily, drank nightly and then complained that they had to go to class the next day.

I can understand burning out on classes once in awhile requiring a day of skipping, but not if you burn yourself out daily.
 
2013-04-03 10:38:13 AM

farkinlovit: ^^^good thing you have "service" background because the 1.8 GPA pretty much sums it up.


Hey, it's what the MIC is for. My first time around in college, I had like a 2.2. I just had no focus, discipline, desire, or clue. Dropped out, joined the infantry, pulled my head out of my ass.

My second time around, my GPA was in the high 3s. Totally different perspective on life, totally different approach to school, totally different set of priorities. Oh, and a business degree.
 
2013-04-03 10:40:11 AM
"Why do we force prospective college students to engage in exorbitant exaggeration?" How about peer-promotion and self-esteem BS making grades meaningless?
 
2013-04-03 10:41:28 AM
She sounds like an unholy mix of Lena Dunham and Ann Coulter.
 
2013-04-03 10:41:31 AM

somedude210: I don't deny that something like graphic design isn't something that may require a degree, but degrees in painting and whatnot just seemed unnecessary. a few classes make sense, but not a degree program.


Don't read this as an attack, but what you've described is the difference between a hobby musician (like me) and Troy Sanders (of Mastodon). If you want to learn a skill, get a hobby. If you want a career, get an education.
 
2013-04-03 10:44:00 AM
I must disagree with the "Asinine" tag on this one.  The senior in question speaks truthfully, and is entertaining to boot.

Someone trying to get into a top-flight school should have something more than merely getting through school with a decent GPA and SAT score, but the line between "well-rounded" and something almost absurdly stereotypical is hard to find.

Just an opinion, and your mileage may vary, but if some young up-and-comer works for a charity solely for the sake of getting into a college, it seems to me that person is missing the point of why that person's doing it.

/Community college, then transferred.
//Doing just fine, thanks.
 
2013-04-03 10:45:33 AM

Gonz: farkinlovit: ^^^good thing you have "service" background because the 1.8 GPA pretty much sums it up.

Hey, it's what the MIC is for. My first time around in college, I had like a 2.2. I just had no focus, discipline, desire, or clue. Dropped out, joined the infantry, pulled my head out of my ass.

My second time around, my GPA was in the high 3s. Totally different perspective on life, totally different approach to school, totally different set of priorities. Oh, and a business degree.


Sometimes, you don't need the military to get your head out of your ass. The best decision I ever made was taking a semester off college. I left with a sub-2 GPA, came back and only got 1 B and 1 C until graduation (finished with something like a 2.8 or 3.2 - but again, no one cares anymore).

You apparently do a lot of growing up between 18 and 21 whether you're in college, the military, an oil rig, shrimpin boat, or high finance. Who knew?

// psychologists knew, and they probably learned that IN COLLEGE
// *ominous music*
 
2013-04-03 10:45:55 AM

Nickninja: It hasn't been that long since I was accepted to college (10 years), but I don't remember it being that difficult... I took a few honors courses, didn't sit around and smoke weed all day every day, and surprise: I got into a good school!

Sure, if you didn't do anything in high school you might have had trouble, but those people didn't really want to go.  I don't think I knew anyone from my graduating class who wanted to go to college, but didn't get in anywhere.

As long as you're not ONLY applying to Ivy league status schools, you should be able to find a good fit.


This, unless things have changed drastically in the ~9 years since I applied (high school class of '05 applying in fall '04), I was able to get into one of the top 10 schools for my major just by doing that.  I am betting that it helped quite a bit that my high school required a certain number of volunteer hours in order to graduate though.
 
2013-04-03 10:49:58 AM

I should be in the kitchen: I was expecting a letter whining about how "you should of (sic) picked me!" and how special she is... but she did have a point.

Luckily, my college selection process consisted only of "which state school is farthest away from home?" and the admission process was cake. And I don't feel I missed much. And considering I changed careers pretty quickly after graduation, I'm REALLY glad I didn't kill myself with stress and debt to attend a prestigious school.

/Southern Oregon University, class of 02 & 03
//yeah, you've never heard of it


I live in ashland.  amazing SOU still has accredidation.....seeing how they have to fight for it every now and then.
 
2013-04-03 10:51:25 AM

Dr Dreidel: You apparently do a lot of growing up between 18 and 21 whether you're in college, the military, an oil rig, shrimpin boat, or high finance. Who knew?


I was woefully unready to be in university but I suffered through it. It was a mistake. I manged to do a lot of damage to my mental health all so I could get myself into the labor market in the spring of 2007. That turned out terribly for everyone involved.  I think a gap year is a great idea for the kids who can afford it.
 
2013-04-03 10:55:30 AM
By Megan McArdle

And that's where I stopped reading, and closed the tab.
 
2013-04-03 10:55:33 AM

Egoy3k: Dr Dreidel: You apparently do a lot of growing up between 18 and 21 whether you're in college, the military, an oil rig, shrimpin boat, or high finance. Who knew?

I was woefully unready to be in university but I suffered through it. It was a mistake. I manged to do a lot of damage to my mental health all so I could get myself into the labor market in the spring of 2007. That turned out terribly for everyone involved.  I think a gap year is a great idea for the kids who can afford it.


I took a gap year after college and it was one of the best things I've ever done. I tell younger people to do this whenever I can. No one will miss a year on their resume in their early 20s. My son is taking a gap year right now, doing a little traveling and snowboarding before grad school. I spent my gap year surfing and traveling. Those are experiences you will never forget, and it's much better for you than joining the rat race right out of school.

/the rats won
 
2013-04-03 10:58:14 AM
Columbia just hired a convicted cop killer/terrorist to teach there.

Maybe Snowflake should apply to Columbia?
 
2013-04-03 11:03:51 AM
I remember in the mid-90's, the New York Times Magazine decided to follow the lives of like 6 or so freshmen in high school who dreamed of going to Harvard and every year they would do updates on where the kids were in following their dreams. These were mostly working class Queens kids, if I remember correctly.  In 1998, when they had graduated HS (same year as me) they had done some AMAZING things - learned 5 languages, developed their own businesses, excelled amazingly at sports, and so on. These kids were IMPRESSIVE.

And not one ended up getting into Harvard - in fact, if I remember correctly, only 1 ended up at an Ivy at all.

Now let's look at my public high school - it is one of the best in the nation, and insanely competitive. If you graduated in the top 25, chances are you went to an Ivy. I was in top quarter in my class and went to a top 20 college. My graduating year we sent 4 kids to Harvard.   Now, I will fully admit those four Harvard kids in particular were very smart and talented but they weren't the type of kids that the NYTimes Magazine wrote about (at least not in my opinion). So what was the difference? I believe it is that the kids from my HS came from well-educated, monied families. The working class kids did not.

I graduated the same year as the kids in that article and it was a real eye opener for me. I showed it to one of my "Heading to Harvard" classmates and it was straight cognitive dissonance on why they thought the kids in the story didn't get in.

/sorry if I'm ranting I have a head cold and no coffee :-(
 
2013-04-03 11:04:20 AM

Fano: HMS_Blinkin: Priapetic: Tough shiat.  Life is not a big invitation to do the things you want to do.  Or, if that's your goal, don't be surprised if people aren't lining up to give you the fruits of their own labor.

Life's hard.  It takes work.  And success, be it educational, financial, athletic, etc.., is the result of hard work and sacrifice.  That's sort of the opposite of what most people (all generations) would prefer doing.  The difference is the current generation is being given a different message.

But when young people who do work for money during HS rather than non-paying work, that gets looked down upon by college admissions people.  The problem isn't that "kids these days" aren't working---it's that the admissions process values some kinds of work more than others.

I never said that hard work and sacrifice aren't important.  The problem is that college admissions places too much emphasis on doing a whole bunch of things badly rather than drilling down and focusing on doing one thing really well.  Colleges would rather have a kid who did some BS volunteer work they didn't really care about + was crappy at 3 different sports rather than a kid who had a real passion for one extracurricular activity and excelled at it, or a kid who put in lots hours working a job through the school year and the summer.

This is true. It appears they prefer you join every club even if you don't do anything. Also, for you to have an elected post, as though that isn't bogus. I was voted president of pur model u.n. ... Because I was out of the room when they took the vote and nobody wanted the position.


Actually, I suspect they'd like some evidence that you're not a typical stoner, xBox baby or reality TV junkie.  You can provide this evidence by demonstrating you have enough self-motivation do do something other than the bare minimum to get by (which includes working part time, by the way).  This is important because in college, unlike high school, Mommy and Daddy aren't  there to drag your ass out of bed.  If you don't have enough motivation to do it on your own, you're going to crash and burn spectacularly and be a distraction to everyone around you.

Of course, there's also a percentage of bullshiat as well.
 
2013-04-03 11:04:22 AM
The cost of education needs to come down significantly. I'm 27, trying to go back to school, but I have to cancel this term. I just can't afford it with my medical bills. Pre-financial aid, a single class costs about $360, plus books that can cost in the realm of $99 a pop.
 
2013-04-03 11:04:44 AM

Thunderpipes: Columbia just hired a convicted cop killer/terrorist to teach there.

Maybe Snowflake should apply to Columbia?


oh do tell. Your posts/rants are always so insightful

who's this terrorist and why should snowflakes go to Columbia
 
2013-04-03 11:04:52 AM
She should have gotten better grades.
 
2013-04-03 11:07:05 AM

Lollipop165: I graduated the same year as the kids in that article and it was a real eye opener for me. I showed it to one of my "Heading to Harvard" classmates and it was straight cognitive dissonance on why they thought the kids in the story didn't get in.


what were their reasons. This sounds like there's an amusing punchline coming ^_^
 
2013-04-03 11:09:23 AM
I think she just wants a participation ribbon for filling out all those applications.

If we give her one, will she shut up and go away?
 
2013-04-03 11:09:47 AM

IronOcelot: [rack.1.mshcdn.com image 850x477]


Welcome to Fark.
 
2013-04-03 11:10:07 AM

somedude210: Aren't tiger moms just overbearing "super helicopter moms"? Why in god's name are we advocating this crap. This is the crap that gave us "EVERYBODY GETS A MEDAL!!!" parenting. Fark, your kid isn't awesome and super and the best at everything, I'd be willing to bet that they want you to calm the fark down a bit and let them explore life on their own without you interfering in everything.

When we make "helicopter parenting" and "tiger moms" bad things to be, will our generations start to fix themselves.


To my understanding, there's a subtle but important difference between "tiger moms" and "helicopter moms" - the latter kind tries to remove all obstacles in their child's path, the former kind leaves the obstacles and pushes the kid over them.

The "tiger mom" strategy isn't good for all kids, by any means - but I'd say that I had a "tiger mom", and if I hadn't, I'd be flipping burgers today. I've got high talent but also tend to be lazy, and if my mom hadn't tried her damnedest to scour the lazy out of me, I'd never have amounted to anything at all.
 
2013-04-03 11:10:13 AM

somedude210: Thunderpipes: Columbia just hired a convicted cop killer/terrorist to teach there.

Maybe Snowflake should apply to Columbia?

oh do tell. Your posts/rants are always so insightful

who's this terrorist and why should snowflakes go to Columbia


Kathy Boudin. Spent 22 years in prison, part of Bill Ayers' group the weather underground. She drove the getaway car in which 2 cops and an armored car guy were murdered. 22 years in prison. She now is an esteemed professor at Columbia.

Colleges really are BS, especially Ivy League ones. But, the piece of paper can make you a winner.
 
2013-04-03 11:11:11 AM

somedude210: babygoat: Stop acting like this advice is ubiquitous and realize that whoever sold you on it is an idiot. If you want to go into a certain career, find out what kind of education it requires and go from there. By the time you're 18 years old you should be able to come up with a better plan than
1) Get a degree in "anything"
2) See what happens next

dude, guidance counselors have been selling the idea of "get a degree, it's worth it" since at least the 90s. The college system has been selling it for longer. Remember the old "if you have a degree, you'll make $1 million dollars more over your life than someone who doesn't" posters? They failed to mention that most of that money would be spent paying off the debts you have from your education


How the hell did your useless degree program involve Calc 3?
 
2013-04-03 11:11:23 AM

OldManDownDRoad: The hard fact is that every admissions officer I've spoken to (and I've worked in higher ed for more than 20 years at several different universities) hates this dynamic. They even admit that the "cool" thing nowadays is to have some enlightened thoughts about the sufferings of the underprivileged, not actually being underprivileged. This "proves" that the candidate will want to do something to improve the world, but we all know that the university hopes they will make a pile of money to "give back" when the time comes. And, of course, get their kids into the institution as well. It's the circle of life, of sorts. The boomers who had enlightened thoughts about themselves on their admissions essays, now coach their kids to have enlightened thoughts about the poor folks in Kenya, or wherever.


Had I known that was the secret I would have gotten into everywhere.

That being said it always bothered me that I got shiat for not having extra curriculars. I came from quite a wealthy background but it was sure as hell expected of me to have a job. I've been working since I was 14.  I never understood why having a job isn't considered as being as well rounded as someone who, say, plays softball or whatever.

My parents may have bought me a brand new car, but I sure as hell was expected to put the gas into it.
 
2013-04-03 11:15:35 AM

Lollipop165: OldManDownDRoad: The hard fact is that every admissions officer I've spoken to (and I've worked in higher ed for more than 20 years at several different universities) hates this dynamic. They even admit that the "cool" thing nowadays is to have some enlightened thoughts about the sufferings of the underprivileged, not actually being underprivileged. This "proves" that the candidate will want to do something to improve the world, but we all know that the university hopes they will make a pile of money to "give back" when the time comes. And, of course, get their kids into the institution as well. It's the circle of life, of sorts. The boomers who had enlightened thoughts about themselves on their admissions essays, now coach their kids to have enlightened thoughts about the poor folks in Kenya, or wherever.

Had I known that was the secret I would have gotten into everywhere.

That being said it always bothered me that I got shiat for not having extra curriculars. I came from quite a wealthy background but it was sure as hell expected of me to have a job. I've been working since I was 14.  I never understood why having a job isn't considered as being as well rounded as someone who, say, plays softball or whatever.

My parents may have bought me a brand new car, but I sure as hell was expected to put the gas into it.


Wow. That is your argument? You got a brand new car, but had to suffer to work for the gas, and sports were too much?
 
2013-04-03 11:17:10 AM

Thunderpipes: Columbia just hired a convicted cop killer/terrorist to teach there.

Maybe Snowflake should apply to Columbia?


Columbia may well be one of the schools that rejected her. Her sister is a 2007 Columbia graduate.
 
2013-04-03 11:17:20 AM

somedude210: Lollipop165: I graduated the same year as the kids in that article and it was a real eye opener for me. I showed it to one of my "Heading to Harvard" classmates and it was straight cognitive dissonance on why they thought the kids in the story didn't get in.

what were their reasons. This sounds like there's an amusing punchline coming ^_^


lol, not really. It was more along the lines of the Harvardians patting themselves on the back that "they worked so hard". Obviously the kids in the article didn't work as hard as they did, so that's why they didn't get in.

Oh and if I remember correctly, one of the kids in the article actually had to drop out like junior year of HS to care for a sick parent. That just would never happen where I grew up.

It's a great article, it came out every June from 1994-1998 with updates on the kids.
 
2013-04-03 11:20:12 AM

somedude210: daily beast/WSJ aside, the letter does make a good point. The higher-ed industry is a ridiculous place.

The higher education system needs to be reformed. We need to stop making it all about profits, we need to educate our kids about how you don't need to go through college if you're gonna waste it on a degree that'll get you as far in life as not having a college degree at all (I'm looking at you, philosophy majors). We need to stop the stigma of vocational schooling in lue of high school. We need to stop compounding so much debt on the kids who do want to go through college so that they don't have to keep paying off the loans until they're in their mid-40s.

The younger generations are completely screwed with our education system. We keep going on and on how we absolutely, positively need to have an bachelor's in something,anything, as long as it's a bachelor's. and then, 3 years into our 4 year degree, we get told that the degree is utterly useless and you were better off going into this degree or that degree, or hell, if you just worked your ass off in a factory or something, you'd be making a shiatload more and without all the student debt by now.

Stop treating us like children on the realities of education and give us honest answers as to what we can expect in life if we choose this path or that path.


We have been telling you idiot kids that your stupid major won't get you anything but debt for years. It isn't our fault that you won't listen.
 
2013-04-03 11:22:31 AM

Thunderpipes: Kathy Boudin. Spent 22 years in prison, part of Bill Ayers' group the weather underground. She drove the getaway car in which 2 cops and an armored car guy were murdered. 22 years in prison. She now is an esteemed professor at Columbia.


Is she teaching Subversiveness or Criminal Justice? Driver's Ed or Social Work?

// I'll save you the trouble: it's Social Work
// based on what she did in prison, and her subsequent earning of an Ed-D (from Columbia), I'd say she's qualified
// a felon who turned her life around, and you'd rather she rotted in jail...because you like wasting money on corrections?
// I assume you have the same hate for Ollie North, Gordon Liddy, John Yoo or any of the businesscriminals that teach business at our many fine universities
 
2013-04-03 11:22:36 AM

Skarekrough: I think she just wants a participation ribbon for filling out all those applications.

If we give her one, will she shut up and go away?


The parents created that monster, not the kids. Most people that are part of that generation would've loved it if their parents didn't smother them with "WHY DIDN'T JOHNNY GET ANYTHING! HE WAS HERE" crap.

Mithiwithi: To my understanding, there's a subtle but important difference between "tiger moms" and "helicopter moms" - the latter kind tries to remove all obstacles in their child's path, the former kind leaves the obstacles and pushes the kid over them.


ah, makes sense. Still rather stupid to push your kid as hard as that to live vicariously through them.

Mithiwithi: The "tiger mom" strategy isn't good for all kids, by any means - but I'd say that I had a "tiger mom", and if I hadn't, I'd be flipping burgers today. I've got high talent but also tend to be lazy, and if my mom hadn't tried her damnedest to scour the lazy out of me, I'd never have amounted to anything at all.


that's different. That's "get your kid off his ass to be a productive member of society", Tiger moms are more "push your kid to do everything because they are the best and I failed in my life's dreams by having them"

Thunderpipes: Kathy Boudin. Spent 22 years in prison, part of Bill Ayers' group the weather underground. She drove the getaway car in which 2 cops and an armored car guy were murdered. 22 years in prison. She now is an esteemed professor at Columbia.


ah yes, I figured it had something to do with Bill Ayer's. although I'm pretty sure getaway driver is a pretty loose definition of "cop killer" unless she ran them over when she drove away. Looking her up, it seems she really cleaned up her act though, helping the sick and doing social work. It doesn't forgive her sins but I applaud her for actually doing something worthwhile while in prison. Still don't see why the snowflakes should go there in particular, unless you're trying to make a connection between the Weathermen and snowflakes outside of a clever weather metaphor.

Thunderpipes: Colleges really are BS, especially Ivy League ones. But, the piece of paper can make you a winner.


True, some degrees are legitimately worth more than others, but the idea that all degrees are equal is a lot of crap that we've been fed for 30+ years
 
2013-04-03 11:24:22 AM

babygoat: How the hell did your useless degree program involve Calc 3?


electrical engineering. I never said mine was useless, I was talking about all the liberal arts students/business majors
 
2013-04-03 11:25:43 AM

Thunderpipes: Lollipop165: OldManDownDRoad: The hard fact is that every admissions officer I've spoken to (and I've worked in higher ed for more than 20 years at several different universities) hates this dynamic. They even admit that the "cool" thing nowadays is to have some enlightened thoughts about the sufferings of the underprivileged, not actually being underprivileged. This "proves" that the candidate will want to do something to improve the world, but we all know that the university hopes they will make a pile of money to "give back" when the time comes. And, of course, get their kids into the institution as well. It's the circle of life, of sorts. The boomers who had enlightened thoughts about themselves on their admissions essays, now coach their kids to have enlightened thoughts about the poor folks in Kenya, or wherever.

Had I known that was the secret I would have gotten into everywhere.

That being said it always bothered me that I got shiat for not having extra curriculars. I came from quite a wealthy background but it was sure as hell expected of me to have a job. I've been working since I was 14.  I never understood why having a job isn't considered as being as well rounded as someone who, say, plays softball or whatever.

My parents may have bought me a brand new car, but I sure as hell was expected to put the gas into it.

Wow. That is your argument? You got a brand new car, but had to suffer to work for the gas, and sports were too much?


Huh? My point is even having grown up in a wealthy lifestyle I was taught the value of money - I had no choice but to work (even though my parents could certainly afford me not working).  I was very lucky to be in that position - the fact is MOST kids in HS have to work. It's not an option. Money doesn't grow on trees. Not that there's anything wrong with extracurriculars, but the fact is colleges don't view HS jobs in the same manner as they do HS clubs. I actually think jobs are generally more telling of a person than "art squad" or "German club" is.

Looking back I don't think more than 10% of my fellow classmates had jobs in HS - I was an outlier.
 
2013-04-03 11:26:21 AM

Dr Dreidel: And I know that HS guidance counselors are useless, but the one time they earn their keep is in college prep. Assuming they're worth a damn at all, they will have all kinds of info worth having. And don't wait until senior year to stack up those creds - I think part of the reason community-service requirements started appearing in schools is to help with that (I had to do 36 hours for each year in order to graduate - not even court-mandated!).


/CSB time:

Guidance counselors are farking useless. Thanks to them, I let myself get talked into engineering school, and permanently hamstrung my GPA.

When I applied to Stanford (ca. 1980), my guidance counselor (we'll call him "Doug Don't") sent in the form blank, Stanford returned it to me and I took it back to Doug, who finally got around to sending it in, but I can't remember if any deadlines were missed.

Thanks no doubt to Doug's paperwork bungle, Stanford waitlisted me, so I wound up going to my top choice within 1500 miles of home, and it all worked out in the end. (In retrospect, I could very well have flunked out of Stanford; I was so eager to get out from under my parents' thumbs that I sacrificed my freshman fall term to Bacchus. As is turned out, the school I went to shook me up, but I'd landed myself in a house with enough premeds that by the end of my junior year, an adjunct prof planned to include one of my papers in her assigned readings for the next term. Then her contract wasn't renewed, and instead of academia, I went into IT ops instead.)

Guidance counselors are farking useless. Thanks to them, I let myself get talked into engineering school, and permanently hamstrung my GPA.
 
2013-04-03 11:27:18 AM
Few have pointed out the subtle racism of wishing she was "more diverse" suggesting she should have worn a burka or been born 1/32 of a preferred minority.

Yes, college admissions is a ridiculous dog and pony show. But all that stuff is more in the applicant's head. They just want to see that you are motivated and intelligent. Presumably they can see through all the bs activities kids try to make up.
 
2013-04-03 11:28:51 AM

umad: We have been telling you idiot kids that your stupid major won't get you anything but debt for years. It isn't our fault that you won't listen.


Ha, when? I was in high school from 04-07 and I never heard anyone discouraged from going into liberal arts or business (philosophy aside, everyone shiat on them). Hell, some of the less than stellar students were encouraged to go to college for a crap degree because "that degree will make you look good when you go for a job"
 
2013-04-03 11:29:23 AM

Fano: Few have pointed out the subtle racism of wishing she was "more diverse" suggesting she should have worn a burka or been born 1/32 of a preferred minority.

Yes, college admissions is a ridiculous dog and pony show. But all that stuff is more in the applicant's head. They just want to see that you are motivated and intelligent. Presumably they can see through all the bs activities kids try to make up.


That's why I married a Pacific Islander. It'll make our future kids look good for their Harvard applications.

/couldn't find myself a Kenyan
 
2013-04-03 11:29:36 AM

Necronic: I wish someone would clue high school kids into the fact that Ivy Leagues are a waste for undergrad.   First off, if you're looking to be a top dog academically, then no one cares about your undergrad, it's grad school all the way.  And, while it's better to have an Ivy League undergrad if you want to get into an Ivy League grad program, if you take the time to research the rankings Ivy Leagues are usually outranked, or closely followed, by high end state schools in almost every technical discipline.


Going to an ivy will greatly increase your chance of getting a job on WS straight out of uni. So if that is your goal, it is a good choice.

And if my kids are (college-level) athletes, I will be pushing them very hard to look at the ivies. Ivy League athletes can get jobs at Funds around the world or on WS with relative ease.
 
2013-04-03 11:31:21 AM

Moopy Mac: Necronic: I wish someone would clue high school kids into the fact that Ivy Leagues are a waste for undergrad.   First off, if you're looking to be a top dog academically, then no one cares about your undergrad, it's grad school all the way.  And, while it's better to have an Ivy League undergrad if you want to get into an Ivy League grad program, if you take the time to research the rankings Ivy Leagues are usually outranked, or closely followed, by high end state schools in almost every technical discipline.

Going to an ivy will greatly increase your chance of getting a job on WS straight out of uni. So if that is your goal, it is a good choice.

And if my kids are (college-level) athletes, I will be pushing them very hard to look at the ivies. Ivy League athletes can get jobs at Funds around the world or on WS with relative ease.


I agree, and it isn't just the Ivies. Name schools are very helpful for the first year or two out of college particularly in certain fields (finance being one of them).
 
2013-04-03 11:40:49 AM
You're a fool if you near a University or College

Repeat ... fool.
 
2013-04-03 11:47:36 AM
So what is Blair Hornstine doing these days?
 
2013-04-03 11:50:02 AM
The bit of backtracking that she attempts to do at the end of her real letter is hilarious.

You have nobody to blame for this but yourself, yet here you are trying your damndest to blame everybody else under the guise of blowing off steam or satire.
 
2013-04-03 11:53:49 AM

Lollipop165: Fano: Few have pointed out the subtle racism of wishing she was "more diverse" suggesting she should have worn a burka or been born 1/32 of a preferred minority.

Yes, college admissions is a ridiculous dog and pony show. But all that stuff is more in the applicant's head. They just want to see that you are motivated and intelligent. Presumably they can see through all the bs activities kids try to make up.

That's why I married a Pacific Islander. It'll make our future kids look good for their Harvard applications.

/couldn't find myself a Kenyan


Darn it. I'm marrying an Indian, I think they make it into colleges without such considerations. Hopefully our kid will have interesting stories to tell.
 
2013-04-03 11:59:33 AM
Last I checked a number of top schools count things like after school jobs as extra circular activities (on the grounds your family might be poor, so you have to work).  I have one child who was accepted at Stanford, with a high school history of playing on a sports team, working 10 hours a week, and graduating with a 4.0 and plenty of AP Credits.  Number two went to Michigan on an athletic scholarship (so that doesn't exactly count for getting admitted) and Number 3 was just accepted at Michigan with a history similar to #1's.  So I tend to consider these kind of letters and complaints bullshiat, more than likely she has academic problems, doesn't have AP Credits, and/or did poorly on at least one standardized test.   #3 did have the advantage of being black though, whereas #1 was half white, half Asian.

Frankly it isn't that hard to get out of high school with a near 4.0, at least a few AB level AP Credits, and one decent standardized test score, so if you don't have that prepare yourself for the wait lists.

/had one admissions person tell me that actually liked seeing kids with jobs, since anyone can form a high school charity group and lie their ass off about what they accomplished whereas if you can hold a job you have to at least have some level of personal discipline, even if it just pulling the fries out every time you hear a ding
//admissions people have bull shiat detectors too
 
2013-04-03 12:14:49 PM
I remember going to a friend's kids graduation party a few years back. The Valedictorian had done more in her 16 years than I had done in 40. No joke! I could only think to myself: Did this child have a youth? They were doing genetic research at 16 years old, graduating from high school and had already completed most their Freshman level courses for Harvard, the school they had been accepted to with a full ride scholarship. The ones that didn't make Valedictorian were just as impressive on paper. Then they all spoke.

Flat jokes, little understanding of cadence in their speeches, hum drum lighthearted pokes at their schools and classmates... these kids had plenty of regurgitated knowledge that they applied on a daily level, but very little life experience. They were awkward, they were out of touch, they were social pariahs. They would move forward in life faster than most folks, and most likely be leaders in their fields in another 20 years, but they will have spent almost 40 years of their lives not knowing the joy of things like going sledding, or vegging out watching cartoons, or know the simple tasks like how to put gas in their cars or how to change their oil or how to go grocery shopping. They had been forced to achieve by their parents so hard, they missed out on all the things that make childhood great. I guarantee none of them have scars from being a normal kid, or broke a bone trying to be a daredevil. They simply did the rote studies and regurgitated the knowledge endlessly, and for that I feel sorry for them

Make no mistake, I was envious as shiat that they got to go to Harvard, experience an Ivy League setting, and if they don't burn out halfway through to getting their Doctorate in 7-9 years, they'll never have to worry about the things I listed in the paragraph before because they'll be set for life. I should also mention all the kids with the honorifics and graduating early were Middle Eastern and Asian.
 
2013-04-03 12:19:32 PM

somedude210: babygoat: How the hell did your useless degree program involve Calc 3?

electrical engineering. I never said mine was useless, I was talking about all the liberal arts students/business majors


Then why are you acting like you got bad advice?  And exactly what kind of jobs were liberal arts students made to believe they would land when they graduated?
 
2013-04-03 12:25:41 PM
Let's watch at the precious, unique snowflake dantily flutters to earth and finds itself in a blizzard.
 
2013-04-03 12:25:46 PM

babygoat: Then why are you acting like you got bad advice? And exactly what kind of jobs were liberal arts students made to believe they would land when they graduated?


to be fair, I probably did get bad advice. I was a 2.7GPA student in high school, I was told to go to college. It was only when they asked what I did in my spare time that I said "well, I build computers. I kinda want to go into that" that they went "Perfect! computer science is all the rage!" I got into most of my schools for computer science. Only the school that I went to did I apply for Computer engineering. I switched from Computer to electrical engineering in my sophomore year because I hated programming, but I enjoyed the building aspect of hardware.

My issue is more of that the guidance counselors pushed to get into college no matter what, regardless of whether you actually wanted to go into something that had a job that you actually needed the degree for. I have friends about to graduate that are in for english or communications and whatnot and they're not entirely sure they can get a job with the degree, at least one they couldn't get without the degree.

Just because I'm not in the same boat because I had a technical ability, doesn't mean I can't stand up against the crap being fed to those coming into the system.
 
2013-04-03 12:40:28 PM

somedude210: daily beast/WSJ aside, the letter does make a good point. The higher-ed industry is a ridiculous place.

The higher education system needs to be reformed. We need to stop making it all about profits, we need to educate our kids about how you don't need to go through college if you're gonna waste it on a degree that'll get you as far in life as not having a college degree at all (I'm looking at you, philosophy majors). We need to stop the stigma of vocational schooling in lue of high school. We need to stop compounding so much debt on the kids who do want to go through college so that they don't have to keep paying off the loans until they're in their mid-40s.

The younger generations are completely screwed with our education system. We keep going on and on how we absolutely, positively need to have an bachelor's in something,anything, as long as it's a bachelor's. and then, 3 years into our 4 year degree, we get told that the degree is utterly useless and you were better off going into this degree or that degree, or hell, if you just worked your ass off in a factory or something, you'd be making a shiatload more and without all the student debt by now.

Stop treating us like children on the realities of education and give us honest answers as to what we can expect in life if we choose this path or that path.


I wonder what we could call this higher-education reform program.  ObamaSchool?  Obam-lege? Obamersity?
 
2013-04-03 12:42:21 PM

Babwa Wawa: sinanju: Assuming the letter is real, she has managed to validate the wisdom of the institutions that rejected her.

The real letter shows that it was tongue in cheek, and the writer admits underachievement.

Regardless, this young lady's unworthiness of an ivy league education doesn't make college admissions policies any more sensible.  The overvaluation of extracurricular activities have contributed to income disparities in top colleges, as well as outright fraud in the application process.  It's been this way at least since the 80s, possibly longer.


I am quoting to affirm your position.  I am going to add that GPA is still the most important factor of getting into any school.
 
2013-04-03 12:48:59 PM

somedude210: My issue is more of that the guidance counselors pushed to get into college no matter what, regardless of whether you actually wanted to go into something that had a job that you actually needed the degree for. I have friends about to graduate that are in for english or communications and whatnot and they're not entirely sure they can get a job with the degree, at least one they couldn't get without the degree.


I got my degree in Communication after washing out as a CS major (like you, the programming killed me). I have also worked in IT for the last 6 years.

Unless your degree is specialized knowledge (like EE) your degree doesn't mean as much as what skills you can add to it. Even then, like if you're an EE who is a luthier on the weekends, you'll be more attractive to employers.

// apparently, knowing both IT and how to talk to people is a useful combination of skills
// I also have a small chip on my shoulder about people who knock "soft" degrees like COMM
 
2013-04-03 12:50:07 PM
GoodOmens:

Ivy League undergrad can land you a first job that will make you almost a shoe in for a top grad program.  If you had two students applying for a top MBA program with the exact same GMAT scores and one had a kick-ass recommendation from McKinsey - who would you choose?


Having worked with McKinsey folks for about 8 years, I would take the other person.  But, as was said above, the college admissions game is more about future contributions to the endowment than anything else...
 
2013-04-03 12:51:06 PM

somedude210: daily beast/WSJ aside, the letter does make a good point. The higher-ed industry is a ridiculous place.

The higher education system needs to be reformed. We need to stop making it all about profits, we need to educate our kids about how you don't need to go through college if you're gonna waste it on a degree that'll get you as far in life as not having a college degree at all (I'm looking at you, philosophy majors). We need to stop the stigma of vocational schooling in lue of high school. We need to stop compounding so much debt on the kids who do want to go through college so that they don't have to keep paying off the loans until they're in their mid-40s.

The younger generations are completely screwed with our education system. We keep going on and on how we absolutely, positively need to have an bachelor's in something,anything, as long as it's a bachelor's. and then, 3 years into our 4 year degree, we get told that the degree is utterly useless and you were better off going into this degree or that degree, or hell, if you just worked your ass off in a factory or something, you'd be making a shiatload more and without all the student debt by now.

Stop treating us like children on the realities of education and give us honest answers as to what we can expect in life if we choose this path or that path.


Having a double major in philosophy I take offense at your statement :p
(mind you I also got a finance degree to balance out my existentialist ponderings.)

That said - I really wish I had just gotten an electrician apprenticeship :(
(would have been less fun but.)
 
2013-04-03 12:57:28 PM
The whole business of looking for kids with fake charities, foreign volunteer experience  extracurricular etc is all about screening for wealthy parents.

Kids of average means, don't have the money to do all of that stuff.  Parents of kids with average means won't make a lot of donations to the school.   They might even ask for Financial Aid.
 
2013-04-03 01:02:08 PM

Dr Dreidel: somedude210: My issue is more of that the guidance counselors pushed to get into college no matter what, regardless of whether you actually wanted to go into something that had a job that you actually needed the degree for. I have friends about to graduate that are in for english or communications and whatnot and they're not entirely sure they can get a job with the degree, at least one they couldn't get without the degree.

I got my degree in Communication after washing out as a CS major (like you, the programming killed me). I have also worked in IT for the last 6 years.

Unless your degree is specialized knowledge (like EE) your degree doesn't mean as much as what skills you can add to it. Even then, like if you're an EE who is a luthier on the weekends, you'll be more attractive to employers.

// apparently, knowing both IT and how to talk to people is a useful combination of skills
// I also have a small chip on my shoulder about people who knock "soft" degrees like COMM


True, I'm a terrible electrical engineer, but I know how to problem solve and talk to people as well as have a competent understanding of math, electricity and engineering. . One of my first tasks after landing my internship with the military this past summer was to write up a tech report for a conference (that never happened because of travel restrictions but I still wrote the paper) and my boss, who has read hundreds of these papers from my team was quite pleased by my ability to write and actually make coherent observations. (The two other people that write a lot of papers that she reads aren't great. One will make a point and go on...and on...and on...and on about it. The other, she swears translates it from Portuguese in her mind to English before writing)

Langdon_777: somedude210: daily beast/WSJ aside, the letter does make a good point. The higher-ed industry is a ridiculous place.

The higher education system needs to be reformed. We need to stop making it all about profits, we need to educate our kids about how you don't need to go through college if you're gonna waste it on a degree that'll get you as far in life as not having a college degree at all (I'm looking at you, philosophy majors). We need to stop the stigma of vocational schooling in lue of high school. We need to stop compounding so much debt on the kids who do want to go through college so that they don't have to keep paying off the loans until they're in their mid-40s.

The younger generations are completely screwed with our education system. We keep going on and on how we absolutely, positively need to have an bachelor's in something,anything, as long as it's a bachelor's. and then, 3 years into our 4 year degree, we get told that the degree is utterly useless and you were better off going into this degree or that degree, or hell, if you just worked your ass off in a factory or something, you'd be making a shiatload more and without all the student debt by now.

Stop treating us like children on the realities of education and give us honest answers as to what we can expect in life if we choose this path or that path.

Having a double major in philosophy I take offense at your statement :p
(mind you I also got a finance degree to balance out my existentialist ponderings.)

That said - I really wish I had just gotten an electrician apprenticeship :(
(would have been less fun but.)


Electricity is enjoyable to learn, actually. And you can make a shiatload being an electrician.

That said, the only real, possibly difficult business major (from what I've heard from business majors) is accounting :P
 
2013-04-03 01:03:09 PM

xanadian: I wonder what we could call this higher-education reform program. ObamaSchool? Obam-lege? Obamersity?


Please, it's gonna be my generation that actually bothers to try and reform higher ed. So it'll be Somedude-a-school
 
2013-04-03 01:09:51 PM
Get a precocious-sounding title to put on your resume. "Assistant Director of Mail Services." "Chairwoman of Coffee Logistics."

Executive Vice President In Charge Of Intergalactic Business  Development of Nothing Much
 
2013-04-03 01:10:22 PM
Huh?

At 15, I had no less than six different colleges extending scholarships to me.

I went with Portland State because it was close to home. And I was already taking classes with their math department.

Things must have been different in the 70's
 
2013-04-03 01:24:21 PM

HMS_Blinkin: But when young people who do work for money during HS rather than non-paying work, that gets looked down upon by college admissions people.  The problem isn't that "kids these days" aren't working---it's that the admissions process values some kinds of work more than others.


The thing, though, is it isn't. Regular work can be just as beneficial as super-intern-fun-time-molestation-go! You just need to know how to spin it properly. If you're working at an ice cream shop every summer because you feel like slacking off and having spare change for pot, booze, and the occasional prostitute, of course colleges are going to look down on that. If, on the other hand, you are bravely sacrificing your summer to help your family survive a devastating layoff and put your grandmother through cock-sucking camp so that she can finally earn her keep, than that's as good as an internship at Surprise, Butts, X Partners, LLC.


And the reality of the situation is that colleges HAVE to do this. Because there are only a handful of Ivies, and there are a shiat ton of students coming out every year with perfect 4.0GPAs. Hell, the median GPA at my school was 3.75. MEDIAN. Granted, I went to a highschool that pumped out Ivy grads like McDonald's pumps out burgers, but still. There are a hundred public high schools just like mine, each releasing 100's of students with 4.0's (and sometimes higher, depending on how AP classes are weighted), with perfect SAT scores (because really, it's not all that difficult). And that's not even taking private schools with massive legacies and direct hotlines to admissions into account.

Obviously, top-tier universities don't have room for all of these over-achieving little bastards, so they have to rank them somehow, and extra-curricular are one way to do that. And if you think back to the late 90's/early 00's when I was in HS, many people were PRAISING the move to ranking life experience, extracurriculars, work, etc. more because it helped to offset the test-taking/education gap that was growing between white students and minority students. This was supposed to be the solution that gave equal footing to the kid who had to work three jobs to support his disabled single mother. This was supposed to be the solution that let Little Suzy, who loves saving whales but hates algebra, get into the marine biology program by listing her time blowing up Japanese whaling ships with Sea Shepard as a critical life lesson. And it was supposed to be the solution that allowed for some touch of humanity into the admissions process. No longer were you just a series of numbers and a name; finally your personality, your achievement, your passion would help you to achieve bigger and better.

So yes, some people clearly lie on their admissions application. Some people have parents who buy them everything they need in little pre-packaged single-serve disposable containers (contents: 3 years worth of internships, 1 semester foreign exchange, 2 charitable activities, one violin, one pair running shoes, 4 year prescription for adderal, one little poor asian kid from the state school to do nightly SAT tutoring). Some people had everything handed to them. So what? That's life. There are ALWAYS people who game the system. In fact, the people who game the system, and who are good at it, will ALWAYS do better than you. The liars, cheats, scoundrels, thieves, backstabbers, and general douchebags will ALWAYS succeed at a level that you NEVER could. So you have four options: join them as best you can, and use the farking brain you were given to compensate for their advantages, you can do the best you can with what you have and put as much effort into it as possible (what, exactly, stopped this girl from finding a sport she loved, or a charity where she could volunteer weekends, or an internship/job in her future studies, or really any activity that let her excel at being who she was?), you can change the game and keep score in a way that's meaningful to you so you're not competing against the assholes (go to a state school, do something you love, do it really well, and be satisfied with topping out your salary at 100k), or you can cry about it and blame everyone except your own damn lazy self.

We know which one she went with. I also strongly suspect, based on her writing, that her admissions letters absolutely sucked.
 
2013-04-03 01:31:56 PM
Kids have it rough today.  I made the Natl. Honor Society, so I was deluged with college catalogs and application forms; had a stack about two feet tall without lifting a finger to get them.

Any app form longer than 3 pages went in the trash automatically.  So did anything requiring use of my own paper for an essay.  The school I eventually attended had a one-sheet, two-sided form and a prepaid return envelope.

Plus, the catalog had many pics of bikini-clad coeds frolicking on the beach and a good overview of the student beer/wine bar; drinking age was 18 then. Another factor in my choice was the school's lack of a Students for a Democratic Society chapter.  I didn't have time for any nonsense.
 
2013-04-03 01:32:21 PM
Having just been on the admissions committee I can say that this is mostly a smoke-screen.

You want a good school ?   The top requirement is good marks in hard classes.  That is the number one predictor or a successful applicant.  Show us you can pick the right classes, and ace them, repeatedly, for your high school tenure.   Get drunk when you can, but show up and perform.  Next is your references.  They have to tell us you rock, that you are better than their peers.   They won't say you suck usually, but we can tell the difference between "yes, this is a student I know and don't despise" and "You are an idiot if you reject this one"  that's it.

We use all that life experience stuff when figuring out grants and endowments and scholarships.  Really.
 
2013-04-03 01:39:12 PM
somedude210: That said, the only real, possibly difficult business major (from what I've heard from business majors) is accounting :P

Yeah that's what I did, with a large splattering of economics.

Playing with electricity would have been a better long term prospect (the philosophy part sort of dampened my buy-up-all-the-life-jackets-on-a-sinking-ship mentality that is essential to make it big in the corporate world.)
 
2013-04-03 01:40:30 PM
Yes, of course getting into a top college requires doing a bunch of worthless crap that has nothing to do with how good of a student you would actually be.  Guess what?  That's not just school, it's life.  Want to get a top job at a leading company in your industry?  You're gonna need a resume that's padded with loads of crap; certifications which you will never use, degrees which you will hardly use, worthless awards, meaningless recommendations, etc.  Want to advance from that position to an executive one?  Same deal, you're gonna have to do all kinds of stuff that has nothing to do with how well you actually do your job.  A lot of it is simply scratching the right peoples backs, checking off all the right boxes, etc.

While one could certainly make the argument that this stuff is all pointless another argument could be made that jumping through all these hoops demonstrates a willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done.  Do you want your division head to be the guy that will do the minimum work to meet the job goals?  Or the guy who will spend 6 months studying Chinese for 4 hours a day so that when you have a meeting regarding the $50 million deal your trying to land with the Chinese firm he can have a conversation with them in their native language, even though they all speak English?  Of course you don't HAVE to do these things.  You also don't HAVE to go to an ivy league school and you don't HAVE to be a CEO.  But if you WANT to win the game then you do have to play by the rules.

If this girl understands the game as well as she seems to think she does then why didn't she do what was necessary to get in instead of not trying and writing a whiny letter after the fact?
 
2013-04-03 01:44:48 PM

swankywanky: so your parents never gave you an extracurricular activity, except swimming and karate which you quit on, and you couldn't go find something on your own that interested you.

That's all I'm getting form this, anyone else reading something else?


I don't get this either. My parents didn't make me do anything and I CHOSE to play hockey, do marching band, trivia team, math club on my own.

Still she totally has a point and her letter was funny.
 
2013-04-03 01:52:26 PM
I always love these threads where the fark super intellectuals get to tell us how they sacrificed their childhoods/teen years worrying about colleges and grad schools and 4.0 GPA's blah blah blah. We've got 70 years on this earth if we're lucky I'm focused on my pursuit of happiness - fark your ivy league prestige and your engineering firm.
 
2013-04-03 01:54:36 PM

room at the top: GoodOmens:

Ivy League undergrad can land you a first job that will make you almost a shoe in for a top grad program.  If you had two students applying for a top MBA program with the exact same GMAT scores and one had a kick-ass recommendation from McKinsey - who would you choose?


Having worked with McKinsey folks for about 8 years, I would take the other person.  But, as was said above, the college admissions game is more about future contributions to the endowment than anything else...


Completely agree.  But unfortunately it's what happens.
 
2013-04-03 01:54:42 PM

HST's Dead Carcass: I remember going to a friend's kids graduation party a few years back. The Valedictorian had done more in her 16 years than I had done in 40. No joke! I could only think to myself: Did this child have a youth? They were doing genetic research at 16 years old, graduating from high school and had already completed most their Freshman level courses for Harvard, the school they had been accepted to with a full ride scholarship. The ones that didn't make Valedictorian were just as impressive on paper. Then they all spoke.

Flat jokes, little understanding of cadence in their speeches, hum drum lighthearted pokes at their schools and classmates... these kids had plenty of regurgitated knowledge that they applied on a daily level, but very little life experience. They were awkward, they were out of touch, they were social pariahs. They would move forward in life faster than most folks, and most likely be leaders in their fields in another 20 years, but they will have spent almost 40 years of their lives not knowing the joy of things like going sledding, or vegging out watching cartoons, or know the simple tasks like how to put gas in their cars or how to change their oil or how to go grocery shopping. They had been forced to achieve by their parents so hard, they missed out on all the things that make childhood great. I guarantee none of them have scars from being a normal kid, or broke a bone trying to be a daredevil. They simply did the rote studies and regurgitated the knowledge endlessly, and for that I feel sorry for them

Make no mistake, I was envious as shiat that they got to go to Harvard, experience an Ivy League setting, and if they don't burn out halfway through to getting their Doctorate in 7-9 years, they'll never have to worry about the things I listed in the paragraph before because they'll be set for life. I should also mention all the kids with the honorifics and graduating early were Middle Eastern and Asian.


Farkers here will applaud the 16 year old - I just feel sorry for her. That isn't living and I don't care what anyone says. There is so much more to life than academia...
 
2013-04-03 02:00:27 PM

somedude210: you don't need to go through college if you're gonna waste it on a degree that'll ge


I completely disagree, I feel the the peoples tax money is better used oppressing people in other countries rather than helping youth in our own
 
2013-04-03 02:20:35 PM
/CSB

I applied and was accepted to WSU and I remember my essay section verbatim. Just prior to applying, I had seen Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, so when the essay section came up, it was as follows:

What would you like to get out of your education at Washington State University?

My answer:

Illumination.

I was accepted, which I found hilarious, and subsequently attended briefly. College was the biggest waste of time and money of my life to date (outside of a few of my exes, but women aren't an investment, they're an expense).

/College dropout
//Ironically, also a college professor for a couple of years
///Make much more money than my college grad friends.
 
2013-04-03 02:21:56 PM
If she thinks this is bad, just wait until she tries to get a job.

It turns out that if you're just as good as the next guy for the job-skill in question, but they have additional skills, or more experience, or better social skills, or are more confident, or have better, more weightier recommendations, then they are more likely to get the job!

It's just like college admissions, only you have less knowledge about what it is they're looking for, and less control over providing it!

That's because the whole idea of a competitive system is rigged! It's a total sham and people won't even bother to lie about it!  They'll tell you that it's deliberately biased so that the more qualified, more valuable person wins!  Should be illegal, right?

...
There may be problems with the college education system, but claiming that it's unfair because admissions can be merit based is not one of them.  Saying that it's biased towards the rich because they have free time and such is also a cop-out.  It may be unfair that one person lacked the opportunities that another had, but when the line is drawn on merit (which may include ability to pay), circumstances are irrelevant.

... now if only we could actually have it be truly merit based, that'd be great.
 
2013-04-03 02:31:22 PM

keepitcherry: I always love these threads where the fark super intellectuals get to tell us how they sacrificed their childhoods/teen years worrying about colleges and grad schools and 4.0 GPA's blah blah blah. We've got 70 years on this earth if we're lucky I'm focused on my pursuit of happiness - fark your ivy league prestige and your engineering firm.


Enjoy working minimum wage and never retiring so you can pursue your happiness in shiatty living conditions with shiatty toys. I will cry myself to sleep tonight on my 2400 threadcount pillowcase while I contemplate about how much my life sucks.
 
2013-04-03 02:32:56 PM

keepitcherry: I always love these threads where the fark super intellectuals get to tell us how they sacrificed their childhoods/teen years worrying about colleges and grad schools and 4.0 GPA's blah blah blah. We've got 70 years on this earth if we're lucky I'm focused on my pursuit of happiness - fark your ivy league prestige and your engineering firm.


No one is doing that.  Fark your too-lazy-to-read attitude.
 
2013-04-03 02:34:04 PM

umad: keepitcherry: I always love these threads where the fark super intellectuals get to tell us how they sacrificed their childhoods/teen years worrying about colleges and grad schools and 4.0 GPA's blah blah blah. We've got 70 years on this earth if we're lucky I'm focused on my pursuit of happiness - fark your ivy league prestige and your engineering firm.

Enjoy working minimum wage and never retiring so you can pursue your happiness in shiatty living conditions with shiatty toys. I will cry myself to sleep tonight on my 2400 threadcount pillowcase while I contemplate about how much my life sucks.


And fark your pillowcase.  No one cares about your stuff, especially your pillowcase.
 
2013-04-03 02:41:06 PM

babygoat: umad: keepitcherry: I always love these threads where the fark super intellectuals get to tell us how they sacrificed their childhoods/teen years worrying about colleges and grad schools and 4.0 GPA's blah blah blah. We've got 70 years on this earth if we're lucky I'm focused on my pursuit of happiness - fark your ivy league prestige and your engineering firm.

Enjoy working minimum wage and never retiring so you can pursue your happiness in shiatty living conditions with shiatty toys. I will cry myself to sleep tonight on my 2400 threadcount pillowcase while I contemplate about how much my life sucks.

And fark your pillowcase.  No one cares about your stuff, especially your pillowcase.


Somebody is grumpy. Are people not tipping well at the coffee shop today?
 
2013-04-03 02:41:32 PM

babygoat: And fark your pillowcase. No one cares about your stuff, especially your pillowcase.


Au contraire.

I find 2400 count pillowcases make excellent toilet paper.

// assuming I can't find 3 shells from endangered marine life
 
2013-04-03 02:47:51 PM

umad: keepitcherry: I always love these threads where the fark super intellectuals get to tell us how they sacrificed their childhoods/teen years worrying about colleges and grad schools and 4.0 GPA's blah blah blah. We've got 70 years on this earth if we're lucky I'm focused on my pursuit of happiness - fark your ivy league prestige and your engineering firm.

Enjoy working minimum wage and never retiring so you can pursue your happiness in shiatty living conditions with shiatty toys. I will cry myself to sleep tonight on my 2400 threadcount pillowcase while I contemplate about how much my life sucks.


The fark.

/Of course my birthday gift to myself was flannel sheets, so I shouldn't be throwing stones.
 
2013-04-03 03:06:14 PM

keepitcherry: Farkers here will applaud the 16 year old


I'm sorry, but what? How do you know we'll do it?

ohhh, you're trollin' I gotcha.

/farking dumbass
 
2013-04-03 03:17:31 PM

somedude210: keepitcherry: Farkers here will applaud the 16 year old

I'm sorry, but what? How do you know we'll do it?

ohhh, you're trollin' I gotcha.

/farking dumbass


You just spent the entire thread sucking your own dick, lol. I'm set for life suckers and I enjoy what I do :)
 
2013-04-03 03:19:50 PM

umad: keepitcherry: I always love these threads where the fark super intellectuals get to tell us how they sacrificed their childhoods/teen years worrying about colleges and grad schools and 4.0 GPA's blah blah blah. We've got 70 years on this earth if we're lucky I'm focused on my pursuit of happiness - fark your ivy league prestige and your engineering firm.

Enjoy working minimum wage and never retiring so you can pursue your happiness in shiatty living conditions with shiatty toys. I will cry myself to sleep tonight on my 2400 threadcount pillowcase while I contemplate about how much my life sucks.


I probably make more than you do, own my own house in my 20's, have no car payment, and zero debt. I'm doing just fine Captain Asperger
 
2013-04-03 03:22:16 PM

keepitcherry: You just spent the entire thread sucking your own dick, lol. I'm set for life suckers and I enjoy what I do :)


Huh? Where in this thread is there dick sucking? Gay marriage threads are in the politics tab.

keepitcherry: I probably make more than you do, own my own house in my 20's, have no car payment, and zero debt. I'm doing just fine Captain Asperger


24 with health and life insurance as well as two retirement funds. So fark off.
 
2013-04-03 03:42:12 PM

quietwalker: If she thinks this is bad, just wait until she tries to get a job.

It turns out that if you're just as good as the next guy for the job-skill in question, but they have additional skills, or more experience, or better social skills, or are more confident, or have better, more weightier recommendations, then they are more likely to get the job!



Don't forget Better Hair! The good job always goes to the guy with the Better Hair!

/Not bald
//Bald-ing
 
2013-04-03 03:58:26 PM

umad: babygoat: umad: keepitcherry: I always love these threads where the fark super intellectuals get to tell us how they sacrificed their childhoods/teen years worrying about colleges and grad schools and 4.0 GPA's blah blah blah. We've got 70 years on this earth if we're lucky I'm focused on my pursuit of happiness - fark your ivy league prestige and your engineering firm.

Enjoy working minimum wage and never retiring so you can pursue your happiness in shiatty living conditions with shiatty toys. I will cry myself to sleep tonight on my 2400 threadcount pillowcase while I contemplate about how much my life sucks.

And fark your pillowcase.  No one cares about your stuff, especially your pillowcase.

Somebody is grumpy. Are people not tipping well at the coffee shop today?


Once you reach a point where you need to brag about your pillowcase on the internet, your life probably does suck.  Get your head out of your ass.
 
2013-04-03 04:18:29 PM
That girl is as sharp as a tack. But of course all you lib-drones can't see it. You're offended by her because you know what she mocks is the true state of academia in the 21st century.

The only thing she got wrong is that Granny Warren has 0/0 Cherokee heritage.
 
2013-04-03 04:20:44 PM

babygoat: umad: babygoat: umad: keepitcherry: I always love these threads where the fark super intellectuals get to tell us how they sacrificed their childhoods/teen years worrying about colleges and grad schools and 4.0 GPA's blah blah blah. We've got 70 years on this earth if we're lucky I'm focused on my pursuit of happiness - fark your ivy league prestige and your engineering firm.

Enjoy working minimum wage and never retiring so you can pursue your happiness in shiatty living conditions with shiatty toys. I will cry myself to sleep tonight on my 2400 threadcount pillowcase while I contemplate about how much my life sucks.

And fark your pillowcase.  No one cares about your stuff, especially your pillowcase.

Somebody is grumpy. Are people not tipping well at the coffee shop today?

Once you reach a point where you need to brag about your pillowcase on the internet, your life probably does suck.  Get your head out of your ass.


Once you reach a point where you no longer understand sarcasm, you should probably kill yourself.

/have no idea what threadcount my pillowcases are
 
2013-04-03 04:37:20 PM

Dr Dreidel: somedude210: art degree? If you're the next Picasso, a piece of paper isn't going to be required

You know, I used to think like that (then I took an arrow to the knee).

Then I spoke with a friend who did video game character design (including for Skyrim. Some of the gear is her handiwork, and I think she did some off-book VO work as well). I was talking about how I suck at art, and she countered: "You play bass, right? Were you this good when you first picked it up?" Another friend who majored in Set Design (I think) from Knox, Stephen Colbert's alma mater, told me that you can see all the art without a class, but to know why the art was important beyond "it looks good", you may need someone to explain it.

It takes hard work to be a good artist, but also good/the right tutelage. Even Picasso was taught by his father (who was an art professor).


Colbert started at Hampden-Sydney and transferred to Northwestern. His degree from Knox is honorary.
 
2013-04-03 04:39:15 PM

somedude210: Priapetic: Work hard, take difficult, unpopular majors that have a proven track of financial success, such as engineering, accounting, etc.. Realize that you will stat on the bottom rung of the ladder and your first 5 years will be sucky drudgery, JUST LIKE EVERY GENERATION BEFORE YOU. You will work long hours for low pay. Realize that you will not: become CEO in your first year, invent Facebook, get a million dollar signing bonus, succeed as a professional actor/musician/athlete, etc..

This is as it has been, and should be. Don't expect anything different. And the next person that says, "just follow your dream, do what you like"? Slap them. Hard. And ignore everything else they say.

I would also toss in that you shouldn't try and do engineering, science, accounting, etc. if you have no desire to do it. If you want to major in what you love and it has no real purpose in the corporate world, then accept that you're paying for something that won't have the return you think you'll get with a bachelor's in it.

can we also get rid of the idea that business majors are gonna be the cream of the crop? Cause most of them failed out of tougher majors (like engineering)

we need scientists, educators, engineers, doctors, nurses and accountants. Those should be your first priorities

/art degree? If you're the next Picasso, a piece of paper isn't going to be required


I just got royally screwed by having clueless parents, One teacher teaching everything practicly because the college was rearranging his department after they retried. The internet was still new when I came into college and I felt like I had to take a side. I was lost, confused and desperate and didn't know who to turn to for advice. I feel like a failure because I still am lost years later.
 
2013-04-03 05:26:11 PM
Good grief, she's in high school.  I'm sure glad the WSJ didn't publish anything I wrote when I was in high school.  Give it a rest.

//don't even want to read it
 
2013-04-03 06:03:25 PM

LibertyHiller: Dr Dreidel: And I know that HS guidance counselors are useless, but the one time they earn their keep is in college prep. Assuming they're worth a damn at all, they will have all kinds of info worth having. And don't wait until senior year to stack up those creds - I think part of the reason community-service requirements started appearing in schools is to help with that (I had to do 36 hours for each year in order to graduate - not even court-mandated!).

/CSB time:

Guidance counselors are farking useless. Thanks to them, I let myself get talked into engineering school, and permanently hamstrung my GPA.

When I applied to Stanford (ca. 1980), my guidance counselor (we'll call him "Doug Don't") sent in the form blank, Stanford returned it to me and I took it back to Doug, who finally got around to sending it in, but I can't remember if any deadlines were missed.

Thanks no doubt to Doug's paperwork bungle, Stanford waitlisted me, so I wound up going to my top choice within 1500 miles of home, and it all worked out in the end. (In retrospect, I could very well have flunked out of Stanford; I was so eager to get out from under my parents' thumbs that I sacrificed my freshman fall term to Bacchus. As is turned out, the school I went to shook me up, but I'd landed myself in a house with enough premeds that by the end of my junior year, an adjunct prof planned to include one of my papers in her assigned readings for the next term. Then her contract wasn't renewed, and instead of academia, I went into IT ops instead.)

Guidance counselors are farking useless. Thanks to them, I let myself get talked into engineering school, and permanently hamstrung my GPA.


Shouldn't you blame your admitted drinking... not your councilor..
 
2013-04-03 06:56:33 PM
I want to hate this girl but everything she said was true.  In my case, I worked part time during school,and full time in the summer to save up for college.  I didn't have the talents or smarts to get any significant scholarships.  But, then again, I never hand any delusions of getting into an Ivy League school with my background.  I think schools are making sure the type of student they accept is the type who will follow through and not ruin their drop out rate.  Proof of accomplishment is one way to prove that.
 
2013-04-03 09:52:32 PM

HMS_Blinkin: different sports rather than a kid who had a real passion for one extracurricular activity and excelled at it

(unless we're talking about football or basketball, in which case grades don't matter), or a kid who put in lots hours working a job through the school year and the summer.
 
2013-04-03 11:01:35 PM
I am 100% certain, unfortunately, that there are high school seniors who think like this. I am 99% certain none of them read the Wall Street Journal or write quite so competently. Therefore, I call shenanigans.
 
2013-04-04 12:17:25 AM
It is a good point.  I only ever applied to one University and got in, as a junior, at 17, without even finishing high school (yeah, I went to college without a high school diploma; they let me finish my senior year at the same time as I took my freshman classes) - all because I bullshiatted them and made myself sound a lot better than I really was.

I wasn't rewarded too well for my moderate embellishments - I never graduated from that place, despite having more than ten thousand dollars in loans before I turned 18.  It's just silly that a teenager should look at the world around him and see that as what he's supposed to do.  My mistakes are my own, but it's a bad system.  I don't know what a better system would look, but I know this one isn't very good. 

Of course, I resent higher education itself these days, because it's more about getting pieces of paper so that someone can land a cushy job than it is about education, and such thinking surely influences how I see it.
 
2013-04-04 07:08:30 PM
Preach it sister.
 
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