By: Erin Bailey ‘19
Dear Olivia Jade,
While not an avid viewer, on a bored Sunday afternoon I’ve watched a few of your videos, your weekly vlogs detailing your wonderful life at the University of Southern California. Like many college bound high school girls, I’ve loved watching college youtubers. Dreaming about what beautiful campus I’d be walking through, on my way to class next year, or what posters I would put on my dorm walls. But today, I don’t come to you as a viewer, I come to you humbly as one of the 2.2 million high school seniors that applied to college this year (National Center for Education Statistics).
I come to you, as one of the thousands of students who have stayed up till dawn working on their physics problem sets. One of the thousands who slaved away at the ACT and SAT in the library for hours, working to get their score up even ten points. I come to you as one of thousands of college bound students who have stood in the face of rejection to their “dream school”.
Your videos talk about your idyllic life; you post “high end/luxury clothing hauls” where you “drop a few grand.” Gucci clad, you post about your perfect vacations and perfect weeks in your life, and we bought it. We believed in the perfect image you promoted.
Looking back now, reflecting on the sham that you lead us all to believe it’s almost comical to see your “Blinging on a Budget!” or “$50 OUTFIT CHALLENGE” videos. You were trying so hard to be like us: the typical high schooler that gets a small weekly allowance and doesn’t have $1,780 to buy your Gucci hoodie, who honestly applies to their dream school on the common app, and doesn’t have half of a million dollars readily available to spend on getting into college.
The system is broken; we all know that. The more money your family has, the better tutor your family can get you, the better high school your parents can send you to, the more prestigious college you can get into. But you took that to a whole new level.
Its funny that the USC mascot is a Trojan. While I don’t expect you to know the story of the Trojan horse, the story of your admission into the land of the Trojans parallels the ancient story. You hid yourself within your own horse, not made of bronze but made of cartier gold, designer leather, and money from your bronzers. The irony in it all almost makes me forget about my anger, but you can’t cover up your character with photoshop and foundation.
As I can’t look you in the eyes Olivia, I’ll give you this. I am not alone, when I tell you about how I have stood in the face of rejection and wondered why I wasn’t good enough. I am not alone when I say that I have cried in the hallway at school after bombing a test. I am not alone when I tell you how after studying hours and hours for the SAT my score wouldn’t budge.
I am not alone when I say that I feel that your privilege and wealth that you flaunt, whith your over filtered instagram pics, has gone too far.
I hope you sleep soundly in your bed, in your dorm tonight, I hope you take lessons from the hard working students around you and I hope you pay attention in class and recognize that thousands of students much more deserving than you have worked honestly for years to be in your shoes. From 9th to 12th grade, thousands of students have put themselves through extreme sleep deprivation and stress hoping that that would be enough to them into USC.
I hope you see the extreme disrespect and hypocrisy in the fact that our AdSense revenue paid for your acceptance.