Hey guys, It's Ivy here - or what is left of Ivy after the catastrophic event of finding three rejection letters in my portals after getting home from work. *Side Note: it's like these rejection letters have separation anxiety! I swear they always have to come together!* Anyways, all jokes aside, I would like to share some of my thoughts to the rest of you.
Survivors, if you've gotten into your dream school - great! I'm so happy for you! All of you are such hard-working and unique individuals. I'm sure schools have seen your drive and commitment through your scholarly achievements, extra-curriculars, personal essays, and/or other dedications you have made. Amongst what seems to be billions of applicants, you guys are the chosen ones, and I'm sure you deserve it! :)
Now, for those of us who did not get into our top choice of college, take a deep breath, cry or watch a movie, just let it out. I know how personal these rejection letter can feel, so I'm writing this mainly for you guys. College rejection sucks, I know. "Thank you for submitting..." "I regret to inform you..." "After careful consideration..." AH, these are like bullets to the heart! On the other hand, it's important for us to remember that nothing about college rejections is personal. Here's an article post I thought we should all read. It's written by a guy named Ben Jones who was the Director of Communications for the MIT Office of Admissions. Here's a glimpse of the article:
"I read about your triumphs, I read about your dreams, I read about the tragedies that define you. I read about your passions, your inventions, your obsession with video games, dance, Mozart, Monet... I read about your parents getting divorced, your house burning down, your girlfriend cheating on you...
I come home each night and tell my wife over dinner how lucky I am, because I never seem to pick boring applications out of the pile. In fact, I tell her, I'm inspired enough by the stories I read to think that the world might actually turn out to be okay after all.
In March I go into committee with my colleagues, having narrowed down my top picks to a few hundred people. My colleagues have all done the same. Then the numbers come in: this year's admit rate will be 13%. For every student you admit, you need to let go of seven others.
What? But I have so many who... But...
When it's all over, about 13% of my top picks are offered admission. I beg, I plead, I make ridiculous promises (just ask the senior staff) but at the end of the day, a committee decision is a committee decision...To the 87% of you who have shared your lives with us and trusted us with your stories over the last four months, please know that they meant something to me, and I won't forget you. When I say that I share the pain of these decisions with you, I'm not lying. I'm really not lying."
However meaningless the opinion of an admission officer might feel to you (I mean, he isn't the one who got rejected!), we should understand that rejections are never personal; college decisions in no way reflect how we are as people. Maybe we made an admission officer shred some tears during a family dinner because he/she likes us so much! Who knows! I think it's crucial that we don't lose perspective on things. We are still who we were before the rejection letters came in. We are still able to accomplish whatever our heart desires. Here's a quote I stole from Reddit which origins from the movie Ratatouille, "Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere."
One thing I hold true to my heart is that, personally, I see colleges as big fat hammers. Yes, some hammers are more well-done than others. Yet, what matters more is the person using that hammer. Most people in the world don't even know how to hold their hammer correctly, and most people in the world never use their hammer to the full potential. Also, an important consideration of colleges is about fit; a great hammer for another person may plainly create scratches and bruises on your hands. Maybe you didn't get into your dream college, so what? Everything passes through, and this rejection will just be a tiny sentence in the novel of your life.
Aye, so, guys, go chase after your passions and dreams. College is only a tool we can use in our lives after all (If you're still bitter, go do great things and prove those colleges wrong haha).
P.S. Isn't one of the main strengths of Breakthrough the way it teaches us how to succeed in life regardless of where we end up in college? Let's use that to the full potential!
Ivy Chung is a student at Breakthrough who took a gap year after her senior year, She had the unique pleasure of going through undergrad admissions twice. In her spare time she dedicates herself to working, learning, and having fun,
Here's an interesting article from The Atlantic about a movement among college students to get rid of Legacy Admissions. Some juicy tidbits:
It makes me a bit of a dinosaur to admit that Facebook was not around when I was in high school or college. In fact, it came about when I was already working, and I received several requests from friends still in college to start an account. I declined numerous times, I already had Friendster and MySpace, what need was there for a Facebook account? But everyone was loving the fact that Facebook was "exclusive" because you needed an EDU email account to sign up for it (yes, that was a long time ago, I know). We didn't even have the option to post photos when Facebook first came out, can you believe it?!
Anyway, fast forward to 2017. Everyone is on social media. I can't even start to recount the different social media apps, the only ones I use are Instagram, Facebook (which I'm told is only for old people now), Snapchat (which I joined to redeem my old age), and Pinterest (because I'm a mom of four, so naturally I do a lot of crafts and DIY stuff). What the younger generation who grew up with social media fail to realize is that the world did not always overshare. The world did not always give their opinion out for the greater public to view. People used to look at photos at your home, hence, they were close friends, relatives, etc. The implication of such an oversharing generation is that trolls are born, hidden behind the safe confines of the social media anonymity, people tend to be meaner, bullying grows, and feelings are hurt. On the flipped, there is a great plethora of useful information to be gained from the online community and social media. Sharing goodness, collaborating with different people, and making friends is all possible now.
All this is relevant to the college scene as news just came out that 10 students got their Harvard admissions revoked after posting offensive material online. You're no longer just another person with an opinion, your online opinions and choices are a representation of the school you go to and therefore, anything obviously offensive, racist, and hateful, is going to have a consequence. I hope these students, and many others who might think their online presence has no impact on much of anything and is all just "fun," wake up and smell the reality. When we were interviewing candidates at my old public accounting firm, we'd always go online and sneak a peek at their profiles, if public. This was almost ten years ago, so I'm sure firms have gotten smarter about hiring and social media presences. Be smart kiddos. If you wouldn't say it to someone's face, don't post it online.
I think it's important to know what is trending in the college admissions process, and since we've started to hear back from our students about which schools they've been accepted into lately (which has been so exciting), this is the perfect time to debunk some myths. Recently, Ray spoke to a group of students about a lot of the typical college myths from the perspective of what colleges are looking for. His presentation doesn't stray far from this op-ed from the Washington Post. Take a read and let me know what you think!
On Sunday, April 9th, Breakthrough's 2017 Entrepreneurship Class brought five teams to participate in the High School Business Plan Competition sponsored by Project Echo at UCLA.
Project Echo is a non-profit organization formed in 1996 to provide at-risk students with vocational skills and entrepreneurship training and experience but has since expanded to include students from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds. The annual Business Plan Competition is held at UCLA Anderson School of Management. The students pitch ideas which includes their R&D, financial analysis, industry surveillance, and marketing in three categories of food and beverage, retail, or technology. Executive level volunteer judges evaluate the teams and award cash prizes.
Our teams have been preparing since November, learning the skills necessary to effectively develop a business idea. Our team business plans included a nut smoothie company, a trip planning application, an e-waste management company, a virtual reality social anxiety solution, and a crowd sourced live streaming video platform.
All our teams had a very edifying and fun time pitching their ideas and being able to participate and watch other teams. We're proud to announce that among the winners were Breakthrough's own KALEIDE made up of seniors Ria Wang, Randy Deng, and Andrew Chou! The trio took 2nd place in the Technology category for their crowdsourced streaming platform.
For more on Project Echo, click here.
For more on our Entrepreneurship and other programs, click here.
For those of you looking for more scholarship money, here are some unusual scholarships you might want to check out. If there's money, there's a reason... right?
Click here to see the scholarships.