Wednesday, April 3, 2013

It's Official - I'm Old

Last Saturday, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed piece from a high school senior who was bitter about all of the colleges who had rejected her  and the “lies” that “just be[ing] yourself” is good enough to get into the college of your choice.   This article by Caity Weaver expresses appropriate outrage at the brazen entitlement, but I think was still too soft on Ms. Weiss.  Weaver nails Weiss on her racism, insensitive understanding of what it means to be a gay teenager and distaste for do-gooders, but can you imagine how tedious Weiss is in person?  “Look at me!  I’m awesome! I deserve the world for being so crazy amazing, even if established metrics suggest otherwise!  And those that don’t recognize my awesomeness are just jealous haters!”  (Side note: is “they’re just jealous” not the most amusing constant refrain of the least admirable of us all?)

In fairness to Ms. Weiss, I used to do Harvard interviews at my high school and always thought “WTF?  How can this kid do all of these extra curriculars and volunteer work and still pull these grades AND have a 1580 SAT (old scale).”  I often said that if I were applying to Harvard now, I’d never get in because I only had good grades and athletic skills.  But admissions is a game, and those kids wanted to win, so they put in the effort to come out on top.  And if I had the set of rules that they do today, I too would have done what I needed to do to be a competitive application.  Many of my interviewees were first generation Americans and had the tiger moms desired by Weiss, but they started with far fewer resources than Weiss.   And I don’t care what their motivation is for doing charity work, they’re doing it – and that’s better than being a self-centered twit sitting at home and complaining that the world is not bowing before them.  

Weiss is a product of a generation raised by giving everyone a trophy and not keeping score at youth soccer games, as epitomized by this embarrassment.  Sorry, kids, there are winners and there are losers.  Yes, it’s true that many times winners have a head start, like Ms. Weiss, who has a sister who works at the WSJ and helped her sour grapes gain national attention, but more often than not hard work is a prerequisite to success and sometimes, even with the most earnest effort, someone else does a little better.  

And this entire entry was written old school, while walking barefoot, over hot coals, backwards, up a hill, because I am apparently a grumpy old lady.  But seriously, pull your sh*t together and lose the self-absorption, next generations!!


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