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Is Success Predetermined?

By Samarth Jani

It does not come as a surprise that some people in the world just have the upper hand and are given an immense amount of advantages and opportunities that many don’t even know exist. Whether it comes to who you know, who your parents are or even simple things like what race or gender you are, it is safe to say that in today’s society, your success can be predetermined by factors that you have no control over.

As seniors continue to stress over college admissions and start to hear back from schools, it is important to shed light on the discrepancies of the applications and admissions process. From affirmative action to legacy prioritization to limitations in access to college counseling, the lack of fairness when it comes to the admissions process has become increasingly apparent with every passing year. With many top universities being allowed to openly discriminate against certain applicants due to their race and using the excuse that taking race into account adds to the holistic review of an applicant is extremely disheartening for the many students who are more than qualified to be accepted into schools that reject them based on a factor that they had no control or choice over.

On the other hand, we can see how this practice can be viewed in both a positive and negative connotation. Being a legacy student ultimately means your academic career after high school is set. If your dad went to Cornell and your mom went to NYU, it’s safe to assume where you would be attending the next four years of your life. Access to these schools and opportunities, even though they come with copious amounts of privilege, can prove to be a positive way in which your position in society can predetermine your success.

Artwork by Suha Tasfia

Although birth may not completely dictate your path to "the top," it can accelerate your trajectory towards success.

A recent hot topic, nepotism has been a practice that has been around forever. Though mostly spotlighted in the entertainment industry, nepotism is prevalent in every career you could imagine. Many are sadly oblivious to the reality that their co-workers or fellow students could have possibly gotten where they are just because their father is a couple positions higher in the company or their grandmother has close connections with the dean of the school.

The real question is, “why do people care so much?” If anyone was given the opportunity to make their dreams come true they would act on it. Many people have voiced their disdain for people who are subject to immense privilege and do not acknowledge how they got into the position they have now. It is frustrating to hear someone talk about their journey to success when it is so clearly because of something that other people do not have access to.


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