Rejection Isn’t Bad
by Aeshna Chandra on Friday, April 29th, 2016
Four years ago, I told my brother that I would apply to The Milton Paper just to spite him. As News Editor of The Milton Measure, he spent the entire summer before I came to Milton trying to convince me to join the “better” paper. Yeah, when I got to school, I actually did enjoy the real newspaper feel of the Measure far more: that did not matter though, when it came to annoying my brother. Fast forward a year and my biggest pride in life was being published in the Measure. The application was the worst part of it–I stressed about that for hours. After that, it was easy going. Every week I look forward to receiving the article assignment, thinking of cool connections I could make between what I wanted to write and what I had to write, and submitting that perfect, polished article to the editors. Whenever I opened the newspaper up, however, my article had been altered–not a lot, but just enough to dent my growing ego. I’m glad now, though, that I had these experiences: it stopped me from being overly arrogant, tiny sophomore that I was. I had an inflated sense of self and was sure that, come senior year, I would be Editor-in-Chief. Small wonder that Junior Spring crushed all my hopes and dreams.
Yet I could not be happier that I did not get what I wanted. The Measure this year has been my main commitment–my main time-suck as well. I have written many articles, I have made eight great friends, I have procrastinated countless major assignments, and I have learned that being complimented on hard work guarantees nothing. It’s a weird situation, being on the opposite side of the decision making. When I was applying, there was nothing more important than any indication from the board of what my position may be. For any club or application, the applicant always reads more into it than the application reader. Perhaps the same may be said for college, I don’t know, but what I do know is that getting rejected from clubs and specifically the one club position I wanted was a great experience.
At Milton, the rule, with few exceptions, is that once students have positions of power, they do not follow through on the promises they made in their applications. Think of any SGA elections: students scoff when they hear the promises, fully expecting that no changes will be made in the coming year. Clubs are passed down from friend to friend, nepotism runs rampant, and merit doesn’t matter because clubs rarely do anything. Often, I am confused when I hear of the enthusiasm and activism of Milton students: where has that gone? Then, I remember how much work applicants do in preparation to apply, similar to what seniors go through before college apps. It’s not Milton students in general that are the problem: it’s just that those who are in power set terrible examples for those who aren’t. The exceptions stand out for how much work they put into their commitments, even though that should be the norm rather than the rarity. Shoutout Jacob Aronoff (I), layout god of the Measure, because his frequent calls for senior portraits and complaints about low class enthusiasm should never have happened. Lorax’s existence should not be a complete joke; neither should commitments at Milton in general.
Breadth is a great thing, it really is. Depth is even better. It’s not Milton students’ faults that they are complicit in a system created by the very schools they hope to attend. Colleges hope to create something like a vault for students, in which, starting freshman year, students can put records of their accomplishments. This system would be even more high pressure than before and would motivate students to widen their extracurriculars rather than focus in on the ones they truly enjoy. Perhaps these students would attempt to be accomplished in those extracurriculars and therefore actually be committed before senior year, but once they are leaders and have filled their vault, their commitment level will drop. College applications already draw enough of students’ attention away from experiencing high school and towards padding resumes; there’s no need for them to do it more.
The problem with clubs at Milton is that the people who truly enjoy going and care about the club are not in positions of power, and those who do hold power are occupied with leaving the club behind and going to college. The strongest members of an organization are those who are not at the top: those who have been rejected from the positions they wanted, have something to prove and will do what it takes. I’m so glad that I got rejected from the position that I had been dreaming about since freshman year: it made me a better editor than I would have been otherwise.
Short URL: http://miltonmeasure.org/?p=7975