'Lazy' Teen Writes Angry Letter to Colleges That Rejected Her

Say What!? 24

collegeThere seem to be just two responses to the latest essay going viral on the Internet. Either you love the open letter in the Wall Street Journal dubbed "To All the Colleges That Rejected Me" or you hate it. No matter which side you're on, Suzy Lee Weiss, the teenage girl who wrote it, has a message for you.

Rejection is good for our kids. Just look what it did for her.

Weiss, whose op-ed has her being called an entitled brat by some, a fresh and sardonic wit by others, is still in high school at Pittsburgh's Taylor Allderdice High School. And yet she already landed herself a prime slice of publishing real estate in one of the nation's top papers. As she's since admitted, it was being rejected from her dream school that made a difference:

My friends and family have told me to write my whole life, but I needed the fire under my tush to really get writing. 

And what a fire. Her essay on the college admissions process assesses the need for students to go to extreme lengths to be noticed by the nation's top colleges.

Love it or hate it, it's making waves. It's given Weiss a new direction in her life, pushed her toward writing, for which she clearly has a knack.

Moms? Dads? There's a message in this, and it isn't about whether or not your kids are diversifying their extracurriculars enough to garner the attention of the Ivy League.

We've been handed the prime example for why kids need to be allowed to fall down, why kids need to be rejected.

It will hurt. But it will also force them to readjust their sails and chart a new course in life.

Harsh? Of course. But such is life. If a kid can't handle a "no" by the time they're applying for colleges, frankly you've failed them. They need to be able to duck and roll when the punches come out, so they can quickly bounce back onto their feet.

And what a lesson that is for kids if they CAN do that! To get a rejection from a college can be a crushing blow, but for a kid to realize that they can recover from it is awfully empowering ... and at the best time too. Nothing like a message that you don't need Mom and Dad to fix everything for you just as you're about to leave the nest.

What do you think of college rejections? Are they good for kids? How would YOUR kid handle it?


Image via stockmonkeys.com/Flickr

college, school


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bella... bellacazzate

I guess it's given her "prime" publishing real-estate, but her sister is Bari Weiss who was an editorial features editor for WSJ and the WSJ has also done a feature on her parents' luxury property. I'm sure she'll do just fine wherever she ends up -- regardless of where she gets rejected from. She's already proven she has connections. 

mande... manderspanders

I think it is a great article... for several reasons.

First, it is clear that kids today are pushed to do things that are relatively meaningless to them for the sake of a college application. Why are parents and colleges putting so much emphasis on these things?  It is also clear that these types of activities only foster bragging and snobbishness in those who get to do them vs. those who do not.  Having GENUINE life experiences at an early age can deeply impact a person - and that needs to be recognized.  But merely "creating" these experiences for a college application is a big farce - and the parents know it.

Second, it is a wake up call to this young generation: You ARE NOT as unique, special, important, or entitled as you have been lead to believe you are. You do not deserve things you haven't really worked for; everyone will not hand you everything just for being your "special" self.


mande... manderspanders

Third, I think it opens up to a broader problem in society that affects people of all ages. Why on earth is everyone (from HR to colleges) looking for the "it" or "wow" factor??  Why can't people just be assessed on the merits of their experiences?  This girl might be a plain jane who doesn't have an impressive school resume but that doesn't mean that she wouldn't be a dedicated student, potential leader, or someone who could otherwise well represent the school she choose.  Likewise, those searching for jobs should be valued on the basis of their experiences, even there isn't anything particularly standout. An educated military veteran who has had to take care of family while working dead end jobs isn't less valuable, ethical, or hardworking than a blond bombshell fresh out of college with an "impressive" college resume with no real life experience... in fact the lack of real life experience devalues whatever impressive "wow factor" crap one can put on a resume. 

It will be interesting to see what happens to this girl. Glad to see she had a wake-up call, though. It will serve her well.

bella... bellacazzate

What is "real life experience," MP? 

mande... manderspanders

well, I can tell you my "real life experience":  how about living, working, paying rent on my own at the age of 17 (by my own choice)... how about being so poor, I was a day away from living out of my car. how about being the sole caretaker for your dying mother (because hospice can't come everyday). how about making bad decisions, learning from them on your own, with no one to bail you out? how about NOT HAVING EVERYTHING HANDED TO YOU ON A SILVER PLATTER?

If you personally haven't worked for it, then it was handed to you.  If you haven't had to work for it (whatever that "it" is) then you don't really have the knowledge the real life experiences can give you. When you live in the "real world", you don't always get your way, you figure things out on your own, you become resourceful, build empathy and compassion, you learn to trust your instincts, and you learn that NO ONE will cover your ass but you. 

So, bellacazzate, BECAUSE you have to ask that question, I have to assume that you just. don't. get. it.

Lovin... LovinJerseyMama

I'm with you on that  Manderspanders. 

bella... bellacazzate

Glad you got that off your chest. I was curious because it appears that only downtrodden things qualify as "real world experience." 


redK8... redK8blueSt8

I think her op-ed piece is tongue-in-cheek satire, hilarious, and true. Colleges what unique to the nth that unique has become synonymous with regular. If every one's special then no one is.

fleur... fleurdelys3110

Love the letter. It's so true. Most high school students do not have a sob story. Most are just regular kids who stayed up till all hours of the night studying, stressed out over tests, and were the president of three separate clubs. But I guess colleges don't appreciate good old fashioned work ethic anymore. They just want sensationalism in the name of "diversity'. *snort*. Institutions of higher learning have become a complete joke.

fleur... fleurdelys3110

Also Jeanne, if you think kids "need to be rejected" even though they spent their wholes lives working toward that goal, only to be passed over for someone of inferior intellect, then you clearly were an underachiever in school and don't and will never understand.

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