May 25, 2014. Today I committed to being part of the student body at Dartmouth College.
More specifically, I’m going to be one of “those” transfer students that Dartmouth accepted less than twenty of this year (a mere 2% of all applicants).
Life is going to be difficult, even in the most indescribable ways, but no one ever said it was easy. Frankly, it would’ve been difficult if I hadn’t been part of the Ivy League posse anyways. Strangely, people around me are already asking “how do you get accepted to a prestigious bastion like Dartmouth?” To be honest, I really don’t know. Besides empty cliches of maintaining a great GPA and being well-rounded (verbatim), I don’t quite know what makes certain applicants more distinguished than others when everybody is, painstakingly, over-qualified. I don’t know. I really don’t know. And personally, I really don’t want to know. If I know, I’m scared I might become complacent, confident and incredibly sure that I was deserving of such an opportunity. And that’s not fair. Most importantly, I may be wrong.
It’s kind of silly for me to be so proud of attending Dartmouth (you don’t even go to Harvard, what’s wrong with you), but I really am. I’m not proud that I’m going to an Ivy League institution, but I’m proud of the fact that I worked my butt off to go to a school that I wanted to go to. Yes, I know dream schools reek of pink frostings and tiaras; the whole notion is totally tawdry and rather mercenary. We strive for difference yet when inside such academic corridors of high society, Dartmouth could effortlessly be a playground for the world’s elite and brightest. They’re conversations passed ostentatiously around the dinner table accompanied by hearty backslapping and the expectation they ought to be fulfilled. But I also feel that such schools serve as goals, attainable or not, and prophecies for students who may feel like they don’t quite belong; you may just as well belong. For many, internalized hopes silently whispered into the sky, college should be a place of growth, especially personal growth. It’s a time for discovery or rather re-discovery; a time of recollection, and a time that cannot be granted any years later. Take advantage of it. Don’t take it for granted.
“Be you because others are taken.” Good Luck, you!