Suzy Lee Weiss is a high school student with stellar academic records. A GPA of 4.5, an SAT score of 2120, and even an experience as a page for the US Senate. You'd think she'd be a shoo-in for colleges.
Well, she didn't get accepted to any of the Ivy League school that she applied to. But instead of being bitter in private like many of us would, Suzy Lee decided to pen a scathing op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, titled To (All) the Colleges That Rejected Me:
Like me, millions of high-school seniors with sour grapes are asking themselves this week how they failed to get into the colleges of their dreams. It's simple: For years, they—we—were lied to.
Colleges tell you, "Just be yourself." That is great advice, as long as yourself has nine extracurriculars, six leadership positions, three varsity sports, killer SAT scores and two moms. Then by all means, be yourself! If you work at a local pizza shop and are the slowest person on the cross-country team, consider taking your business elsewhere.
What could I have done differently over the past years?
For starters, had I known two years ago what I know now, I would have gladly worn a headdress to school. Show me to any closet, and I would've happily come out of it. "Diversity!" I offer about as much diversity as a saltine cracker. If it were up to me, I would've been any of the diversities: Navajo, Pacific Islander, anything. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, I salute you and your 1/32 Cherokee heritage.
I also probably should have started a fake charity. Providing veterinary services for homeless people's pets. Collecting donations for the underprivileged chimpanzees of the Congo. Raising awareness for Chapped-Lips-in-the-Winter Syndrome. Fun-runs, dance-a-thons, bake sales—as long as you're using someone else's misfortunes to try to propel yourself into the Ivy League, you're golden.
Having a tiger mom helps, too. As the youngest of four daughters, I noticed long ago that my parents gave up on parenting me. It has been great in certain ways: Instead of "Be home by 11," it's "Don't wake us up when you come through the door, we're trying to sleep." But my parents also left me with a dearth of hobbies that make admissions committees salivate. I've never sat down at a piano, never plucked a violin. Karate lasted about a week and the swim team didn't last past the first lap. Why couldn't Amy Chua have adopted me as one of her cubs?
The reaction was swift: many people accused her of being a whiny, petulant child (and perhaps a racist). Others applauded her describing the brutal college admissions procedure and calling a spade a spade.
What do you think? Do you agree with Suzy Lee Weiss? Does the college admissions process unfairly penalize good students for being born with the (in this case) wrong skin color?