THE SPIN: Open letter to the process we all know and hate


BP Photo by Eli Weiss

RARIFIED: To advance into the hallowed halls of university, our columnist says, students must first take the Sorrow And Trepidation exam, otherwise known as the SAT.

By Jacob Benezra, Page 3 Columnist

Dear College Admissions Process,

I could have started this letter while I was in the middle of completing your vital, yet aggravating, work. Instead, I composed myself, soldiered on through weeks and weeks of torture, and saved my rant for this day. You knew that you were governing our future, so you purposefully tested us, to get under our skin. So for now, sit down, don’t ask for one more essay or recommendation, and hear my list of grievances. 

Your process prevents us from enjoying the finer things in life, like chicken tenders… with curly fries… and a side of Western sauce. We are regulated by deadlines, and they suck. Ask my teachers — they know I hate deadlines. And this isn’t like plain old homework, or even a 10-page paper. It’s worse: it’s all my mere 17-years-of-life’s work, all condensed and delivered through a package of numbers and words on a page. It feels like we had to have started building our resume while still in our diapers. The more full and dramatic your life is, the better chance of being successful through your system. But how is 10-year-old me supposed to know that I need to build up my life experiences, so I can have the content to write long essays followed by various short essays some day for — you? 

Then, like some page from a dystopian novel, you force kids in every corner of the planet to file into classrooms and take the Sorrow And Trepidation exam, otherwise known as the SAT. Oh and did I mention the stakes are a bit high on this one. Do well and you are invited to advance into the rarified air of America’s higher education. Do poorly and — well I can’t even spell it out. I mean that sounds like something straight out of The Hunger Games.

In reality, I should press charges against you for the number of our emotions that you toyed with through your procedures this year. Even after we complete our applications, not only are we paranoid about not being good enough, we need to check our email every five minutes instead of focusing on other things.  I feel like my dad when he is on vacation, always thinking about business — the only difference is I don’t get glares from my mom. My classmates and I end up avoiding our peers because you don’t want to be jealous of their acceptance or vise versa. It was you who tried to turn us against each other, College Admissions Process. You causing stress, jealousy and emotional roller coasters for everybody. 

Honestly, if it weren’t for Aviva and Eli’s upbeat mood in their third-floor loft I don’t think I could have lasted long with you and your toxic process. But now that my torture is over I am officially breaking up with you. It’s not you … it’s me. I truly cannot stand you, and believe me, I’m not gonna stay quiet about all the grief you’ve caused me. I’m gonna warn all the underclassmen about your brutal dictatorship over my junior and first half of senior year. Because if nobody speaks against you, you’ll keep reigning your terror on the unaware youth to come.  So for the people that are going to be faced with this next, my advice: chicken tenders… with curly fries… and a side of Western sauce beside you.