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On American admissions

I decided to write more about what I currently know best. That is admissions and financing said admissions in the Romanian context. Spending one year enthralled in everything admissions in the United States, I can wholeheartedly say that I still don’t know enough. I, most probably, will never know enough. No matter how much information I accumulate working with people in the field, it feels like quick sand. You work with one student hours on end for a certain essay only for that essay to only being read in half. They get reject by 19 and get accepted by one. There’s thing saying in the field: only one has to offer you a shot. One. And you are set.

We look at these institutions like they can rein hell or heaven in your life. If you go to a less accredited school, automatically you will have to work ten times harder to prove yourself compared to your American counter parts. “Oh, having Wellesley on your resume – that will get you places!” Wrong. Nobody taught me how to network, nobody taught me how to create a business from scratch, nobody taught me how to reach out, how to seek help, how to speak in public, how to not disagree in public because you don’t know when you will need the other person, and so many more that do not come with being accepted to an American college. It’s a ticket in a room. But it’s usually at the very back and you can’t properly hear what’s going on the stage. Your parents can’t support you, your friends are struggling to understand why you are struggling in the first place, you try to assimilate (don’t we all know that person from home that has become so westernized that is a bit ironic), you work unpaid jobs because labor is the one thing that gets praised here, not morals, cultures, values, and whatnot.

Have I not heard enough through the grapevine that different admission officers no longer want to accept Romanian students because ONE proved to be unworthy. (This is xenophobic in different layers, but you don’t need me to tell you that) Let me tell you something: if you accept one Romanian every couple of years and expect this only one human being to represent an entire country and hold up to stand every single admission cycle, you should never be in admissions in the first place. When you accept thousands of other ethnicities and nationalities, you offer the same chance – a thousand times more. We are struggling to offer these kids a better future. Why? Because there is none back home, no matter how much we pretend. I am proud to see my friends’ work, research, results, and more. From Ivy Leagues to not ranked schools, they are putting themselves out there, trying again and again. Now, this whole top ranked thing…

It’s like the popular girl. She’s only popular because we believe she is worthy of said popularity. If one day, people decide that Colgate is the best school in the world, then Colgate’s applications will go through the roof. It’s a business. It’s an industry. It’s no longer about your education. Thus, when kids come to me, demanding they will apply to the so-called top schools out there, I sigh. 

So, why are we doing everything we are doing? Truly, I don’t know. I am not trying to force these kids to emigrate and never look back at where they are coming from. But it wouldn’t hurt to try. 

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