“You are what you are, and you are not greater if you get into your first-choice school or less if you do not. You will make the best of life’s opportunities and your own gifts – if you believe in yourself. If you do not have confidence in yourself and respect for yourself, you will be defeated by disappointment.
…Go to the school that both accepts you and most closely resembles the sort of school you want…withhold judgment until you are admitted, and then take seriously the schools that want you. I have spent my entire career in Ivy League universities. Believe me, they have no monopoly on great scholarship – far from it. They have no corner on good teaching or happy student life. They offer a good education. So do a great many other colleges and universities. This is a simple fact. Please accept it from me. If you are not admitted to the school you really thought you wanted, but you are admitted to one lower down on your list, go to that school with respect for the school and regard for yourself.
Greatness comes from within. Achievement is what you do, not what other people say. Lives of worth and service take shape in every kind of circumstance. We are what we do, and not what people say about us. If you are disappointed, pick up your life and go on. You are better for it. So, too, will be the many people to whose disappointment you can relate because of your own, the many whose lives will be better and richer because of you.”
~ Jacob Neusner, Brown University
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