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It’s tough being a teenager.

Do you ever feel like you’re half human, half alien? Like everybody knows what their place is in the world, but you will never fit in?

The motley crew of the Starship Enterprise contained just such a character: Mr. Spock. Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played Spock, passed away last week, and the tributes paid to him included the resurrection of an article–now gone viral–he had written in 1968 in reply to a teenager who wrote to him in despair.

“I know that you are half Vulcan and half human,” she wrote. “My mother is Negro and my father is white . . . The Negroes don’t like me because I don’t look like them. The white kids don’t like me because I don’t exactly look like one of them, either. I guess I’ll never have any friends.”

Click to read the moving reply of “Spock: Teenage Outcast.


Athena Advises

I can’t really improve on Mr. Spock’s advice, which was to forget about being popular and powerful, and start being intelligent and useful.

The teenage outcast Spock “replaced the idea of wanting to be liked with the idea of being accomplished. Instead of being interested in being popular, he became interested in being intelligent. And instead of wanting to be powerful, he became interested in being useful.”

The day is coming–soon–when you will no longer be asked to do pretty much exactly what every person in, say, 11th grade is expected to do, just because you were born in the same rotation of the Earth around the Sun.

And one of the fantastic things about choosing colleges is that you get to choose the environment in which you feel you will best express the one and only YOU.

Here’s to Planet YOU.

Dr. Marlena Corcoran
Founder and CEO