Thursday, April 15, 2010

The appeal

The life saver. Hoping it works, but it's still good to know how to swim without it anyway.

Last weekend, I helped a high school senior kid write a Letter of Appeal in a last ditch effort to get into his top choice college, from which he had been rejected. It was a pretty good letter, even before I stepped in and finessed it for him. Very personal stuff, which is what a letter of appeal should be.

I wrote a letter of appeal way back when too. My parents were pinning their hopes of sending both their children to Berkeley. One of many disappointments from their children. I didn't particularly care for Berkeley, even if I was hoping to be accepted from them too. The prestige blinded me a bit, just like how whenever I see Chanel I want to have it, even if Chanel isn't really my style.

Anyway, my appeal failed. In the end, it turned out the way it was supposed to for me, and I love being an Aggie. But I'm rooting for this kid. It takes a lot of guts to spill it all out in a letter, which will be read by a bunch of strangers - strangers who, at least seemingly, hold the success of your future in their hands. It's an intimidating task.

If worse comes to worse, he can still attend his top choice school by going to a community college for a year or two, then transferring. This is also a smart choice, monetary-wise, albeit not always the most desirable choice, especially to a young person longing to break away from old ties and build new ones for himself.

Good grief. College is such a confusing path! Yet, for many students, it's the only path they ever think of. I know it was for me. I think I would have been disowned by my entire family and all my friends if I had chosen a non-traditional 4-year college career.

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