Almost everyone reading this has had to go through the college admissions process. For many, the admissions process is the happiest day of their life, and for others it is one of the worst. Trying to figure out “the secret” to acceptance is the basis for the application and the movie “Admission.” Admission is a movie staring Tina Fay and Paul Rudd, directed by Paul Weitz. The movie is about an initially heartless Princeton admissions officer, Portia Nathan. She believes she has the perfect life, no kids, english-professor long-term boyfriend and almost at the top in the admissions office.
All of this is shaken up when she gets a call from John Pressman to visit his new school. Shortly after visiting, John reveals that his one student that wants to attend Princeton, Joseph, may also be Portia’s son that she gave up for adoption while in college eighteen years ago. This puts Portia in the awkward and uncomfortable situation of deciding her sons future when she receives his application. Her heart becomes un-thawed and does everything in her power to get Joseph into Princeton, forming alliances with competition, working the system and in the end doing the unthinkable.
The admissions process is something that can truly be a scarring experience. It is marketed as what a student has worked for their entire pre-school, elementary school, middle school, and high school career. The student is asked to fill out an application with common demographic information, a transcript, a description of activities, accomplishments and hours, plus an essay and in some cases a supplement. The college admissions process is one of the first real “life’s not fair” moments in a student’s life. There can be two similar people, one that’s a legacy and another who is not; both with impressive resumes and one will get the best-day-ever magic ticket while the other receives the worst-day-ever coupon.
The movie Admissions shows the ruthlessness of competitive school’s admissions offices. The bluntness and disconnected emotions showed by the officers in the movie is chilling. But the one slight bit of happiness in the movie is the message that everything happens for a reason and it all works out.
From experience I can say this is 100% true. I applied to many schools and, in my opinion, had a pretty unique application. However, I never got my best-day-ever ticket, I was let down again and again and the schools I did get into I had no large aspirations to attend. The application from Colorado School of Mines is so nonchalant and their reputation is so small on the east coast that it really was of no interest to me. Like many, I decided to apply to Mines on a whim. While I sorted through my college fan mail I randomly kept the Mines application, even though I had already ruled out Colorado as being too far, but the “no essay required” was just too enticing. It was not until I was waitlisted to my last first option that I really considered Mines. Very reluctantly I visited Mines and agreed that I could make it here for four years, and at worst two and then transfer.
But all that being said, Mines is the best school I could have gone to and like Portia repeatedly says to applicants, I “ended up where I was supposed to be.”
“Admission” is a quality movie, but not the most feel good one out there. There is a little romance, a little wit and bit of feminism. Overall it makes for a entertaining flick that is best watched after the admissions process, once the wounds have healed.
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