Two Responses to the Controversial Suzy Lee Weiss

By now, many HB seniors have been accepted into the colleges of their dreams. Unfortunately, not all can be accepted into their first choice school, especially when it comes to the prestigious, top-of-the-line Ivy League. Suzy Lee Weiss, a senior at Taylor Allderdice High School in Pennsylvania, was not accepted into any of the Ivy League schools to which she applied. In a way of expressing her anger and confusion, she wrote a letter to the Wall Street Journal titled, “To (All) the Colleges That Rejected Me”, provoking an internet war between those supporting and rejecting her opinions on the college process. In her letter, Weiss wrote, “Colleges tell you, ‘just be yourself’. That is great advice, as long as yourself has nine extracurriculars, six leadership positions, three varsity sports, killer SAT scores and two moms. Then by all means, be yourself! If you work at a local pizza shop and are the slowest person on the cross-country team, consider taking your business elsewhere”.

(Intro by Alley Keresztesy)

I think Weiss had something about which to be upset.  She must have put everything into her applications for the Ivies, and to be shut down was upsetting. Even though she claimed the letter was meant to be satire, I don’t believe her. I think that in a spurt of anger, she wrote the letter in a tone that reflected her emotions. However, I’m not sure why she wrote the letter in the brazen way she did. It seemed like she was trying to scare other high school students into not attending Ivy League schools, or warn future applicants that they are not even good enough to apply. That is just plain mean. Weiss was allowed to get upset, but releasing her anger by mocking race and sexual orientation was not okay by any standard. I don’t like how she used reverse racism to make herself seem inferior, because a person is so much more than the color of their skin, and colleges know that. Most of the applicants accepted to Ivy Leagues probably DID earn their spot fair and square, even though Weiss made it seem like they just got in because of race and other things they over which people have no control.

Weiss finished her letter with this: “To those claiming that I am bitter—you bet I am! An underachieving selfish teenager making excuses for her own failures? That too! To those of you disgusted by this, shocked that I take for granted the wonderful gifts I have been afforded, I say shhhh—”The Real Housewives” is on”. Here, Weiss showed some reasoning behind her letter.  She was clearly upset that she wasn’t enough for the Ivy League, schools that would provide her with the opportunity to achieve her goals. Overall, I believe Weiss’s response is understandable.

Although she was upset about not being accepted to the Ivy League, she did get into some good schools. Weiss was accepted into the University of Michigan, Indiana, Penn State and Wisconsin. 

Alley Keresztesy

Dear Suzy Lee Weiss,

 I read your op-ed about not being accepted into the Ivy League. Here is my op-ed, in brief, so you don’t have to stumble over too many scary SAT words.

You have presented yourself as ignorant, and judging just upon your fabulously awful op-ed, the Ivy League dodged a pretty big bullet when it rejected you. And anyways, before we even get into the content of your letter, you got into Michigan! Michigan! Given that acceptance, you should not be entirely bitter, but that is still how you come across, Suzy. Check that privilege.

            We all know that the tippety-tip of college admissions is a bottleneck. We all know how difficult it seems to be accepted if you haven’t ended genocide with nothing but two bottle caps and a tattered peace flag, or written “The Next Great American Novel” while overcoming abuse-induced illiteracy. However, what you don’t seem to understand, Suzy, is that most of these sterling applicants start their charities, or write their poetry, or even moonlight as matchmaker for single lesbian mothers, because they are actually interested in bettering the world, or perhaps in bringing lonely women together, not just in order to get accepted into Harvard. You missed this fact, that colleges accept such qualified people precisely because they have life purposes other than being accepted or validated. Colleges want students because of who they are, not who they pretend to be on a resume.

            Once people started calling you out on this article and its inability to appreciate or understand the genuine or charitable, you quickly called it “satire.” Oh Suzy, don’t stoop so low. We all know that when you wrote those things, you meant them, and maybe if you confessed the error of your ways, you’d be forgiven for the sentiments that many hurt and rejected high schoolers share, but have the luck to not have written in a national newspaper.

            I end this missive to you with some words of advice. Criticism is difficult. I know. Rejection is hard. But blaming your own flaws or even the capriciousness of luck on the success of others will win you no friends and no acceptance, at least not from those places you’d like it from the most. The best thing to do now is realize you were too cool for Harvard anyways. Dartmouth and Yale just couldn’t handle your spunk and style! Go Blue!

 -Isabella Nilsson