Remember that young kid who lied to get into Harvard and was all over the news earlier this year? Adam Wheeler pleaded guilty and was sentenced last week but he got less fanfare than his story sparked in May.
There was a tiny news brief on page A25 of the New York Times on Friday, much less ink than Wheeler’s story go when news of his master deception broke.
A man who authorities said falsified his academic record to get into Harvard University pleaded guilty Thursday to larceny, identity fraud and other charges. Adam Wheeler, 24, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison, 10 years of probation and $45,000 in restitution. According to the sentence, Mr. Wheeler will serve only 30 days in prison. In May, Mr. Wheeler was charged after forging his transcripts and receiving more than $50,000 in scholarships and grants from Harvard. Mr. Wheeler applied to the university as a transfer student, sending fabricated records from M.I.T. and Philips Academy. In reality, Mr. Wheeler attended a public high school in Delaware and Bowdoin College.
That’s it. Not even a photo of the guy. But alas, that’s how things work in the media folks. One day people are wondering who’ll play you in the movie about your life and the next you’re yesterday’s news. And that’s just how life works when it comes to the many milestones you make in your life, whether they’re fake accomplishments or real ones.
Wheeler was hoping a Harvard education would set him up for life, and why would you blame the guy for thinking that. That’s what our society tells kids all the time. But in reality what sets people up for life is following their dreams, their passions. Trust me. I hear from tons of people in their middle careers, some with lots of money and a big house, who aren’t happy and are looking for something, something they just can’t put their finger on. (more…)