Amplifying Voices: Random thoughts on Operation Varsity Blues
Amplifying Voices From : Elisa Camahort Page - Professional & Political
Like a certain fraudster’s scion I also did not care much about college because I thought I knew the only path I’d ever care about.
And I also lived in California which has a massive public university systems, both the UCs, which have a good national reputation, and the CSUs, which don’t have the reputation that many of them should have. My alma mater, San Jose State University (SJSU), for example, was just named as the most under-rated *value* in colleges.
Point being that I had great options at varying levels of cost and reputation.
Because I didn’t care about college but felt it was expected 100% that I go, I went to SJSU and lived at home to boot. My focus was to get in and out as quickly as possible and save as much money for my planned move to NYC post-graduation. I worked part-time the whole time in college, and my mom did pay the, wait for it, $800 per semester in tuition.
I’m sure my parents were disappointed I didn’t shoot higher. I did apply to a few other places, but I wasn’t that great of a student honestly. My SATs were good but not very upper echelon. I think I bought one of those thick books with sample tests to prepare, but I also just didn’t care that much about that.
In college I continued my mediocre path. I certainly got in and out in 4 years, and I was mostly an A and B student. I don’t remember my GPA. It was over 3.0 I’m sure. But I did not set the world on fire. And I took classes designed to make sure I could get in and out quickly with more effort focused on than the performative aspects of my major/minor, versus academic enrichment.
As it turned out, I figured out that the thing I thought was going to be my only life path was NOT going to be my life path at the age of 26.
Which, in its way, was liberating, because from there I could decide to do anything.
At that point I guess it could have mattered more where I went, how I did, and so on. And I certainly worked at tech companies where the Cal/Stanford/MIT holy trinity was worshipped.
What’s my point? I am not sure.
I just want kids and parents to know that not everyone follows the same path to get to the same success. That this admissions scandal seems utterly appalling but also utterly unnecessary. These kids were already white and wealthy. With a rich network to tap of people who would give them a shot because of who they were and where they came from. This was the very definition of money poorly spent.
The people who need that kind of push are those for whom college is their most fruitful source of network building for the rest of their life. Where college can actually give them a boost they can’t get through money or family connections.
It’s just pathetic (and ultimately unsurprising).