What is College for?

college in europe

Episode Summary

Why is it important to gain insight into what college is for you as an individual? What happens if you don’t have that awareness? Moreover, what questions should you ask yourself to get that clear idea? Jenn dives into these questions to start the episode off.

Later in the episode, Jenn talks to William Deresiewicz, a former English professor at Yale University, an essayist, a literary critic, and an author of best-selling books, A Jane Austen Education and Excellent Sheep. Take a listen to this week’s episode and find out who is an excellent sheep, the unintended impact the US admissions process has on students throughout life, and how to avoid these pitfalls. Furthermore, you will discover whether a school’s reputation impacts future earnings, why faculty at most US universities are discouraged from spending time teaching, the problems of educational and residential-class segregation, and much more!

“As a result of the excellence that students have been forced to demonstrate, always doing what grown-ups want them to do, never having time to think about what they want, what they are good at, what they care about, they become sheep.” William Deresiewicz

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What you will hear in this episode:

  • How William Deresiewicz got the inspiration for the Excellent Sheep.
  • Becoming Sheep: Why so many students don’t know their passions in life.
  • How the admissions process negatively impacts students in college and later in life.
  • How to give our kids the balance in life they need.
  • The important lessons students learn from mistakes
  • What research shows about whether the school name impacts future earnings or not. 
  • The questions to ask yourself: What is your passion? Why are you going to school? What is college for? 
  • Why faculty at most US universities are discouraged from spending time teaching.
  • The problems of educational and residential-class segregation
  • The word about Deresiewicz’s new book The Death of the Artist


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