Competition to get accepted in America’s Ivy League colleges grows fiercer year-by-year. Stratospheric SAT scores and perfect GPAs are wrestled out of aspiring elites through an academic jujitsu that leaves the majority trying to avoid tapping-out while clutching-on tightly to their Yale application. Parents desperately avail themselves of special counsellors to ensure that their fifth-grader’s eventual Princeton application will succeed. However, these Admissions spin-doctors advise that being excellent at academics, sport and serving communities is not a surefire ticket to the Ivy’s cloistered halls. Students have to be different; they have to convince the college that they will add positively to diversity, that they have exemplary character skills and will bring something novel to bear.
Brandon “The Rock” Pulaski did just this. The Senior from South Brunswick in New Jersey has just been admitted to Harvard despite having meagre SAT scores and a below-average GPA. How did he do it? He followed the advice of his Admissions Counsellor and became different.
Pulaski showed perseverance and determination well beyond the norm, and most of all, he never gave up. As reported in an earlier feature, Brandon is no longer alive, yet he is still playing soccer and is treated as a hero in his hometown. His application to Harvard as a non-living student was viewed very favorably, helped by the current social justice movement prevalent on campus. A spokesperson for Harvard’s Dead Lives Matter activists told The Tribune:
“We pressed hard for Brandon to be accepted here. Too often we discriminate on the grounds of identity and non-living is just another such reason for this bigotry. He is now a fully-fledged member of our LGTBQD Society and is thriving in both academics and sport”
Indeed, Brandon’s ability to listen, his renowned defensive skills on the soccer pitch and impressive abstinence from all undergraduate temptations have vindicated the University’s decision. Nevertheless, some groups are worried by this precedent. Parents are now being advised that the The Rock’s route is the closest thing to guaranteed entry that can be offered, which may lead to impressionable kids mistakenly identifying themselves as non-living. The Turunn Tribune shares this concern and implores parents to think carefully before counseling their child to emulate Brandon. Remember that non-living is a choice, and choices should be made responsibly for the right reasons. Getting very rich and non-living in sumptuous comfort on the back of an elite education is not necessarily the right reason. Also, as pointed out by a Harvard Dead Lives Matter advocate:
“Discrimination is still rampant in the workplace. Even if not openly discussed, there is a barrier to progression, a grass ceiling that the non-living struggle to break through, even with an Ivy League degree”