College Acceptance must not equal Self-Acceptance

Your self-worth must not be defined by college acceptance letters. Here’s why.

An Open Letter to all High School Juniors & Seniors
Where you end up going to college does not define your self-worth, value, future
success, or happiness. At no point in your life, will where you go to college, matter to you as much as it does right now. Yet, at this moment, it is easy to think that it is the most important thing in the world. 

While it is great to challenge yourself and shoot for the stars, acceptance into the most selective schools usually hovers just below 5%. Frank Bruni, a columnist for the New York Times, writes that a highly selective university is neither a prerequisite to success nor a guarantor of success. However, many students view their letters of acceptance or rejection as a verdict passed on their intelligence and as a diviner of all future success or disappointment.

Research shows that how you go to college often matters more than where you go.
So, embrace your college experience by getting to know your professors and getting
involved on campus. Take advantage of opportunities to connect with people who are different from you.  Take a class that falls outside of your major because it sounds really interesting to you.

Again, you do not need to go to the most elite schools to be successful. President Biden went to Delaware State, Linden Johnson went to Southwest State Teachers college. Bruni notes that most of the CEOs from the top 10 largest Fortune 500 Companies did not attend Ivy League Schools. 

Remember, there truly are a multitude of wonderful schools that will set you up for future success. Stay open-minded and be proud of who you are.

Here’s to Your Well Being,
Aliza Mendel, LCSW
Licensed Therapist & Clinical Director
Below are the top 10 Fortune 500 companies 
listed with their CEOs and their undergraduate university.

1. Jeff Bezos – Princeton University
2. Exxon Mobil: Darren Woods – Texas A&M University
3. Apple: Tim Cook – Auburn University
4. CVS Health: Larry Merlo – University of Pittsburgh
5. Berkshire Hathaway: Warren Buffett – University of Nebraska
6. UnitedHealth Group: David Wichmann – Illinois State University
7. McKesson: Brian S. Tyler – University of California, Santa Cruz
8. AT&T: Jeff McElfresh – University of Florida
9. AmerisourceBergen: Steven H. Collis – University of Witwatersrand
10. Walmart: Doug McMillion – University of Arkansa