General Question

Earthflag's avatar

If you worked in college admissions, would you accept a "different" person?

Asked by Earthflag (549points) December 31st, 2011

Different in this question means: Someone who thinks possibly dangerously (For instance someone who rejects dogmas and believes in creating the truth for himself/herself for everything). Not simple-minded. Someone who follows his/her heart. Someone who can influence others.

Would she/he be rejected or accepted? Why?

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16 Answers

ZEPHYRA's avatar

If it were up to me he would be in in a flash! Then again….I admire those qualities in a person and I think our world would be different if more of those people were in a variety of institutions!

Fly's avatar

I don’t see how a college admissions official would have any way of knowing these things unless the applicant chose to write about their way of life in their essay(s). In this case, it would be entirely up to the quality of the essay, in addition to academic record, extracurricular activities, etc.
Knowing that the applicant leads such a life would have no effect on my personal decision whatsoever (were I an admissions officer), unless said lifestyle has had a clear, unimproving, negative impact on academics and school/criminal records.

Aethelflaed's avatar

A lot of colleges really like that in students, though it depends quite a bit on the actual school. And I think it might be important to distinguish not accepting the most dominate theory and going with a less popular but still common theory, and actually choosing for yourself, the later of which is possible but probably not something admissions would be able to tell from one essay. But just because someone rejects dogmas and thinks for themselves doesn’t mean they’re dangerous.

Earthflag's avatar

True, but if a prof. is not okay with her/his thought, and she influences many others in class, then it might be considered “dangerous” in a way.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Earthflag What’s “dangerous”? Do you have an example, maybe? Also, so what if a single professor has a problem with this person – they aren’t the one doing the admitting in undergrad.

Earthflag's avatar

Alright, for instance, why would a catholic school accept someone like this? Who follows Nietzsche’s words?

Okay I’m asking, I’m not arguing. So you would be okay if some profs. have problem with this thought. And you would accept the student regardless because of his originality. Glad to hear so

elbanditoroso's avatar

Depends on the college. UC Berkeley likes free thinkers and creative people. Liberty University (started by Jerry Falwell) definitely would not.

marinelife's avatar

It would depend on the admissions standards of the college and how “dangerous” the person was.

BosM's avatar

I believe most institutions of learning value a diverse student population. Challenging dogmas and beliefs is not dangerous, but how you do so is important. Remember, not everything needs to be challenged, to do so makes a person appear difficult. If you truly want to lead change you need to do so by building relationships with others and in so doing influencing people to change.

As for being “not simple minded” ... what I’ve come to learn is that simplicity in thought is what comes from distilling complexity into great clarity. Steve Jobs: ”... simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

Following your heart and live your true passion. To do so takes time, determination, commitment, and trusting in self. It doesn’t happen overnight, there will be those along the way to help you, listen to them, trust your insticts and intuition. Steve Jobs to the graduating class of Stanford: “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

SmashTheState's avatar

When organizations say they like people who “think outside the box,” what they really mean is they like people who put on a show of being different while telling everyone exactly what they want to hear. No organization will ever celebrate actual diversity, just the appearance of it.

mollypop51797's avatar

I don’t think anyone should be denied the opportunity to do something (whether it be colleges, job opportunities etc.) because they’re “different”. Personally, as @ZEPHYRA said, I think our world would be a much more interesting and unique, in tune place if “different” people like these were given more opportunities.

gailcalled's avatar

College admissions officers start out with this question as they go through the folders for the first time.

“Can this student handle the curriculum comfortably?”

If “yes”, at the next round the question becomes…

“How can this student contribute to the life of the student community and the college/ university as a whole”?

At the following rounds, the questions become more complicated.

Have we people interested in sports, the orchestra, social service, student newspaper, political activism, the classics quiz team, etc.

You can have any interests or thoughts you want as long as you can 1) articulate them clearly and accurately and 2) defend them with concrete evidence and not sophomoric mush.

“Pofessor” is not a generic term for a dogma-laden automaton.

For example; Neitzche wrote:

The Greek State (1871)[106]
The Birth of Tragedy (1872)
On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense (1873)
Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks (1873)
Untimely Meditations (1876)
Human, All Too Human (1878; additions in 1879, 1880)
The Dawn (1881)
The Gay Science (1882)
Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883–1885)
Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
On the Genealogy of Morality (1887)

It took him over 18 years of writing (having thought about his philosophical stance for decades), to formulate his ideas (which did not stay static, by the way). You can’t sum them up in several quotations taken out of context

@Earthflag; You are oversimplifying both the college admissions process and what life is like on a college or university campus. Visit a local college campus. Hang out anywhere (library, food area, dorm corridor) and listen to the students. Audit one class of Introduction to Philosophy.

janbb's avatar

Differenr colleges are looking for different types of student bodies . A Bard or an Antioch will be looking for more dangerous thinkers than a Baylor or a Bob Jones. impossible to generalize.

wundayatta's avatar

Most college applicants vastly overestimate the dangerousness of their thinking. They vastly overestimate the newness of their thinking. It’s only natural. When you’re young, you don’t know anything, and you think you are so different.

As I grew older, I discovered that more and more of my “different” thinking was actually quite common. Nowadays, I am certain that I have no new thoughts. But I don’t care any more. They are new to me, so that makes them interesting.

I would not think a young person has much, if anything to worry about new thoughts. I do hope I’m wrong. But I remember thinking all the things that pass for new thoughts these days back when I was 20. They aren’t new. They are just discoveries of thoughts that have been around a long time already.

The only place really new thoughts are being thunk is in technology and in scientific research. That’s the stuff you want to read if you want to find out what really new things are going on.

talljasperman's avatar

I would ask that to that person and ask him to reject the university… not to be punitive to that student but the exact opposite. I would expect that the person would realize that most universities are about money not truth and I wouldn’t want to take advantage of someone who could make a difference in society. I would give them directions to some place that is not for profit…somewhere they could get a real education and do the most for society like a good library or bookstore…instead of a diploma mill.

JilltheTooth's avatar

If that is your concern about getting into college, don’t worry. What you have described as “dangerous” and “different” is really quite normal for people your age. That would only really have any possibility of being considered “dangerous” if you base your views on some kind of “Brady Bunch” dynamic.

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