Getting rejected from college doesn’t make you worthless

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It’s that time of year again. When the letters go up on Facebook, admissions officers are cursed under the breath of angry students everywhere, and countless drama queens (and kings!) proclaim that their lives are totally over because they didn’t get into the college of their dreams.

So here’s a little bit of perspective.

Walt Disney attended Metropolitan Junior College before he went on to create the most successful animation studio of all time. Clint Eastwood (yes, good ol’ chair-lovn’ Clint Eastwood) attended Los Angeles City College. The executive chairman of Stanley Black & Decker Corporation graduated from Dixie Junior College, now known as Dixie State College. None of these colleges was an Ivy League or a top ten-er, we assure you.

Heck, if you’re reading this right now, you’re probably in college yourself. What’s more, you’re probably enrolled at (or an Alumni of) UC Berkeley, one of the top schools in the nation. Pat yourself on the back for that. Go ahead, we’ll give you a moment. But, in fact, Berkeley proves the idea of blind ranking of colleges through its prestige (amazing as the school is in our naturally unbiased opinion). In fact, many people come here for the name alone. In this writer’s hometown, there’s even an after school tutoring program called Berkeley Prep Center.

Seriously, how depressing is that?

Some of us at the Clog have just seen a bit too much drama over acceptances and rejections in the past few days. On one end, there’s the people who are threatening nuclear war because they didn’t get into Cal or Princeton or Yale or Cornell or UCLA … because the acceptance rates for these universities is probably negative by now. On the other hand, some of the lucky few to gain admission are having their egos inflated like pufferfish from hell. It’s all a bit much, right?

There’s a deep problem that comes from all of this: our assumptions that because you go to a college that some website of the internet said was awesome, you’re magically a better person. (Seriously, how can you not trust a name like US News and World Report? They report on the World and the United States! Golly.) College admissions turns into a game of leap frog. And the worst part is that those who get rejected are mistakenly left feeling like they’re worse people for it.

According to one ranking of the happiest colleges, the winner wasn’t Berkeley or UCLA or an Ivy League. It was Texas A&M. Now, A&M isn’t a bad school by any means. It’s a great one. But if you went solely off the assumption that the typical “dream schools” (see above) really are a dream, it’s a bit surprising.

Maybe the truth is that we can all be Walt Disney is we strive hard enough. And on that note, we have a midterm to study for.

Contact Sherdil Niyaz @ [email protected]