College Admissions Scandal: Caring parents or mistake made?

For me, some of my more interesting days involve college life.  It screamed possibilities not yet realized and goals simplified into daily challenges. However, on the heels of the recent college admissions scandal, I can’t help feeling like I understand a bit of both sides of the story. However I may feel, I can’t help wondering what it may have been like for a recent high school grad hoping to get into the college of choice and getting that letter that they weren’t accepted. The constant inner turmoil thinking that maybe I just wasn’t good enough, maybe if I had done that little thing a bit better, if I was better at this thing, then I could have gotten into (insert Ivy League name here) then all would be well with the world. For some people, going to certain colleges are a family tradition. For others, they may have had to  settle for their second choice unknowingly that the space that should’ve been theirs, was replaced by someone not more qualified, but whose parents just happened to be in a better financial standing to ‘buy’ their way in.

It also begs the question of how many of these scandals may occur on a regular basis outside of William Rick Singer? Singer is the first person to be caught in the act but that doesn’t mean that he was the only one who greased the palms of certain university officials for a happy ending. He is not the first and he certainly won’t be the last to try this kind of fraud, he is only the one with the most present incriminating evidence. I for one know I’m not the only one who has met a few people on the streets of America and have wondered to myself if this person is a college grad, why they can’t understand basic principles and steps. How can one be a university grad and have an IQ almost competing in height with a five year old? I may never get the answer to those questions but I do know that this scandal has unearthed a hidden but true statement. Not all hard work gets rewarded accordingly.

I also couldn’t help but think of the next side of the story based on the accused. Now that this scandal has been exposed, are the children of the accused going to be forced to leave said schools? Is this going to be a slap on the wrist to rich entitled parents who I’m most certain are going to plead to the hearts of the judge, that they simply want the best for their children? After all, everyone wants the best for their kids and a college education is the last step to ensuring this. Even though these young adults may face some scrutiny while in attendance at the school, is it right to remove them now especially if some of them are sophomores or higher. This is a tough question to answer especially if even though their entrance was based on a lie, some may have proven that they have the intellect and drive to do what is necessary to be the best they can be. The valuable skills that have been learnt there cannot be erased and will only be wasted if they are to be removed from the environment that has now accepted them as their own. The friendships created there would have to be replaced and all the integrity created will have to start anew all because of an unethical decision.

Some of the consequences of these actions need to be administered very carefully. For one, college is a stressful part of any young adult life and changes that are made to either family life or admittance of these students can have a huge impact on their mental states. Depression is already a major epidemic in the society at large. According to ACS Distance Learning, mental factors can affect both a person’s health and fitness. Social levels and the effect of socio-economic status can play a role in health. Research done shows that the higher the level of a socio-economic class reflects a higher level of health and longevity. That being said, to remove these already stressed though undeserved college students from their schools means a little more than simply slapping a charge on the parents and saying that justice is served. Wealth doesn’t determine mental health and while the headline was conditioned to make us think ‘Rich kids take advantage of wealth for schooling’ it sheds light on a higher question. How many more things do rich people get for free that hasn’t been unearthed yet or isn’t a crime but a subtle case of bias that persons of lower economic standings have to work hard for but will be rejected anyway? Are these actions the result of poor/selfish choices or something deeper at a mental health level passed on from parent to child? Will those students who may be poor but just as smart as or smarter than those at these schools be compensated for hurts felt and opportunities missed?

Whatever the ruling outcome, it is clear that the justice system has a clear balance to take into consideration. In cases like this, I can often be the first one shouting for justice, however, this isn’t just about the poor choices of parents. It also involves hard work that through semesters I believe shouldn’t go to waste. I would vote for these students to show themselves worthy of these schools through testing and put them through the same time consuming and tiring application process that poor students had to go through because it wasn’t just a matter of paying a hefty sum to them. I believe they should be held to a higher standard because of how they came to acquire these admissions to said schools. They should be made an example out of to dissuade those than think such a method is acceptable for future scheming and ensure nothing like this happens again.

What Women’s Day means To Me

Hurray! You’re a woman! We can all choose different things to signify what being a woman means to us but over the years, the word woman has been given a new energy. It is synonymous with words that may appeal to the senses like attractive, gorgeous, and seductive. For others, it is synonymous with words like strong, life giving, nurturing. Whatever it means to you, we can all agree that we can’t live life without women (literally!)

For me personally, growing up I can admit now that I wasn’t always happy to be a woman or female. I grew up around strong males who were going wherever they wanted, whenever they wanted. They built houses and fixed toilets. They were always laughing and looking at them from a distance it seemed like life was an adventure that they couldn’t wait to go on while the women around me seemed to be always cooking or cleaning. There always seemed to be an argument arising because of hurt feelings. They always seemed to be in a position of service to men or taking care of noisy babies  or doing some task that they didn’t want to carry out but had to because these tasks defined them as people.

However, the days where women are required to wait on a man, hand and foot are long gone and my hatred of being a woman with it. I have come to realize that just like how men have their own conquests, women too have their own conquests to conquer. In fact many women through time have even conquered the things that even men couldn’t. We hold babies in our wombs, sustain their kicks on our intestines and allow them to carve paths through our bodies that we couldn’t do on our own, all while loving them before we had even known them.

We have shown that we are a force to be reckoned with by discovering breakthroughs in science like Marie Curie in a male dominated career. Can you imagine what that must have been like have discovered a Noble Peace Prize and your colleagues around you not believing that you are even capable of something so intelligent. Imagine winning 23 Grand Slam titles in Wimbledon and still being made fun in your craft because you had ‘too many muscles’ and bringing your femininity into question. Imagine the shame women have faced throughout the years and the right to vote only being granted to women a measly 100 years ago which shows that they considered slaves freedom before they considered giving women as individuals a personal right to decide to should govern a country.

As if all that weren’t enough, we still wield the God given right of beauty which often brings men to their knees and inspired Greek mythological shows like ‘Helen of Troy”, an act that is often carried out in simpler and less extreme actions to this very day as men vie for our affections.

As a child I didn’t see the value of being a woman, because I didn’t notice that the men built houses FOR the women in their lives. They were happy BECAUSE their women were great cooks. And if anything else, I failed to notice the ambition we as women arose in men to do things they otherwise wouldn’t have done for themselves were we not present. We make houses homes. Our very presence lights up rooms and stimulates conversations. We aren’t just beautiful faces that cook and clean and wait on a man hand and foot. Because WE ARE and because we PRODUCE, I am proud to be called a woman. I can only hope to inspire a drive as strong as my predecessors and build a path as strong as they built for me to walk on. To every woman present to day, though late, HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!

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