'…kids now have to have fake epiphanies about the suffering of other, less privileged people instead of just having fake epiphanies about themselves…'
…This proves that they are really caring human beings who want to do more for the world than just make money so that they, too will, in their time, be able to get their children into Harvard. This entire thing is absurd. I understand why kids engage in this ridiculous arms race. What I don’t understand is why admissions officers, who have presumably met some teenagers…actually reward it. Why not give kids a bonus for showing up to a routine job during high school, like real people, instead of for having wealthy parents who can help you tap their affluent social network for charitable donations? Why have we conflated “excellence” with affluence, driven parents, and a relentless will to conform on the part of the kids? Unfortunately, the admissions system seems to be primarily geared towards fake sincerity and ersatz enrichment.