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Philosophical Musing: Why do we crave to belong to ogranizations that don't want us?

denydenzigdenydenzig 258 replies20 threads Junior Member
Whether it is "secret organizations" or "popular cliques" in school, or in this case, highly selective universities, which say no to 90%+ of applicants, we humans seem to most want validation from those that don't particularly want to return our love.

In the case of college admissions, if the university says yes to 60% or 70% of its applicants, most don't seem to value such a university as much as a university that says yes to only 9% of its applicants. I know there are exceptions, but as a general rule, it seems to be true.

Do you think there is an evolutionary basis to this? It seems true for many cultures, from what i can see, not just the US.
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Replies to: Philosophical Musing: Why do we crave to belong to ogranizations that don't want us?

  • LindagafLindagaf 9487 replies507 threads Senior Member
    edited February 2017
    Everyone wants the thing they can't have. It's envy, pure and simple. I am not a psychologist, but no doubt it's all linked together in a combination of Darwinsm, mob mentality, desire for power, and a bunch of other stuff that all relates to ultimately, wanting to be the high man on the totem pole. Do I get an A for effort?:-)
    edited February 2017
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  • MassDaD68MassDaD68 1524 replies24 threads Senior Member
    Because everyone wants to be one of the "cool kids".
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  • yonceonhismouthyonceonhismouth 1953 replies24 threads Senior Member
    I think with college admissions, it comes down to people want what seems unattainable. I see it in my school with the people who are admitted to Ivies- they're treated like gods because they got into schools that reject so many applicants. I personally dislike this mythologizing of the Ivy League schools because while they are incredible academic institutions there are many other schools (top LACs, top publics, etc.) that are better fits for other students.

    Also, people want prestige. Many are obsessed with name recognition and think gaining admission to a top-20 school will ensure happiness later in life.
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  • atlascentauratlascentaur 74 replies8 threads Junior Member
    edited February 2017
    College admissions are part of an obsessed culture - obsessed with the myth of a linear path to success. Assuming that success comes from thriving in K12 then moving to a top college from which you graduate top of class then get a stupendous job...which bores you for the next 40 years.

    Except, most people change careers several times. Few 18 year olds know enough about themselves to choose a career that is theirs for life (a few do). At 18, kids need room to explore outside the fetters of high school and family - to begin to choose for themselves.

    I once spoke about my career at my son's middle school. A team of three of us circulated. I have had 3 careers (mathematician, supercomputer salesman, and now TV adman). The school superintendent was on his 3rd career. So, too, was the local college counselor.

    To answer your question, then...

    ...Our kids crave what we are told to crave (an arbitrarily determined set of "these are your career makers").
    ...Our kids are told those are the way to success starting in late elementary school (or earlier - have you seen the BS about 3rd grade reading predicting college success? Ridiculous).
    ...Our kids would love to have their lives fall together so simply that there are no hard choices, failures, struggles, or searches for themselves.

    ...Then admissions officers, school brochures, SAT & ACT, and "the search" all sell the myth that the perfect college entrance and admission is the key to a stress and trouble free life.

    ...This mythology is big and those exclusive universities seem to promise life without difficulty.
    ...And there's a human reaction to want what we can't have... Perhaps it's simply that eternal search to fill the places inside us that tell us we're not ok.

    With maturity, this ebbs. But between social/school pressure for the perfect transition to career and our own human-ness, our kids face a really tough process. We've tried to establish looser vision of success for our kids. And they understand it but fight the feelings and pressures anyway.
    edited February 2017
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