Meaning I'm trying to convey is: I am not the kid who himself and whose parents knew from the very birth that he is going to study in prestigious school. Because he is from fancy family, several generations of which were studying in this school etc.

Does sentence "I'm not the one who was born to study at Ivy League school." conveys the message appropriately? Or it implies that that I'm somehow not good enough? Is there a better way to convey the message with reference to the school briefly?

  • Better wording might be, "I wasn't predestined to attend an Ivy League school." Minimum, your sentence instead should be, "I'm not one who was born to study at an Ivy League school." A completely different statement with a stronger feeling would be, "I had to fight to attend an Ivy League school."
    – mkennedy
    Nov 19, 2015 at 20:20

2 Answers 2


There is a specific idiom for this: "legacy admissions". According to Wikipedia,

Legacy preferences or legacy admission is one of the types of preference given by an institution or organization to certain applicants on the basis of their familial relationship to alumni of that institution. (Students so admitted are referred to as legacies or legacy students.)

Searching Google, you can find many people who say about themselves,

I wasn't a legacy


I'm not a legacy

to mean what you're trying to say. Using the present tense means one is a current or prospective student, while using the past tense means one is a former student.

Because "legacy" has other meanings, you should make sure to include enough surrounding context so that people know you're talking about school.

  • Thank you, Dan! What do you think about the phrase: I'm not the one who was born to study at Ivy League school. What shades of meaning does it bring? Nov 19, 2015 at 19:36

I think you can use the well-known idiom as follows:

I am not the kid who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

  • Great idea, thanks! But in this case I need specific reference to the school. Nov 19, 2015 at 18:12

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