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In a piece recently published in the Wall Street Journal , Suzy Lee Weiss, a high-school senior, claims that colleges have been lying to her for years. She writes:

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.

Next she attacks America’s preoccupation with diversity, bemoaning the fact that she offers a school “about as much diversity as a saltine cracker.” Alongside wit and flippancy, Miss Weiss offers insightful critiques of the system. Finding (and getting into) the right college can be a frustrating experience.

But I’ve got some bad news for Miss Weiss. It doesn’t get any better. When I was a high-school senior, I was a saltine cracker too. Unfortunately, when it was time to apply for graduate school, I was still a saltine cracker. It doesn’t end there. When I started applying for jobs, I realized that I was still just a saltine cracker.

My advice to Miss Weiss: it’s never too late to start that fake charity. Getting into college is only the first hurdle. Indulging in shameless self-promotion disguised as philanthropy might help her get over the next two or three hurdles more easily. Even saltine crackers like us can be jazzed up with a little cheap caviar.

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