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Magical thinking

tdy123tdy123 Registered User Posts: 436 Member
edited November 2017 in College Confidential Cafe
I've noticed a trend on CC (and, of course in "real" life, such as it is) where people insist that despite documented evidence that is completely contrary to their stated opinion, the evidence is meaningless and somehow doesn't apply to them.

On CC, it seems to haunt the chance threads where people insist that they, or the OP in the thread, have near certain acceptance to (pick one) Harvard, Stanford, Yale or (any other random top 100 school) despite CDS numbers that indicate <1% of enrolled students have stats as low as theirs. Usually they attribute it to a peculiar definition of "holistic" admissions that they believe guarantees every unique snowflake a free pass from the reality of GPA, standardized test scores, recommendations, essays and EC's.

Next there are those who insist their opinions are the absolute, total truth, because "an admissions officer" told them, and any evidence on the college website to the contrary is totally false.

Lastly, there are the overly entitled prep school bunch who think just because the school sends XX% to IVY, they will be the lucky one who not only gets in, but gets in to thier first choice despite a) lackluster grades and standardized test scores; b) not being a legacy (unlike most of the admits to Ivy's from their prep) and c) not having immensely rich parents (who make up most of the IVY admits from their prep with less than stellar grades),

OK, vent over. thanks for reading!

Replies to: Magical thinking

  • bjkmombjkmom Registered User Posts: 7,535 Senior Member
    It's Special Snowflake Syndrome.

    Yes, on paper I'm just like those other thousands of kids who didn't get in, but I'm special!!! And my specialness is sure to shine through on my application, and I'll beat the odds.

    I'm all in favor of taking a chance-- you've seen the Lotto commercials, and know that "you can't win it if you're not in it." And those schools do accept someone, so why not apply if you meet the qualifications?

    But it's a stretch from there to "I know I'll get in."

    The reason it's so pervasive here is because it's anonymous. If they end up attending their local state university, the only single safety their hubris will allow, they simply fade out of sight.
  • zannahzannah Registered User Posts: 1,088 Senior Member
    Let me add two oldies to your list. First, there is the plea that I will do so much better if given another chance. Maybe you could but how much better mark do you expect? We can't get a higher score beyond a few points because grades and tests are designed to sort students by level of performance. An individual student has no more right to a second chance than anyone else. You are encouraged to show your foot or what you can really do on your first try.

    The second is denial of admission to students with relatively poorer information provided by eager students at admission. I have heard quite a few students complain that they desperately wanted to attend a particular school. These students do not ever mention or reflect on the enthusiasm of very qualified students who were admitted. The complaint is made so emotionally. This feels like admission should be based on the quality of sentiments found on greeting cards.

    Finally, an extra observation. Students on CC seem to want to accumulate nuggets to put in the scale that measure weight of gold. Nuggets include hooks, how many businesses or clubs a student states, how many AP classes are a really good number, which is better, AP chemistry versus AP statistics, the number of ECs and whether basketball is better than music and so on. I feel students are searching for the perfect, mind boggling profile that assures admissionsw. However, even though I support putting the best foot forward, there is no formal rule for foot. Do you see the change in nuggets from this year to last? Instead, do as well as you can and do whatever that is with joy and enthusiasm.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,774 Senior Member
    There is also the exaggeration of the effect of the minor hooks (legacy and (especially) URM) to the point that some posters seem to think that they guarantee admission to super selective schools even for applicants at the lower margin of academic credentials of the admit range.

    More types of magical thinking:

    * "Safeties" that are really not safeties.
    * Unwillingness to consider financial constraints before making the application list.
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