The College Admissions Process is Fucking Nuts.

I’m going back to school part-time, and the piece of shit that follows is LITERALLY something a twerpy-ass admissions officer is forcing me to email him because of a “disciplinary sanction” I was “subject to” some thirty-two years ago when I was a freshman in college. It’s straight out of Alice’s Goddamn Restaurant, but the beast demands to be fed.

Here’s the problem:

Welp…if it’s a written explanation you want, it’s a written explanation Ye Shall Have.


Dear Mr. Admissions Officer Man,

In fall of 1987 I was an eighteen year-old first-semester freshman at the University of [REDACTED], where I lived in the soccer dorm with a bunch of juniors and seniors. Late one night in a flash of drunken idiocy three of us decided it’d be a good idea to steal the “SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT” sign off the front lawn of the local police station. We accomplished the mission and hung the stupid thing up in our apartment.

Presently somebody ratted us out and we got called on the carpet by whomever was serving as the campus disciplinary officer. I forget the name. Each of us got sentenced to a hundred hours of campus maintenance, which basically meant using high-horsepower string trimmers and chainsaws and tanks of now-banned herbicides and other such lethal hazards to keep kudzu from overwhelming the student center. We knocked out our hours and that was that.

Despite my moral failures I went on to serve as the communications director for my fraternity and the vice-president of the student government association. I graduated with honors. Based on my test scores and academic performance and extracurricular activities I got a full fellowship to a second-tier MBA school in another state. I then went to work for [A BIG PUBLIC UTILITY COMPANY] and a few years after that hopped over into electricity trading in the private sector. This was right around Y2K. Enron was one of our competitors. They, who were crooks, went to jail. We, who weren’t, didn’t. My company was eventually good enough to me that I was able to retire at age thirty-six.

Since then I’ve volunteered with various nonprofits and I’m raising a fine daughter. I most recently passed a background check for admittance to the “TSA Pre” program, which I guess frees me from governmental suspicion that I might blow up an airliner. Being trusted by the TSA is a dubious honor, but I no longer have to remove my shoes when passing through airport nudie scanners. So there’s that.

Right. Well, being a fifty year-old man now, I’ve obviously written about this wretched little episode with a certain air of detached disgust. But I learned three things: don’t be a drunken idiot, keep your failures in perspective, and own your mistakes.1

To that third one: I just called the University of [REDACTED] to see if they could dig up an official account of what I’ve told you herein, but they said their records don’t go back that far.

Which: there’s my whole point. I could’ve lied to you about having never been in trouble with a college and I’d’ve gotten clean away with it, but that’d be an integrity issue, and I imagine flushing out people with integrity issues is why you ask questions like, “Have you ever been expelled, dismissed, suspended, placed on probation, or otherwise subject to disciplinary sanction by any school, college, or university?” in your application. As I said, the answer is yes. I also got a few days of detention in high school for skipping class and making out with my girlfriend behind the auto shop, but we were both sober and neither of us stole anything. That said, I have no remorse. She was hot.

To the veracity of which I hereby affix my mark:

ERD

Footnotes

  1. Four things, actually…I can still run the SHIT out of a high-horsepower chainsaw. Can I get transfer credit for that?

Author: ER Dude

Sick of your job? After a thirteen-year career, Early Retirement Dude fled corporate America for good. You can do it too! Visit http://EarlyRetirementDude.com or email EarlyRetirementDude@gmail.com.

3 thoughts

  1. Happy New Year ERD.

    Great way to start the new decade, going back to school. I am sure school is more fun when you are already retired. The admissions staff should get a kick out of your letter, if that doesn’t show integrity I don’t know what will.

    “The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.”
    Tom Bodett

    “If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
    Ben Franklin

  2. The most awesome thing I’ve read today.

    I’m trying to imagine what the 23-year old assistant to the vice dean who
    actually reads these things is thinking. Probably wondering why you’re not in a
    supermax facility right now.

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