About Me

My name is Spencer. I'm 23 years old, and I'm a junior at Princeton. So far college has taken me five years. I've taken time off to work, transferred to USC and come back, and learned a lot along the way.

I like to think about life and what I'm going to do with mine.

I've met a lot of people my age with the same sorts of thoughts so feel free to read, take surveys, and comment.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Perspectives from Graduates

Recently, I spoke with some recent college graduates (graduating within the last ten years), a couple of whom are M.I.T. alumni. I only bring up the Alma Mater in order to emphasize the difficulty of school I'm referring to. Now, onto the important part.

What they said was that the rigorous course work from such a hard school helped them more than they would know for a long while; in fact, they only just realized it many years after graduating. What they had realized was that getting through such an immense amount of work truly taught them the value of dedication, very hard work and the benefits that will come from it later on.

Notice that they didn't concentrate on the "education" that M.I.T. gave them. Although I presume that the teachers were excellent and the facilities quite good, they weren't the things that left as much of an impression years later.

To make this brief (as I am running low on time), we are told since we were in middle school (or even elementary school) that we must work and do well in order to get into a good college and then go onto getting a good job and then perhaps a good grad school etc etc. I know that it's hard for younger people to appreciate the benefits of being forced to work hard. Even if it's something that they are blatantly told, true acceptance and knowledge of this fact comes with maturity (i.e. basically older age).

So, does that make what our parents, advisers, and teachers liars (to tell us that we have to work hard to get into a good school)? Or do they think that we're not mature enough to know the true reasons for our work?

How can we be expected to give our best for a reason that, in my mind, doesn't seem correct? Not to mention that a lot of college acceptances are out of our control to a great extent.

And what about this: if we have an off day or do poorly in a class or an exam, it suddenly becomes okay as long as we tried our best? But how can we vest so much into something, and, when we fail, it's suddenly okay if we tried our best? The colleges won't care about your off day? So why not tell us that we work hard to learn how to work hard?

I'm still unsure if it depends on the individual or it's something we can, as people, only appreciate later in life...

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