Oct 22, 2021Liked by Claire Zulkey

Just doing a little archive reading, and I love this post so much. I set myself the goal of going to Harvard when I was 8 years old (it’s not quite as awful as it sounds - I wanted to grow up to be my aunt, and she went to Radcliffe. Never underestimate the influence or aunts!). I did go to Harvard and I actually really liked it, but no one, least of all me, figured out that I had been super motivated by this very specific goal and had completely forgotten to spend any time figuring out what I wanted to do with my life! I had gotten so good at academics and at figuring out how to quickly adapt to and master a discipline that I literally could not tell what I liked to do. This has lead to a lot of soul searching and career changing and generally has not been great in my late 20’s through now. My point, I guess, is that college is a means to an end. It isn’t a good goal unto itself. I hope my own kids focus more on figuring out what they are passionate about and what they want to have an impact on, rather than getting too bogged down in the academic rat race.

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Thank you! I'm glad you found the post and enjoyed it. And "the influence of aunts" is a ripe topic! And yeah I used to work in academic relations and did some work writing about a new program that basically like mentally prepares grad students for work/life outside academia. It was both practical and a bummer.

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May 11, 2021Liked by Claire Zulkey

this is terrific. I work at a foundation that supports higher education, and it all resonates. I went to an Ivy for undergrad and HATED it. I super duper hope my boys choose a state school if they go to college at all. I really want them to opt out of this insane exclusivity race, which is MEANINGLESS.

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