Of course, becoming someone is a two way street. When someone gets famous and says “
some school rejected me and it changed my life” to some random interviewer, ten different thoughts shoot out in ten different directions depending on who the reader is. The most basic reaction is probably something akin to “wow, they got rejected by school. I’m shocked!”
What follows is the part that matters… is it more important that the school is that much more prestigious for turning down your favourite actor or singer, or is the school pathetic and shallow for not seeing their potential when it had been so obvious?
The thing with me was that nothing was obvious. I somehow had the idea that i could trump everyone else’s comparable scores with a slew of activities like acting and writing and volunteering, and while schools do claim to care a lot about all of that but they honestly don’t really seem to mind either way. Unless you’re submitting a portfolio, they like to hear about competing, and winning – not showcasing and performing … unless you were winning while doing that.
I was a special challenge because i was undecided about my academic major when i was applying to colleges, which was surely one of the biggest strikes against me. At Drexel, we invite undecided students to apply. We encourage it. We can help them work it out. But, some schools have no use for the indecisive, and would only take them if they’ve proved themself to be a potential nobel prize winner no matter what they major in. So, honestly, i would have had a shot at splitting my rejections in half if i had just arbitrarily picked English or Literature as my major. But, i didn’t. Oops.
The thing with me is, i’m inconsistent. I mean, i have 10 simultaneous projects up in the air at any given time, none of which are ever really getting finished or resolved. In high school, this translated into a hodge-podge of activities and B+’s instead of A’s. In retrospect, i don’t think i did anything before the age of 13 or 14 that had any definitive effect on my academic future. What it comes down to is that i need something to light a fire under me before i can be excited about anything, and back then the only things i had really were comic books and video games and reading books and nothing serious and enjoyable. As it is now I need PuppetMaster or 25/24 or taking the minutes at a big admissions meeting to light a fire under me. to keep me motivated.
However, now i have the weak excuse of passing these fires off as my continuing exploits in DIY journalism. If i didn’t have this to refer to as my way of honing my writing skills and narrative voice, what the hell would i be doing with my free time? I’m very jealous of you science types that can quantify what they’re learning and their goals so clearly. I just need to have an enthusiasm for something, and at the beginning of this Summer i said i’d ditch my guitar if i didn’t start playing this summer – for people in places other than my apartment – and i played a few times. But, it took up no effort on my part, so the guitar is getting tossed in the backseat. I have songs and voice and image but i have no drive or fire, and i don’t have anyone else to light one for me because hardly anyone else has heard these songs because i never play them because i obviously don’t have enough attention to pay to it unless i combine it with things on the internet. 25/24 was a rousing success for me even if i find the singing hideous and unlistenable; even if i somehow still haven’t finished the Best-Of CD because i keep pulling “bad” songs off of it and putting “good” songs on. But, i have failed my guitar and i feel like suddenly our little interlude has ended, and so now it is just another tool … a weapon if i hold it right.