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Help me - i am frustrated and angry

  1. Jul 5, 2012 #1
    I doubt if you all will be able to help me but still i think posting this might help me anyway -
    My exams finished last month and this month colleges are alloted. I got a pretty good rank and i am happy with the college i am getting. But one of my friend who didnt do well in the exams is getting a better college than me just because of some quota. His rank is pretty far from mine and still he is getting a better college.

    He is my friend and i tried to have no negative feelings but still i am angry and frustrated. Any help appreciated
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 5, 2012 #2

    chiro

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    Hey jd12345.

    For the non-US folk here (like me), can you explain what the college is? Is this like to do with accomodation (like a fraternity/sorority) or is it for actual academic purposes where each college offers specific courses/research etc?
     
  4. Jul 5, 2012 #3

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    Its funny how life treats people. It rains on some and shines on others. There is a great story from Chuang-tzu about a farmer who had a son and a horse. One day the horse ran away and all the neighbors said what great msfortune but the old man said "We shall see.". A few days later the horse came back with several wild horses and everyone said what great fortune you have and the old man once again said we shall see. The following year his son went out riding fell and broke his leg. Everyone said thats so sad to now have a crippled son and the old man once again said we shall see.

    Some time later the army of the Emperor came looking for young men to press into the army and the old man's son was skipped because of his limp. He remained in the village taking care of his father until he died many years later.

    In your case, it may be that the university you've gotten into is just right, you'll do quite well and might even have time to extend your knowledge thru independent study whereas your friend may have a far rougher time trying to make the same grades. Only time will tell so congratulate your friend and enjoy your studies. Its not a race although many students think it is until they get a lot older and realize it was the best time of their lives.
     
  5. Jul 5, 2012 #4

    drizzle

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    Nice post jedishrfu :)
    I've heard that story before, I like it.
     
  6. Jul 5, 2012 #5
    You're in college to learn, not to compete. It's not wise to start harshly comparing yourself to others. What would happen if he got into a college that was justifiably worse than yours? My guess is that you would have no quarrel with the college that you got into. Either way, you're still in the same college, and you still have the same capabilities. Do what you can to excel in college and prove that you're the better student, no matter what the name on your diploma says.
     
  7. Jul 5, 2012 #6

    turbo

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    Competition is often unproductive. Compete against yourself.
     
  8. Jul 5, 2012 #7
    You all told me things that i already know but still amazingly it makes me feel better. Thank you!
     
  9. Jul 5, 2012 #8
    Sometimes anger makes you overlook something that you already know, and there's also the possibility that you were only looking for reassurance. Either way, I'm glad that you're doing better!
     
  10. Jul 5, 2012 #9
    I'm from India, and the admission system is pathetic here because of a quota system too. I mean, students are admitted based on their caste, not their talent, can you believe it? It's almost hilarious.
     
  11. Jul 5, 2012 #10

    Drakkith

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    Staff: Mentor

    Nonsense! I can't let myself win! I'd never live it down!

    While that seems to be pretty unfortunate, I don't know enough about India's culture, politics, economy, etc to make an educate opinion on it. What's the reason behind it as far as you know?
     
  12. Jul 5, 2012 #11
    Well, as you may know, a variety of people live here. People are from various social and financial backgrounds, so the colleges or institutions which offer any course generally reserve about 50% of the seats (lol) to a particular caste, which is decided by the management. So, in any state in India, if a caste is a minority, they have an advantage over the others in terms of minimum marks required to get into the college, fees etc.
     
  13. Jul 5, 2012 #12

    Drakkith

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    Staff: Mentor

    I see. Well, at bad as it seems, I'm sure there's a well meaning reason behind it.
     
  14. Jul 5, 2012 #13
    Well i am also from india - and my friend belonged to some minority caste as well as was from a state where the college is in( there is state quota too!). So for general people you should have a rank below 2000 to get admission but if you are from the same state and also if you are from a minority caste you can get admission with a rank above 20,000 or 30,000
     
  15. Jul 5, 2012 #14
    I am not from India, but I know enough about this caste system, and no it's not "well meaning" the caste system is based on religious and cultural beliefs from a long time ago.

    Comparatively it's like racial discrimination, if you're of a certain caste then that's it, in some areas you will never achieve anything, no matter how hard you try. You can't change it.
     
  16. Jul 5, 2012 #15
    This quota has a political reason too. Giving quota to some caste ensures that the government will get their vote. If they decide to remove it they will not be sure of the votes from that caste and may lose.
    Is it just India or does this happen in other countries too?
     
  17. Jul 5, 2012 #16
    We have something like this in the U.S.:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirmative_action
     
  18. Jul 5, 2012 #17
    Well said.

    I think this is the reason why it's still there. It happens only in India! xD
    No I think it does happen in some other countries, but definitely not the US and UK.


    Yes, that's exactly what this is.
     
  19. Jul 5, 2012 #18

    AlephZero

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    And in the UK. Everybody claims the national "pre university level" exams haven't changed their standards, but the pass rate has risen from 68% in 1982 to 98% in 2011. The pass rate it's still rising year on year, so it will soon be higher than 100%.

    Yeah, right. I guess wearing baseball caps backwards really does make kids smarte these days.
     
  20. Jul 5, 2012 #19
    In addition to affirmative action in the US, children of alumni and state residents are often favored, the former in private schools and the latter mostly in state schools. Many private schools actually prefer out of state and foreign students.
     
  21. Jul 5, 2012 #20

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    dont forget tuition is lower for instate and some state universities such as UT at Austin must accept top 10% students from all texas highschools no matter what ranking your highschool has. UT has 85% texas residents with 65% top 10% students and 15% out of state / country.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012
  22. Jul 5, 2012 #21

    Drakkith

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    Staff: Mentor

    I can understand policies that help people to get into college financially, such as scholarships, grants, etc. But if the standards are different for certain groups, well that seems wrong to me.
     
  23. Jul 6, 2012 #22
    EXACTLY. If they reduce the fees and give other concessions then it's okay, but lowering the bar for them makes no sense, does it?
     
  24. Jul 6, 2012 #23
    This happened to me and many others at my school as well. Universities are often required, either by internal rules or external laws, to accept a certain distribution of students with less bearing on academic abilities.

    At my school, we also had an awards and acknowledgment night for all the scholarships that our graduating classmates were going to receive. I knew that it was going to be competitive to receive a scholarship, but I thought I had a decent chance to get at least one of the many available when considering my accomplishments. I did apply and I was in the "cream of the crop" as the teachers called us.

    As each award was announced to the audience, my thoughts began to grow from minor surprise, then to disbelief, and then to anger. After all the scholarships had been awarded and the recipients were on stage, it became very obvious that the awards were chosen mostly with a demographics bias, and actual aptitude or scholarly performance had little merit. There were only a few males out of about 25 people on stage, for example. I think maybe 2 of the students were actually in the AP/honors program. My immediate thought sitting in the audience was "really? Why do all of these people who had it easy, with easy classes, get awarded so well for being mediocre?" They were not bad students by any means, but they also were not the over-achieving kind that you would expect to receive the scholarships.

    Being told that you needed to enroll in all of the hardest courses, participate in as many sports and extra curricular activities as possible, and show community service and responsible behavior for years is a lot of stress and hard work, and you expect it to pay off. Seeing all of my effort to go to college being brushed aside for others because of reasons out of my control really left me frustrated and angry too, so I know how you must feel.

    It is a good lesson for a young person though. What people tell you or what expectations you may foster are not necessarily guaranteed, and sometimes are far from reality. Feeling entitled and then being denied is humbling, and it is usually good to be a little humble at times. You should not compare yourself to your friend, because if it wasn't your friend being accepted to the college, it would be a stranger getting that spot for the same reason instead of you still. In that perspective, you could even feel happy for your friend. If you are really that deserving to go to college and you have what it takes, you will end up successful anyway. Big and prestigious universities are not as important as you may be lead to believe, especially as an undergrad. Few of the admitting universities have obligations to let you in, and it is a fact that some people need much more help financially and socioeconomically than others to reach their potential. This was something out of your control, and so you should try to feel good that you're going to a good college still, even if it isn't your dream college. My personal opinion is that the policies are overboard and unrealistic now, but that is not something easy to change.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  25. Jul 6, 2012 #24
    Yeah, as DragonPetter said so well, just let it go, be happy for your friend, because you don't know whether or not he can actually perform well in that dream college of yours.
     
  26. Jul 6, 2012 #25
    Thank you guys, really appreciate your help. Feels good again
     
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