The life of Schuyler Smith, a student at the elite preparatory school Horace Mann in New York City, was declared officially over this April when he received his eighth and final rejection letter from Dartmouth, an Ivy League University in New Hampshire.
Schuyler always said “[his] life [would] be over” if he didn’t get into an Ivy League university, and mere minutes after opening the rejection letter from Dartmouth and shedding a few tears, his parents, Yale Alumni Judith and Milton, agreed with his decision. As a family, they began the necessary paperwork to erase his existence from the earth.
“When he didn’t get into Yale as a legacy, I knew his end was near,” said his mother Judith. “We contribute a sizable annual donation, so it was a bit of a shock they didn’t look past his flaws as an applicant. I would say I will miss him, but as a mother, I’m more relieved he won’t have to lead a miserable life, bouncing around from job to job in the so-called ‘gig’ economy.”
His father Milton simply stated, “not all investments yield a good return,” and shrugged.
When asked for comment on the legal erasure of Schuyler’s life, his College Counselor Gordon Krieger said, “Though about 40% of our students do get accepted by at least one Ivy, we encourage all students to apply to other universities, including at least one safety school,” but Schuyler seemed to feel there was “no point” to a life without Ivy Alumni events, preferring to peacefully disappear from high society.
“There’s no way I can face my peers without an Ivy League degree,” he continued. “What kind of life can you have with a BA from some small liberal arts college or regional research university. I mean, what kind of jobs could I even get? Upper management at a tech startup? Consulting for a small hedge fund? I’ll never be President now, not even of a global corporation,” Schuyler lamented.
“Even if I went on to get a JD or an MBA, I’d be concerned about salary prospects. Starting below $200,000 would destroy my social life. How would I get to the Hamptons? The jitney?!” he added. “Having to sacrifice things like my Equinox membership for what, Crunch? Impossible,” said Schuyler, choking back disgust.
Official declaration of ‘life over’ for high school graduates is fairly uncommon in the U.S., but has been a growing trend in the east coast preparatory school community since the 1980s. Sociologist Carol Sorenson of John Hopkins University has been studying the practice of ‘life over-ing’ in affluent families for the last ten years. “Despite the faulty logic,” she said, “the benefits to middle and working class students have been significant. Carnegie Mellon’s acceptance rates of minorities and public school students alone have increased by at least 20%, not to mention the uptick in diversity hiring at firms like Goldman Sachs.”
Once the paperwork is notarized, Schuyler Smith, the 3.1 GPA Student, mediocre squash player, and 724 Park Avenue resident will gather close friends and family at the Smith’s East Hampton home for a tasteful clambake and photo-burning ceremony. Afterwards, Schuyler will climb aboard the sailboat he received for his 16th birthday one final time to sail towards the Bermuda Triangle. “If I make it through, I can start a new life in the Cayman Islands, but Schuyler Smith as we know it? He’ll never be seen, heard of, or thought of ever again.”