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This story is from 2015, but I just discovered it today and it blew my got damn mind.
The brother of actress Mindy Kaling, Vijay Chokal-Ingam — who, like Mindy, is Indian — saw his grades and resume potential decrease after joining a fraternity when he got to college. Something tells me most of you can relate to that story.
From the New York Post:
I had toed the line in school my whole life. I sailed through a prestigious prep school with great grades. Had always been a model student. But college? Well, it was like Disneyland — so many rides to take, so much fun to have. I joined a fraternity and committed a great deal of effort to fun. But about halfway through, I had an epiphany and it scared the crap out of me.
Your chapter sucked ass? You should’ve been wearing condoms? You should’ve closed that ‘hub tab in your browser before closing your laptop the night before giving a PowerPoint presentation in your women’s studies class?
I wanted to be a doctor.
Can’t say I relate to that aspect of his story, but I knew a lot of smart Greek life dudes who faced the same problem while in college: they were cool and not lame and enjoyed drinking, but also wanted to go to med school — a place designed for those who are lame and not cool while in college to go spend their post-college years. Vijay found that while his grades were already below average thanks to all the time he was dedicating to partying and his fraternity, there was something affecting his ability to get a med school acceptance letter even more: his race.
Med schools are not short on Indian applicants… but they are short on African-American ones. After Vijay crunched the numbers and determined that his 3.1 GPA and 31 MCAT score were almost assuredly not going to land him a med school acceptance but that they would all but guarantee a black applicant one, he knew what he (thought he had to) do: pretend to be black. So he changed his appearance in order to look the part and got to work.
Most of my friends were supportive, although for the longest time they saw it as a fraternity joke, that is until I got wait-listed at the Washington University School of Medicine. A few, including my girlfriend, disapproved. It made no difference to me because I was a man on a mission. She and I eventually broke up.
Eyes on the prize. You have to respect that dedication. It all paid off, too: he got accepted to the St. Louis University School of Medicine… before realizing he didn’t want to be a doctor and dropping out two years in. It’s not about the destination, though; it’s about the journey. And what a journey Vijay had.
[via New York Post]
Image via Twitter/@VijayIngam