Dear Yale University Admissions Officer,
Let’s dispense with the pleasantries because I have no time to fuck around. You need to admit me. I repeat, you need to admit me to the Yale class of 2018 or there will be blood on your hands.
What, were you expecting another trite letter from some spoiled overachiever talking about how she went on a charity mission to Africa to enrich himself, only to discover the true meaning of life and giving? If only. I did go to Africa but it was to get away from my parents and the only thing I discovered is that being poor isn’t that bad if your parents aren’t psychotic.
Now I know what you’re thinking—is she playing some kind of ‘anti-admissions-letter’ angle? Trying to connect with me on some kind of meta level? And you’d not be dumb for thinking that, because let’s be honest, I know the game—you’re probably 25, you’re hip, you get ‘it’ and you want your ego massaged a little bit.
No, the truth is, I’m genuinely afraid. Not afraid of writing a genuine letter and getting rejected—oh no, the fear of failure is nothing compared to what my mother is capable of.
You see, my mother views me as an extension of herself. Her whole identity is wrapped up in my success. And for reasons that are beyond me, she distilled the image of success into one thing and one thing only—a daughter that goes to Yale. That image represents the only thing in the world that can make up for all of her personal and career shortcomings.
This won’t be any old rejection—it’ll be a full-blown narcissistic injury and God help us all when she lashes out in rage. I’m talking lawsuits, NY Time op-eds, think-pieces in The Atlantic, and violence. Lots and lots of violence.
My mother is a generally peaceful woman… until her carefully-maintained identity is threatened. Her self-worth is riding on this and if you let her shallow little world collapse, I’m the collateral damage, and you’ll be an accessory to murder.
So let’s just pretend, me and you, that I played violin because I love classical music (I don’t, it’s boring, I prefer Katy Perry any day), and that I did all that community service to help the homeless (as if passing out soup is the answer), or that I learned three different languages to broaden my horizons (ha! Like they don’t speak English everywhere else in the world already!).
Maybe you’re thinking “what’s the worst that can happen? So she gets into an honors program at the local State U, how bad can that be?” I’m with you there. As far as I’m concerned, it’s not that big a deal. I mean, sure it means having to work to get rich but I actually enjoy work when it’s for an actual purpose other than padding a resume.
No, it’s not about me or my education, which let’s face it, I’m going to get on my own anyway, Yales’s just a brand and if you don’t believe me, kindly go out to the parking lot and tell me what the sticker on your rear windshield says.
Between you and me, there’s not enough Xanax in the world to make my mother at peace with me going anywhere but Yale. Trust me, I checked—she’s at the max dose.
So do the right thing. I know there’s a thousand generic 4.0s with padded resumes knocking on your door. You gotta pick at least one of them, right? Please pick me. You’re my only hope.