Do I have a right to feel upset?

So today I was speaking with my tutor about colleges I applied to. I applied to Cornell’s CALS and hope to get in, but she said that I’m not going to get in (considering that my test scores are a bit below the standard). I am not overconfident about my chances (I have a balanced list of schools) but it made me really upset for the rest of the day. Do I have a right to feel upset about what she said? I am aware that Cornell is a VERY difficult school to get in to, but it still really hurt when she said I’m not going to get in.

Neither of you will know for sure until you get a decision. She may have felt like she was being helpful and honest, but if you have already submitted applications to a balanced list of schools, I don’t know how she was either. She may not have meant to be hurtful, but she wasn’t tactful!

I recall last year that I was really blunt with a friend whose D had a very unrealistic list, not saying “she won’t get in” but saying “those schools are all so competitive that you really need to add a couple that you can count on”. As it turns out, she was accepted to only 2 of the 3 they added.

At some point, you may want to say something to her like "You know, I know that Cornell is a reach for me, but when you said with such certainty that I wouldn’t get in, I felt really hurt. I just kind of wanted to enjoy that possibility for a while, and your reaction seemed mean-spirited in the way it took it away from me. " or whatever you are feeling. But it wouldn’t hurt her to know how you felt, especially if she works as a tutor and is likely to be in that situation again. And it would probably make you feel better too!

First off, what do you mean a “bit low.” Some students say like 100 points is a bit low (ridiculous), but realistically, if you’re 20-40 points off, then it’s not game over.

What is your actual score? It is refreshing that GCs are realistic. As you haven’t cited your score, you must know it is out of range. Hurt feelings are better than wasting time and money on schools that are pointless rather than optimising your applications at appropriate schools.

Yes, I’m glad that GCs are realistic too. I know my score is out of range (I took the ACT and my english was a 34). I did choose plenty of appropriate schools. I knew Cornell was a reach, regardless of test scores, I was just upset that she said that. I handed it in and am anxiously awaiting March and hearing this doesn’t help. I appreciate her help, but it just made me so upset…

There is no “right” to feeling upset - it’s a feeling, after all. The question is whether your feelings are justified. Is the tutor speaking off the top of her head or is she trying to prepare you for a let-down? Were you chatting away enthusiastically about getting into CALS when she perhaps had a more temperate view of your chances and used that opportunity to try to reach you about that? Most fundamentally, did she actually say “you are not going to get in” or did you interpret her words as such? What did she actually say and what were you saying right prior to that?

Edit: No need to answer those here. Those are reflection questions.

It’s great to be hopeful and optimistic and to enjoy the process but that’s fleeting and doesn’t really matter when decisions are handed out. And some people are not going to have the skills they need to relate as well as they should - your tutor won’t be the last person you run up against who is like that. So suck it up, Buttercup (and I mean that in a good way). BTW, If you get in, you DO have the right to gloat over your tutor! :slight_smile:

Would you rather she’d lied and blown smoke up your hind end?

I was chatting with her over the phone about schools for the 15th deadline, and she recommended I switch my major interests (which was to environmental science, then english). I asked if it was okay, in her opinion, that I applied to CALS (I have a heightened interest in environmental sciences, taking AP Environmental Science currently and did an internship that revolved around conservation efforts in urban spaces) because the conversation implied that it didn’t. She flat out said, "You’re not getting into Cornell, so let’s focus on the 15th. Don’t get me wrong, I love my tutor. I’ve known her since I was in middle school, and we do get on each others nerves from time to time. I guess it made me really upset. Maybe I am acting dramatic, maybe not.

I have a niece whose guidance counselor told her “you’d have to be Marie Curie to get into Williams!” My niece was so discouraged to hear that the counselor thought she had no chance … well, guess what-- she was accepted to Williams despite the GC’s discouraging words!

You have a “right” to feel anything that you feel, about your tutors comment, as @JBStillFlying said above. You have already applied to CALS at Cornell-- let the process play out. I don’t know your stats, other than the 34, but that’s within range for Cornell, although it’s still a reach. As you no doubt know, CALS accepts based on the applicant’s fit for their proposed major, so if your coursework, “why Cornell” essay and ECs support your interest in environmental science, and your test scores and GPA are within the mid 50th percentile (or preferably top quartile) of averages for Cornell, you have as good a chance as anyone else of acceptance.

By the way, my D’s guidance counselor strongly advised her to apply to one college at Cornell-- my D refused, and went with the college that better reflected her interests – and she was accepted. I know other students who were not accepted at Cornell, and they went on to have rewarding college experiences and careers!

I’ve known her since I was in middle school, and we do get on each others nerves from time to time.<<<<<<<<

      Is this some kind of Jane Austin scenario tutor? I took it as GC, but maybe I am mistaken, what is this tutor situation and what is your actual ACT composite score?  

OP - are you saying from #7 that your tutor wants you to switch your major interest from ES to English? What are your math and science ACT scores? How about your Math and science grades? Has your tutor had this conversation with you about your major and about Cornell before, by any chance, or was this the first time?

Because my english score was significantly higher than the others, she wanted to switch my major (but this is not applicable to Cornell as I applied to CALS and this was after the application was sent). My math and science ACT were high 20s - which is not good. As for grades, I have a B+ in Bio (originally an A, but the last test killed me), B in chem, A in Honors Physics, and A in AP Environmental Science. No, she has not had this conversation with me before. She really didn’t work with me on the application process. I asked if she could spell and grammar check my essays but thats the extent of what she did.

“I asked if it was okay, in her opinion, that I applied to CALS…”

If you asked her what her opinion was, then you opened the door for her opinion. She could have been a bit more tactful, though.

Hmmm. OP, this person has been with you since middle school so most likely knows your strengths and weaknesses, not to mention ACT sub scores. Since you were chatting with her about your applications, you were keeping her in the loop about your progress either because she’s helping you stay on top of things or because you two have a personal friendship as well - or perhaps both. So yeah, her opinion was not tactfully delivered but it sounds like you two have known each other for awhile - perhaps you’ve heard a slightly sharp comment or two before now? Given that a major deadline was coming up, her goal at that time might have been to keep you focused on the tasks at hand so that everything gets in on time. Saying something like “let’s worry about CALS after the 15th” would have been more appropriate than what popped out of her mouth.

As you trust this person, her sharp words obviously stung you. Not a fun experience but good preparation for life. Follow up with her to get more insight into her thinking about your chances for a field in which you are obviously interested and mention that you were taken aback by the comment (expressing that you were hurt is probably not helpful - she’s your tutor and she’s there to take you to the next level, not bolster your self-esteem). Learning to look beyond the hurt will serve you splendidly once you get into the world of academics and business, where egos often dominate.

As an aside, and not to sidetrack you from the topic, it would seem that if you chose your colleges wisely, there should be no reason why you can’t study environmental science somewhere. High 20’s for Math and Science aren’t quite Ivy level (assuming you have no special circumstances, of course) but the grades are solid-to-excellent. A lot depends on where you applied and what you get into. Sometimes a better quality school not quite offering your major might be a better decision than sticking with one course of study at a lower quality school. Your tutor will have EXCELLENT advice on all of that, by the way.

Out of curiosity, what is your list of schools? And are you planning to follow her advice and change your major of interest?

Ya, I agree. I know its a long shot that I will get in, but it still hurt. I kind of swallowed it though, so its in the past. I was diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder, which severely impacted my transcript in high school (there weren’t any fails or anything below a B, but I was severely hindered by it). I recently got on medications to help mend it. As for changing the major, I relatively kept it the same. On Common App, it doesn’t list specific major (only order of academic interest unless applying to a certain school), so Environmental Sciences were usually ranked first as academic interest with English following (or the order reversed).

In your words: " I asked if it was okay, in her opinion, that I applied to CALS (I have a heightened interest in environmental sciences, taking AP Environmental Science currently and did an internship that revolved around conservation efforts in urban spaces) because the conversation implied that it didn’t. "

YOU ASKED WHETHER IT WAS OK… now you’re upset that she answered your question truthfully?? Was she supposed to lie to you?

So, short answer to your question: No, it’s not right to feel upset at her answer. It’s OK to feel badly that the school you want seems like a longshot, but not to be upset that your tutor gave you an honest answer to a question.