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| About 5 long years ago I was an excited young man, elated upon receiving an acceptance letter to Harvard, generally regarded as the "best of the best", the Ivy League, the pinnacle of academic achievement, the most prestigious name in post-seconday education. It was among the happiest moments, (if not the happiest moment) of my short life. I had worked quite hard for this one piece of paper.|
I arrived at campus an eager freshman, well-prepared for all manner of intellectual pursuits. I was excited to meet my fellow classmates, and therefore to broaden my "personal view" of the world at large. I was excited to further my personal insight regarding a variety of subjects and fields of knowledge. I was excited for my courses, as I could only dream of what educational experiences were to come at arguably the worlds most "prestigious educational institution".
My naive views soon came crashing down, however, once I realized that the only prestige of Harvard lies in the name itself, and in the fact that it is the oldest such institution in America. Immediately upon arrival I encountered a revolting culture of elitism, among students and professors. Yes, it is a good college, but I would not go so far as to say it is anywhere above any other schools in the Ivy League/Stanford/MIT, especially in terms of undergraduate study. Professors are very self-absorbed, with the overwhelming majority of their time clearly devoted to their own research pursuits/etc. Students and professors alike seem to be caught up in the "nostalgia" of sorts in the fact that yes, they go to "Haaarvard". The social scene is dominated by New England-elites, sons of wealthy financiers and politicians, who, although they are not that smart themselves given that they are supposedly attending one of the most prestigious universities in the world, typically think of themselves as "the best thing since sliced bread" There are students of other cultural and ethnic backgrounds, but those too are usually of some quite privileged status (foreign political elites/etc.).
As a "normal", "average", US Midwest, middle-class kid, who grew up in the "real world" as many may put it, I was thoroughly amazed and repulsed at the same time by the culture of Harvard. The degree was worth it, in strictly financial terms, as the H itself can indeed be worth thousands of dollars when searching for a job post-graduation. The vast majority of Americans and employers alike, indeed fall victim to the legendary "prestige" of Harvard,and therefore will pay a Harvard grad a significant sum higher than a graduate of most other universities, "plebeian" in comparison.If you get accepted, I would definitely look into it, but if you get accepted to other schools as well, say Stanford, Yale, MIT, Ivys... I would definitely look into those schools as well. Dont fall victim to the H, you may sincerely regret it.
|Nov 05 2012|| 4th Year Male --
Class 2012 |