Someone recently gave me an important piece of advice: A rejection doesn’t take away what you’ve already accomplished. I’m really freaked out about getting the rest of my college decision at the end of this month, but I’ll make the most of wherever I go. Apparently I also knew that when I was 15. The other day I found this essay that I wrote two years ago.
Why I’ll be Okay If I Don’t Get Into an Ivy League School
I’m only a sophmore in high school, and I’ve already developed my list of the colleges to which I’ll be applying. Of course my list is peppered with the so-called “match” and “safety” schools, but I and thousands of other students around the country are aiming to be selected for a spot at some of the most selective schools in the nation, most notably, colleges in the Ivy League.
It should be noted that the Ivy League is actually an athletic conference, not some prestigious group that awards membership on the basis of academic excellence or selectivity in admissions. Going to an Ivy League school won’t automatically guarantee you fame and fortune, no matter how much their published alumni lists try to convince you.
A few months ago, I received a copy of Writing Poetry by John Holmes, a writer who attended Harvard University as a graduate student. Although he published nine books and several works in publications such as the Atlantic, the New Yorker, and the Kenyon Review, this esteemed poet is virtually unheard of in today’s literary scene. Upon further investigation in the form of a Google search, the Wikipedia pages of five John Holmeses appear. Of these search results, John Holmes the poet was not the first listing. Instead, the man who took the title of the first John Holmes listed is John C. Holmes, one of the most prolific pornographic actors of all time.
The college you’ll attend won’t be the deciding factor of whether you’ll accomplish something great or not; going to an Ivy League school won’t insure that your books won’t go out of print and your accomplishments will be remembered; the Wikipedia page of a porn star may even end up being more popular than your own. You can attend an “elite” college and still end up fading into oblivion.