Thursday, 14 March 2019

I Didn't Get In To My Top Choice College... and I Survived


Today's post was going to be a detailed account about my experience applying and getting accepted to grad school. I wrote it a while ago and it's been sitting in my drafts folder. It was pretty funny to read back on all the stress I went through, knowing how things turned out in the end.

However, the recent news about the college admissions scam has been on my mind a lot. When the news first broke, I was furious to read about the bribing that occurred, especially because it involved a YouTuber that I used to watch. It's disgusting and almost laughable that people who have access to quality private school education, tutors, SAT prep courses etc. take the easy route.

I thought back to all of the work that I put in during high school to boost my grades, get involved at school, and even retake a course when I didn't get the mark that I had hoped for. Although I didn't enjoy my undergrad program at first, I made the best of it and later fell in love with my classes and field of study. I put in a substantial amount of effort to get into grad school, so I could further my education and help improve my job prospects.

By my junior year, I was studying for a large part of the day. When I wasn't in class, I was doing readings, writing detailed study notes for midterms, and strategizing how I would get an A+ on my next paper instead of an A. I also worked 5 full-time internships throughout my undergrad, which meant that I had to give up my summer vacations.

When I was applying to grad school, I had my heart set on one school in particular. I knew that I would be disappointed if I didn't get in, but I genuinely thought that I had a good chance because my grades were competitive and I had lots of relevant work experience.

And guess what? I DIDN'T GET IN! I was at the top of the waitlist but never received an acceptance. But everything worked out in the end. I survived. The world didn't stop spinning.

I got into my second choice school, met a great group of friends, and did a practicum project that really interested me under the guidance of an amazing supervisor. Attending this school has not drastically changed my career prospects, if at all.

If you don't get in to one of your top choice schools or programs, this does not take away from your accomplishments. You should feel proud of all of the honest hard work that you put in, the grades that you earned, the awards you won, and the sacrifices you made. You can make the best of attending your second, third, or even fourth choice school or try transferring to your top choice at a later time. I promise you that it's not the end of the world.

So, although this scandal angered me, it has left me me feeling very proud of my achievements and work ethic. I also feel very blessed to have attended one of the top universities in Canada and to have parents that supported me. I feel for the students who faced many additional barriers to get to where they are today and those that had to pass up opportunities.

Lying and cheating may get you ahead in the short term, but I truly believe that karma will catch up in the end.

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