Dealing with Being Top 21

We’ve all heard the jokes. The infamous Facebook posts on Emory Memes For (not so) Southern Teens and the Instas from Swoopdaddy69. Emory University is a world-renowned research institution with resources abound. However, to students who slaved over college applications and poured themselves into AP’s and extracurriculars in order to make it through a 16 percent acceptance rate, any school out of the top 20 list is a bad school.



We boast a number 1 in quality of life, we have a diverse and motivated student body, and the classes are arguably much more difficult than at the more “prestigious” universities who grade inflate. Personally, I would love to see Emory’s name in the top 20 list, because whether we want to admit it or not, it is academic validation.

My high school was a highly competitive atmosphere, where everybody knew everyone else’s SAT score, the colleges they applied to, and where they go in and did not get in. It was basically a requirement to apply to at least three of the ivy’s, or else you were deemed to be “average.” Following this path from as early as middle school, I set my sights on a school with a six percent acceptance rate and told myself that any school with over a 25% acceptance rate was not worth being accepted into.

Yet college decisions rolled around, and my decision to apply to only reaches hit me like a truck. I was devastated when my early decision application to the school of my dreams came back a rejection. So devastated that I drank a bottle of rose and rode my bike for two straight hours. But you know, life goes on. 

I was accepted into Emory during regular decision and was happy to have acceptance, but wrote it off because I was waiting for the reaches. It wasn’t until I visited for the first time that I realized what a great opportunity had fallen into my lap without me even noticing.


Do I wish I went to a better-regarded school? Yes, all the time. Do I wish I didn’t go to Emory? No.

So high school me would have committed a felony to put Emory into the top 20, you know, for the clout, but college me understands that rankings don’t give the full picture. Bring on the memes - and quality education.