As Promised… [Edited]

(Hey everyone! As promised, while I am in Vegas, a guest blogger will write in my stead. For this trip, that will be none other then Moi. Enjoy!)

Hello! It’s the infamous «Moi» speaking. I have been asked to post for Zack while he is out of town, so that’s what I’ll do! As he said, he has no idea what I’m posting about, so this will be a surprise for him too. (For those of you who are curious, he is doing well and having a good time.) Now, onto today’s topic…

Ivy League schools are supposed to be extraordinarily superior to other schools. However, after spending a year at one, I am starting to think that it isn’t really the education itself that is superior; it is more the opportunities that an Ivy League education gives you. The tuition price is definitely “superior” to that of other schools, but for the cost, the professors really don’t seem to care about you as much as they should most of the time, and the topics you cover in class aren’t what you want to study half the time. Moreover, the choice of majors isn’t as all-encompassing as you expect. About 75% of the students you meet will tell you that they are either pre-med (which means chemistry or biology majors) or political-science and economics double majors (poli-sci econ!). The resources of the school are most definitely concentrated on these majors, and so if you want to major in something else, you might want to reconsider the school.

Now, while all of this might sound negative, recall that I said that it isn’t the education that is great, it is the opportunities. The biggest reason for staying at one of these Ivy League schools is that you graduate with a degree that marks you as one of the most accomplished people your age, because the name on the degree does make a huge difference in the end. Going to a school with a huge budget has its perks too, especially when it comes to trying to start new student groups and when looking for financial aid. On top of that, the people you meet at these schools are totally different from those at other schools. They are intelligent, wealthy, and well-connected, and they help you build connections. This is both advantageous, and disadvantageous, because they aren’t the type of people I am used to spending time with, but that really isn’t horrible in and of itself. A lot of the people are the WASP-y people you expect to be at these schools, but I have met some of the nicest and most easy-going people that I have ever met. At the same time, everywhere you turn, it seems like the other students are all trust fund babies who have accomplished more than you, have a longer history of education in their families, and make you feel so inferior. You just want to fit in, even if that is the last thing that you really want. It is easy to want to give up your identity so that you can fit in better with the collective identity there. It is easy to feel like giving in will help you be more successful, not just with friends, but with life.

I know I am intelligent and I know that I worked hard to get to where I am today. However, after being immersed in this high-class, prestigious community for one year, I still don’t know why I should be there. My parents and I can’t contribute to the trust fund, I haven’t made any big contributions to society through science or any other intellectual endeavors, and I don’t even think that I want to follow in the footsteps of most other graduates from these schools. I don’t want to be a CEO of a company that spends more time working than with my family, and I don’t want to follow the often extravagant, wasteful lifestyle that these people have. I like the way I was raised because I like that I had to learn how to work for what I have and not to want things because everyone else has them. When I was younger, it seemed awful, but now that I am older, I like that I have not been spoiled. I don’t want to raise my kids the way my friends have been raised; I’d rather raise them the way I have been raised, but this will contradict the education that I have received and the society that I would belong to if I followed in the footsteps of the majority of my classmates. I feel like if I live my life the way I would really like to live it, I would be letting a lot of people down: the school, my family, my friends. I just want to be a mommy with a couple of kids, a little job that is easy to put on hold, and a housewife, but the general view is that it would be a waste of my intelligence, my education, and the opportunities that I have gotten at my school. It’s a tough decision to make sometimes.

So, here are a few of my thoughts. Hope they keep you guys busy until Zack gets back!

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