AsiaOne 01 May 2010 - Success stories:
"IF the vetting process by local universities is not competitive enough, note that Harvard University accepts only a little more than 7% of the 29,000 undergraduate applications it receives annually.
Stanford University's acceptance rate is about the same and the other Ivy League universities are almost as stringent. The same applies for top British universities like Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial and the London School of Economics and Political Science.
With that, there would be a few brainy people - at least - who miss out on their dream varsity.
To prove that university rejection is not the end of the world, here are some famous Harvard 'rejects' who have made it big in life.
e.g. John Kerry (which I don't considered to be that great since he messed up on the sure-win Presidential election against Bush Jr.! OK it is not a fair assessment but that's how I felt'), Mr. Turner who made CNN into a big hit and the 1st 24-hr news TV station, etc..
Closer to home it named ex-richest man in Singapore, property tycoon, Ng Teng Fong; ex-tech darling of Singapore, one of the Creative Technologies founders, Sim Wong Woo (incidentally ex-richest man in Singapore during the dot-com bubble years!), etc..."
Well. I never have to be told that university rejection is the end of the world. Now that I am told and given all these sterling real life examples, I am not sure the younger generation of Singaporeans will BELIEVE it!
Lessons for me are:
1. the environment in Singapore clearly said: you better be educated and well. Preferably on government scholarship at one of the quoted 'most difficult to get in universities' here if you want a fast track career drawing 5-digit salary when you graduated! If you have some political ambition, you may even by selected by the ruling party to be in their ranks and made minister that pay a 6-digit annual salary! What more would any RATIONAL and CLEAR THINKING young man and woman need to make sure that 'rejection' from the choice university is NOT the end of the 'material' dram?;
2. the success stories quoted all seems to point to business successes or accumulation of some wealth. When these are the role models touted around, were there any wonder why young people seems to gravitate to the profession that paid the most regardless of if the products or services they are providing create any good for mankind! Why would Goldman Sach continue to employ young and 'innovative' people to create more products to sell? The reason is simple: the more you sell the more bonuses you will collect in the millions!;
3. fundamentally to really influence the young people, we definitely have to start at home when they are still young. It therefore starts with the parents' attitude towards what constitute 'success'. It then go on to the schools and how the educators' termed as success? (grades above all else or grade 80-grace 20?). Finally the society that they live in, how do they define: 'success'? In Singapore, the emphasis, unfortunately, is still not on altruism, be a good person but a poor person, do the right things with solid personal integrity, etc. It is still skewed very much towards materialism. I cannot fault it as Singapore is a commercial undertaking. Though the very foundation of 'capitalism' is now shaken to its core due to the recent development where 'greed overwhelmed ALL'.
May Singapore march forward on 1 May 2010 Labour Day to a different tune, ever slightly, so that we can get to a totally new path soon!