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I'm depressed that my friend got into Columbia and I did not

felixmendelssohnfelixmendelssohn Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
I'm the valedictorian of my class and I have a 4.3 GPA and 2400 SAT. He only has a 3.4 GPA and 1810 SAT, but he's black and he worked in a senator's office in our state after sophomore year and did an internship the summer after junior year in the senator's office in D.C. He also worked on a campaign of someone who was running for a state senate office. We both applied to Columbia. He didn't even think he was going to get in (our guidance councilor told him he shouldn't bother to apply because he most likely wasn't going to get in) and I was and still am extremely embarrassed that he got in and I didn't. I didn't get into any Ivy League school and I'm going to public state university that's basically crap compared to Columbia. I feel like this is unfair and that I wasted so much time that I could've spent doing things other than studying. I also feel embarrassed that I just did boilerplate extra curricular things like being the president of clubs. I wasn't even on any sports teams. I'm still completely shocked that he even got in. I feel so depressed and I've been crying about it. I'm so pissed I don't even know what to do.

Replies to: I'm depressed that my friend got into Columbia and I did not

  • bodanglesbodangles Registered User Posts: 8,327 Senior Member
    You're going to college, and you're going to do well because of those study skills you've developed throughout high school. Hardly a waste.

    Don't blame your friend for there being thousands and thousands of applicants and only a 6.1% admit rate.
  • Redducky22Redducky22 Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    Do really well at the public university and transfer to a better school! Get involved, know your professors, get good recs and you'll be fine!
  • Fishnlines29Fishnlines29 Registered User Posts: 1,538 Senior Member
    @felixmendelssohn I agree with bodangles. It's normal to feel disappointed but I think it's unfair for you to compare yourself to him. He was also a qualified candidate and this happens - the school isn't looking at you two side by side. .

    You're clearly a hard worker and of course it wasn't all for nothing. College is what you make of it - take advantage of as many opportunities you can while you are there!

    What is your public state? I assume it's a good one if you didn't look at anything "in between!"
  • renaissancedadrenaissancedad Registered User Posts: 1,409 Senior Member
    edited April 19
    @felixmendelssohn wrote:

    I feel like this is unfair and that I wasted so much time that I could've spent doing things other than studying. I also feel embarrassed that I just did boilerplate extra curricular things like being the president of clubs.
    Not to be harsh, but maybe that's part of the problem. 2400 SAT plus valedictorian doesn't go very far for top schools. If you came across as someone who "wasted time" doing "boilerplate" activities then I'm not surprised you didn't get in.

    I would approach college as a fresh start and with a different attitude. Do the things that excite you, and do them with gusto, and see where it takes you. The other approach didn't work out too well.
  • MassDaD68MassDaD68 Registered User Posts: 1,427 Senior Member
    Chin up. You will do well wherever you go. Columbia is not the be all end all.
  • TiggerDadTiggerDad Registered User Posts: 925 Member
    There are no in-state public universities that I'd regard as "crap." They all provide fine education, often as good as any top "elite" institutions. It's now all about your attitude. I don't know what your friend has anything to do with the fact that you didn't get into Columbia and he did. It wouldn't have made any difference in the outcome regardless of your friend. Get over it as soon as you can by doing whatever that would help you get over it. Then, concentrate on your undergrad work with the goal of attending one of those elite grad schools.
  • lvvcsflvvcsf Registered User Posts: 1,892 Senior Member
    You are legitimately angry and resentful. This is "life is not fair 101" and it hurts. However, you will eventually need to let it go. Being angry and resentful changes nothing for you or your friend or anyone else out there in a similar situation. All that hard work you did, well you did it and while it didn't result in the outcomes you wanted you have come out of it a dedicated student who has proven he can do the best work. This is a journey and college was never the end goal, just another step in the road. Keep up the good work and opportunities will be there even if they aren't the ones you expect.
  • Emsmom1Emsmom1 Registered User Posts: 775 Member
    Yes, it is a bummer that your friend got in with lower stats (although, it seems, better ECs) than you, but that's the way it is in college admissions. Stats aren't everything. Go to the state school and either do well enough to transfer (obviously you're smart enough to do very well!) or graduate from the state school and apply to Columbia for grad school. Let yourself be sad for a while, though. It is a big disappointment.
  • SouthernHopeSouthernHope Registered User Posts: 1,751 Senior Member
    If you took out all of the information about your friend and just left the rest (2400 SAT, V of class) and then the feeling of anger that you have at yourself for not doing something more "special" in the EC realm, it'd be cool/understandable for you to be bummed out. I think the issue here is that 2200 people were accepted to the freshman class. You don't know 2199 of them so you can't compare yourself...but the one guy you do know, you can't help but think that you're a better qualified candidate (though i"ve got to say that his ECs really do look good).

    In any case, it's okay to feel bad. No one can blame you.
  • CU123CU123 Registered User Posts: 1,306 Senior Member
    Nothing to do about it now, get a 4.0 at a flagship state school and you will get some great job offers or acceptances to top grad schools.
  • billcshobillcsho Registered User Posts: 16,752 Senior Member
    A hook may trump any stat. There are probably over a hundred of applicant with SAT 1600/2400 applying to Columbia, but there may not be many with the same hook like your friend.
  • rdng09rdng09 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Ugh. That's terrible, and exactly the type of story that affirmative action unfortunately inspires. Remember college isn't the end all, you will be amazing at whatever you choose to do. In the long run, you are better equipped than your friend with your work ethic and study skills to face college, no matter where you guys go.
  • sushirittosushiritto Registered User Posts: 1,136 Senior Member
    The OP should read the writings of an author by the name of Ta-Nehisi Coates. He writes for The Atlantic among other publications. My D had to read his book this year and also an essay by him too for her AP Language and Composition class, and I read along with her, otherwise I probably would have never heard of him.

    Essentially a discussion of the systematic treatment of black people over the centuries here in America. I only mention it, because schools like Columbia want to have multi-racial classes and in order to meet that need, they sometimes have to admit students of color with lower stats, but those lower stats were due in part to that systematic treatment over the centuries.

    Just food for thought for the OP. Your success and happiness isn't dependent on studying at Columbia. Best of luck.
This discussion has been closed.