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Teen Balks After Aunt Demands She Give Cousin Her Spot At College That Rejected Him

Girl lying on her bed in a college dorm.
James Woodson/Getty Images

Anyone who has college in mind plans tends to imagine where they might one day go from a very young age.

As some people grow up, they either see their dream college begin become a reality or realize that their grades and SAT scores might not quite measure up to the standards of the prestigious school they once dreamed of attending.

Others, however, remain committed to their dream school and will often do all they can to make sure they will have an acceptance letter addressed to them in the fall or spring of their senior year of high school.

Redditor AdRelative130 and her cousin both applied to the same college, where the original poster  (OP)’s cousin had dreamed of going all their lives.

While the OP was delighted to learn she had been accepted, her cousin was not so lucky.

Rather than be happy for the OP, however, her cousin and his parents made some rather startling demands that the OP wouldn’t even begin to consider obliging.

Wondering if she was being insensitive, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA For going to college at my cousin’s dream school even though he didn’t get in?”

The OP explained why her acceptance into a very competitive college subsequently put her at odds with her cousin, aunt, and uncle:

“I don’t think I’m in the wrong, but I could use a second opinion because I’m getting really annoyed with the drama.”

“Basic context, I (18 F[emale]) just got into a really good college.”

“I’m there right now, sitting on my dorm room bed typing this.”

“I have a cousin (18 M[ale]) that also wanted to attend this particular school.”

“He’d been talking about it since we were in middle school.”

“He was absolutely positive he would get in but didn’t.”

“Supposedly, my cousin had a full-on freak out when he got rejected, but I wasn’t there for that.”

“He got his email a few days before I got mine.”

“My parents were overjoyed that I’d gotten in, and with a big scholarship, but as soon as my uncle, aunt, and cousin heard, they jumped on me immediately.”

“Calls, texts, showing up to my parents’ house uninvited, trying to convince me to give my spot to my cousin.”

“He was livid that I was accepted, but he wasn’t.”

“I told him it was probably because I had a bunch of extracurriculars, and he didn’t because he thought they were a ‘waste of valuable study time’.”

“He said I didn’t work as hard as him or get as good of grades as him and didn’t deserve to go to this college, but he couldn’t.”

“I told him tough sh*t, that’s life, and he screamed that I’d probably just drop out anyways because I won’t be able to handle it like he would.”

“It got to the point that I just left my phone off and exclusively used my laptop for about a week because they wouldn’t stop bugging me.”

“Once they figured out they wouldn’t get me to give my cousin my acceptance (because I literally can’t, that’s not how acceptance works), they started trying to convince me to go to a different school.”

“Since apparently this one ‘can’t actually be all that good if they couldn’t even recognize a talented and smart person like my cousin.'”

“And that I’d probably be much happier at some other school.”

“This went on until the day I left for school three weeks ago.”

“The day I left my cousin actually came to my parents’ house just before I left and told me flat out that if I really went through with this, we weren’t family anymore because he ‘doesn’t want to be related to someone that would be so willing to steal his dreams’ (actual quote).”

“I told him okay and got in my car.”

“Now I’m all set up in my dorm, my roommate is fun as heck, classes are going well, and I’m really happy.”

“My cousin still keeps posting angsty junk on his Instagram about dreams being false and hard work being BS that doesn’t get you anywhere.”

“It’s annoying.”

“So what do you guys think?”

“Should I have gone to a different school?”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was in no way the a**hole for still going to her cousin’s dream college, in spite of the fact that he got rejected.

Everyone agreed with the OP that her cousin, aunt, and uncle were not only being incredibly unreasonable but also delusional by asking her to give up her spot to her cousin.


“They think you can call admissions and give your spot away to someone else of your choice?”

“They’re losing touch with reality.”

“NTA.”- damo7367


“How could you possibly be an a**hole for going to a school your cousin didn’t get into?”

“This is even more absurd than someone getting angry because a sibling got married a month before them.”

“A university acceptance cannot be sublet.”

“Perhaps this kid isn’t as bright as he thinks…”- He_Who_Is_Person


“These people are clearly not that bright if they don’t understand that you can’t just get a place and give it to someone else.”

“This is beyond ridiculous.”- dazed1984

“Absolutely NTA – your cousin sounds like a moron.”

“You can’t give someone your acceptance. That’s not how it works.”

“Congrats on your scholarship and college life, OP! Have fun!!”- Discount_Mithral


“Absolutely not.”

“Not surprising he didn’t get in given how he and his family don’t seem to understand how college works.”- jrm1102

“OMG, Just block him on everything.”


“His parents deluded him into thinking that grades were everything.”

“They sold him the idea that as long as he worked hard at school, he’d get into his preferred college.”

“While that can be true for some colleges, others like to see that you were able to do things outside of school, like volunteer, extracurriculars, etc.”

“He can’t be mad at you that he didn’t get in (well, he can, but it’s misdirected).”

“I’m not sure why your parents didn’t put an end to this behavior immediately.”- Ok-Context1168


“But WOW!, just WOW! What an entitled AH your cousin is.”

“Oh! and congratulations on getting your choice of college.”- theitguy1968


“And he’s right, you aren’t family.”

“Not because you ‘stole’ his dreams but because he and his family can’t just be happy for you.”

“You didn’t take anything from him.”

“You earned it, and he didn’t.”- onionsmcgee


“Your cousin went over the top here – I get that it must have sucked for him to lose the chance to attend his dream school like that, but you didn’t ‘steal’ his spot, and if you didn’t go, they would have given your spot to a stranger, not to him.”

“It’s fine for you to try to be sensitive and not rub it in your cousin’s face that you got to go to his dream school, but that’s not what you’re doing.”

“He needs to pull his head out of his a** and make the most of wherever he DID get in.”

“PS: It’s ‘waste’ of time, no wonder he didn’t get in.”- nylonvest

The OP later returned to thank everyone who took the time to comment, as well as offer some clarity over her familial situation.

“Thanks for all the kind words and confirming that I am not the unreasonable one here.”

“I’m gonna quickly answer some questions that have been asked by multiple people because replying to a hundred separate comments sounds like a pain.”

“1; Where were your parents during all this?”

“Trying to keep me distracted from the drama.”

“Taking me shopping for my dorm, getting my car checked out before I left, a celebration dinner with my grandparents, just trying to make sure I was still happy about my acceptance.”

“2. Did your cousin apply to any other schools?”

“Yes, he did, but only because his guidance counselor told him to have at least one backup just in case.”

“He did get accepted to his second-choice school, but he’s still salty.”

“3. What program did you pick?”

“I’m doing videography.”

“It’s a pretty competitive program, so I’m really lucky I got in.”

“Why haven’t you blocked your cousin?”

“This one is fair. I really should have a while ago.”

“He’s stopped talking to me completely anyway, so it’s not the worst idea.”

“What’s the deal with your uncle and aunt?”

“They’re obnoxious.”

“That’s pretty much it.”

“They’re the type of people that think very highly of themselves, and it rubbed off on their son.”

“They drilled it into my cousin’s head for years that getting into a good college will set him up for life.”

“And for those of you wondering if there’s some sexism involved in these tantrums, the answer is no.”

“I don’t come from that kind of culture that prioritizes boys over girls. My family is just kinda weird.”

“Again, thanks for the kind and funny words.”

We can’t blame the OP’s cousin for being disappointed by the fact that he got rejected from the one school he’d always dreamed of attending.

But blaming the OP is ridiculous, to say the least, though not nearly as ridiculous as thinking she could just give up her place to him.

Maybe something he’ll finally learn at his second-choice college.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.