This brilliant op-ed piece by Frank Bruni from Sunday’s New York Times is spot-on for the over-the-top intensity of applying to the Ivy Leagues and top universities. It speaks to the same brutal experience when applying to Chicagoland high schools. Just substitute “...Northside, Latin and Ignatius” for “…Harvard, Emory and Bucknell“.
Bruni nails it and I couldn’t agree with him more. In the long run, going to a school that is a second or third or fourth choice almost always turns out to be a much better fit for the student.
“…A yes or no from Amherst or the University of Virginia or the University of Chicago is seen as the conclusive measure of a young person’s worth, an uncontestable harbinger of the accomplishments or disappointments to come. Winner or loser: This is when the judgment is made. This is the great, brutal culling.
What madness. And what nonsense.
FOR one thing, the admissions game is too flawed to be given so much credit. For another, the nature of a student’s college experience — the work that he or she puts into it, the self-examination that’s undertaken, the resourcefulness that’s honed — matters more than the name of the institution attended….”