The nation’s top colleges are turning our kids into zombies.
Outstanding article that I, for the past three years now, consciously sensed needed to be written. I know so many brilliant kids, friends, from my high school that made themselves sick (literally — with anxiety, insecurity and other mental stressors) all in the pursuit of the limelighted goal, the ultimate dictator of their worth: getting into an Ivy.
Some favorite excerpts:
"Once, a student at Pomona told me that she’d love to have a chance to think about the things she’s studying, only she doesn’t have the time. I asked her if she had ever considered not trying to get an A in every class. She looked at me as if I had made an indecent suggestion."
"The first thing that college is for is to teach you to think. That doesn’t simply mean developing the mental skills particular to individual disciplines. College is an opportunity to stand outside the world for a few years, between the orthodoxy of your family and the exigencies of career, and contemplate things from a distance."
"There’s something in particular you need to think about: building a self."
"I’ve noticed something similar when it comes to service. Why is it that people feel the need to go to places like Guatemala to do their projects of rescue or documentation, instead of Milwaukee or Arkansas? When students do stay in the States, why is it that so many head for New Orleans? Perhaps it’s no surprise, when kids are trained to think of service as something they are ultimately doing for themselves—that is, for their résumés. “Do well by doing good,” goes the slogan. How about just doing good?”
"You really aren’t as smart as everyone has been telling you; you’re only smarter in a certain way. There are smart people who do not go to a prestigious college, or to any college—often precisely for reasons of class. There are smart people who are not “smart.””
"Kids at less prestigious schools are apt to be more interesting, more curious, more open, and far less entitled and competitive."