Saw this on my Facebook feed a few days ago from an international student with an extreme case of poor me syndrome. Probably the most entitled thing I've ever read.
Oh, and for context, this school is a semi-target at best. All references to the school's name have been replaced with "the College."
No Graduation for Me
Today is the graduation ceremony for my college, a prestigious liberal arts college. Every senior who has finished the requirements of the majors and minors are expected to be on the stage to pick up their proof of success, the graduation diploma, from the College. Though finished with everything and qualified to obtain the diploma, I will choose not to go on the stage but to stand among the crowd with my beloved professors.
The reason why I am not joining my fellow successful classmates is that I do not believe I deserve to be deemed as successful. A successful student, in my opinion, should be the one who has already had a job after junior summer, which would pay a handsome $100k to $200k salary on their first year after graduation as an investment banker or an associate in private equity firms such as. Under these standards, without doubt I am not a successful student here. The reason for me not achieving those standards are totally voluntarily. I did badly in some of my classes and did not network as hard as some to secure a job. I totally blame myself for those and am deeply disappointed at myself. My friends are graduating with summa and magma cum laudes, and I am graduating with astronomical and unforgivable regrets.
But should I have such regrets and disappointments for myself? Throughout my years in the College, I have researched intensively about various topics such as Brexit, Chinese stock link and housing market and have a publication under my name that got into Top 10 lists on the research databases for frequent downloads. I have a research scholarship, which eventually got canceled due to unclear reasons, which may be due to my stomach issues last semester that caused me to miss a lot of classes. I also have interned in investment banking,, sales and trade and commodity exchange in firms in China and am currently interning in a SF firm for their branches in China. For Master in Finance programs, I have offered scholarships from University of Rochester and Stevens Institute of Technology only days after I submitted my applications. It is the freedom of you, the reader, to judge whether I am successful or not.
For me, I still feel deeply disappointed at myself. I did not fulfill the path that the College constructed for me since freshman year. As a student in the College's economics department and members in the students organizations such as the Student Investment Fund and Consulting Club, I was given very generous resources to utilize, very successful examples to follow, and very clear path to achieve: an research in freshman summer, an internship in smaller institutions in sophomore summer, an internship in bigger institutions in junior summer and a successful future career in the United Stated right afterwards. I was on this direct express earlier, but eventually failed off due to my own performance in some classes, which were totally my own faults.
The matter is not about myself nor whether my situation is pitiful; it is about the extremely singular career goals desired by the College culture. No matter what backgrounds and personalities the students have, they are presented with glorious but singular career paths that promise a clear way for anyone to reach supposed class of social elite. In the College, the incoming students are all well-established high school students who come to aim high, and the plans for career paths given to us plan everyone with even higher and rosier expected returns. For my years in the College, I did not succeed in achieving the path, got lost and, fortunately found my true self through many sufferings and agonies.
I heard and agreed with a theory: the purpose of education is not about artificially improving students' abilities but about screening those who naturally have superior abilities. It is not a problem to be screened out of the 0.1% of population, at least for me. I understand my background may not support me to reach that high. The real issue is about how to view and treat the students who unfortunately get screened out. The College should have proposed more effective ways to help those students, which I understand is practically very difficult to achieve.
Here, I want to express my sincere appreciations for my professors and friends. I apologize for my past actions that may disappoint you all. With many name needed to be mention, I want to express extra appreciations to [Econ professor] who allowed me to research with him for three years, to [Econ professor] who always encouraged me that it is not too late to put a effort in her office where probably only I dared to go to, and to [Econ professor] who solved many issued after I got disappointed and encouraged me with his signature attitude "S**t happens". Besides professors, I need and must thank all my friends, which is impossible for me to list everyone out in this paragraph, for being with me and encouraging me when those sufferings and agonies blocked my mind. I have solved my issues and am currently aiming to achieve my true self.
My words are intended not to show any deficiencies about the College nor to gain any sympathy for myself, as everyone by God needs to suffer in order to improve and evolve. It is for those who feel they are in adversity that need to clear their mind to live on and thrive. Agreeing with Mr. Bloomberg, I believe there is no place in the society for people to completely ignore any dilemma and disappointments and only enjoy happiness. People need to adjust their attitude to adopt changing environment. And the most significant things we, as civilized citizens under globalization, are able to do are to understand people's frustrations, to care their feelings and to encourage them to stand back on their feet through their own self-motivation.
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