Blue Tongue, White Collar

I’ve never reblogged before, but the fantastic featured blog today by Be Less Amazing, really caught my eye.

I’ve shared the same rejection, in my case from Oxford University. I’ve also sampled a little of the white collar exclusivity she talks about as well.

I decided to do a masters course after my undergraduate studies, and I decided to study International Relations. I love world politics, hence my recent blogs introducing them as a theme a little. I wanted to study it to make a difference, and brought an attitude of “honesty, common sense, and blunt communication” – just like Be Less Amazing mentions.

It baffled the stuffy white collar types who were studying the masters with me, with relatives who had already lined them a job up in political party HQs. The world needs a lot more people with these attitudes being able to make a difference.

You know what though? Just like Be Less Amazing; if you want to make a difference to the world you don’t have to compromise and take that traditional route through life. Oxford, and a career in politics would never have suited me. I’ve found my own ways, outside of that traditional path.Don’t compromise on your aspirations, follow them, and don’t ever feel like you have to do it a certain way. Live life your own way!

Be Less Amazing

The last truly impulsive thing I ever said probably kept me out of Yale. Yale dodged a bullet there, methinks. But then again, so did I.

I applied on a whim. I don’t think I really grasped how much of a stretch an Ivy would be for a blue-collar girl like me. I applied because I wanted to see if I could get in. Like a mountain, it was there. I honestly don’t think I ever entertained serious thoughts of actually going. It was a dare, a pie-in-the-sky thing akin to what we routinely tell teenagers: dream big! Shoot for the moon, land in the stars! Except we don’t equip them to breathe up there in the stars. I was not equipped for Yale, and I proved it in my interview.

Yes, I got the interview. I’m kind of amazed it went that far, but there you go. Or…

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2 thoughts on “Blue Tongue, White Collar

  1. Jeromai March 18, 2014 / 3:14 am

    That story reminds me of how I managed to screw up a similar interview to MIT. Except I naively walked right into the baby-boomer ‘work ethic’ generational gap by daring to confess my geekiness, love for games and exploration/discovery, having foolishly assumed that would be a great cultural fit for the college.

    Obviously, the alumnus must have been thinking “what frivolity” and hoping to hear about my past accomplishments and future ambitions FOR SCIENCE and productive research instead.

    One-person gatekeeper alumni interviews are pretty darned stupid.

    Life lesson learned: There are always other options. And they generally turn out to be much better ones than the ones espoused by stuffy idiots who reject others. Exclusion is a lonely (ivory) tower.

    • Digital Salad March 18, 2014 / 10:36 pm

      Thanks for the comment Jeromai, good to hear from you!

      Luckily I’ve never had an interview quite like that, but I have suffered the panel interview in a room older than time itself – with professors to match who clearly have no time for what you have to say.

      Definitely the message I took away; and I like to think what I have found by following my own path in life. Not only are there other options, but they’re often far more awesome than the path you first planned out.

      Sorry to hear that MIT didn’t take you, but you always have to look at it as their loss. You’ll go and make a difference other places instead 🙂

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