When I was about to graduate high school I wasn’t sure about what I would be doing for college. My grades were good, though my classes were all pass/fail and my SAT scores weren’t so stellar. I got a 760…combined. The girl I was dating (now my wife) was looking at Ivy League schools. I just didn’t know what to do. How was I going to get into school?
I went to my guidance counselor, on my mother’s suggestion, to see how I could possibly get into college. I was told that I wasn’t “college material.” My mother had some choice words in response—words I wouldn’t dare share on this blog.
My mother had faith that I could get into college and do well despite my low test scores. Of course, even with her confidence in me, there was another issue. “Do you want the bad news or the worse news?” she said. I went with the bad news first. “Your grades are okay, but you’ve got low SAT scores. And, the worse news is we have 0 money to help pay for your education.”
“The good news,” however, “is that we are so poor that there is a lot of financial aid scholarships. And, your non-academics, like being class treasurer and being involved in so many clubs, should help you.”
She told me to take out a book on colleges and find the most expensive school in New York State, which was Syracuse at the time. I drove up at midnight one Friday night with my friend David Badar and after falling in love with the place, I had an interview with an admissions counselor.
And, as you’ll note from my book, You Gotta Have Balls, I made my pitch:
“I don’t have any money. My SAT scores are kind of low, and my grades are pass/fail. But I’ve been working full time since I started high school. I’ve contributed to every student club I could fit in my schedule. I’ve been involved with so many activities I can barely remember them all. If you give me this opportunity, I promise you I will use every inch of this school. You will never regret letting me in.”
Of course, the rest was history. I was admitted into Syracuse and had the time of my life Going there had a big hand in making me who I am today
Once I saw what Syracuse could do for me, I was persistent in doing everything I could to get there. The admissions counselor saw that. This just shows you should never give up on something that you want because there is always a way to get it done. Next time you think something is impossible, just remember: it’s not.