Unfortunately there are a few hidden facts.
- The sister of this teenage girl is an associate editor on the Wall Street Journal.
- The article has been widely reprinted.
- The writer did get into a very good university. Apparently she applied to more than 20 universities and was accepted by 10 of them. She did get to choose.
Nevertheless I think she makes some very sound points.
I get sick to the teeth of people who set up charities which are actually only established to enhance them and not the recipients. There is one particular potential politician around here who plays that game often. And then there are the Foundations that are only for taxation purposes.
Studious people are frequently overlooked in favour of wanna-be celebrities. University is supposed to be about learning not personality. It is the quiet achiever who helps the world the most. The high-flyers are not always the long term success stories.
You can not judge a book by its cover. The CV may be overstating some work. The manager of household services may actually have been the person who phoned for a cleaner. The volunteering may have been only once a month, not twice a week. And more.
The students, the course, and the university must be matched carefully. A degree in English literature from Cambridge is not very useful if you live in Alice Springs. A PhD in astrophysics from Beijing is wonderful if it helps you contribute to the world, but not much use if you end up unemployed in Nigeria.
Some teenagers are mini versions of parents acting out their own fantasies. Is it the parent or the child who has done the work? The training schedule? The motivating?
Read it. Watch the video clip. Think about people you know.