Nobody likes to be told "Um, no. Not you." but this is the time of year for Early Denial.
Countless college applicants will be told that they didn't get into the college they "ED'd" to.
Does it matter? Highly doubtful.
Typically, this time of year you'll see articles about famous, successful people who didn't get into their top choice colleges (Tina Fey, Warren Buffet, Antonin Scalia - how's that for an eclectic threesome?). The point of these articles is that the world didn't end for these rejectees, and neither should it end for this year's batch of college applicants.
I wrote about this briefly in my "snail mail" client newsletter, and make these comments annually because I think they're worth repeating. I tell all of my private 1:1 college advising students words the effect of
"You will be successful in life no matter where you go to college, because of your work ethic, intelligence and interpersonal skills. There is no correlation between where you go and how successful you'll be."
Going to an elite college certainly CAN open doors into a privileged, elite world, but to be fair, many kids enrolled and graduated from those colleges already lived in that world.
The flip side is that I speak to hiring managers and equivalents all the time about how many Ivy-educated employees are non-functioning idiots, compared to candidates who attended "regular" colleges. I'm sure you know someone who fits that description, who's still flicking their college beanies 30 years after graduating (inevitably inserting "When I attended a little school in Cambridge..." into every conversation)
To be clear, I have nothing against elite colleges or kids gunning for them. Quite the opposite, I think it's great to have goals and pursue them with all you've got in the tank. But if you don't get in, it's far from "game over."
Yes, it certainly stings to be told "No soup for you!", but in the very medium and then long-term, it will be meaningless.
If you get dinged from your top choice college, I hope you'll eventually look at it like "Let the games begin."
Andy "Reject This!" Lockwood
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