results and hard work

I’ve considered myself a hard worker for a while now

I remember getting up at 4:30 AM to practice two hours of basketball before school started because after school I would have 2-hours of rehearsal for musical theatre and I’d be too tired to play basketball then.

I wanted to balance both basketball and theatre as well as maintain top grades.

At Villanova, I’ve constantly taken a full-credit load because I want to learn as much as possible given the fixed costs of my semester tuition.

But I have not necessarily been seeing the results of my ‘hard work’

Which makes me come to two conclusions:

  1. I am either unlucky / the universe is unfair, or:
  2. I need to work harder

Option 1 I can’t control.

Option 2 I can, which means it’s time to amp it up and keep going. I haven’t burned out yet, I’m just getting started.

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Advice for college students

Don’t be in a rush

My first advice is this:

if you are in college, you are probably anywhere from the age of 18–22.

Now imagine this. If you are 20, you could do NOTHING right, and fail at everything you try for the next 10 YEARS. And you’d still be young

So don’t be in a rush.

Next, Find the variance.

I dropped my double major in the business school and opted to pick up a Philosophy major in the College of Liberal Arts near the end of my sophomore year.

Actually, it’s not officially declared, but I intend to do so.

My second piece of advice is simple.

Learn broadly.

Take the courses you are interested in and diversify your knowledge.

Those who are innovative are able to take two interrelated disciplines and build something new.

Just like how Lindt Chocolate combines dark chocolate with chili peppers, learn how to differentiate yourself with two different attributes.

Good Luck.

why your college doesn’t matter. AT ALL

What college you attend is almost Not important at all.

Instead, you should be the type of person who could attend a prestigious college.

In fact, it was two professors, one from Princeton, who actually released a paper in 2002 that detailed why attending super-selective colleges had no impact on future career salaries (economic benefits)

How did the study work?

Well, it tracked students who 1) went to prestigious colleges

And then for the control group, 2) students who were admitted but did not attend top prestigious colleges (either due to $$$ or personal reasons, which is not apparently important in this study).

After extensive research, there showed absolutely no difference in the economic long-term benefits of attending a top college.

The salary boost was “generally indistinguishable from zero”

Top universities are not so good at developing students’ potential as they are at spotting future potential and offering spots to these bright students.

That’s not to say that prestigious colleges don’t offer much better resources and networking. They do and will surely add a kickstart to your career. But in the long-run, it doesn’t matter so much as where you went as a student as much as what type of hard-working student you are.

Also, I need to note that salary is definitively not the best measure of future success; however, when you ask most college students these days why they are attending college, the most common response you’ll receive is “for a job/money.” So, I am sure this answer should offer a lot of solace to students who are still worried about not attending Harvard.

Good Luck.


Source: Estimating the Payoff to Attending a More Selective College: An Application of Selection on Observables and Unobservables

A message to incoming college freshman

This is the time to try and fail

No one cares about how cool you look or how smart you are anymore

This ain’t high school

You’re in the big leagues

But it also means you are granted this abundant freedom

Use it wisely

Right now our greatest strength is our youth

We have time to do anything we want

This is not the time to play it safe. You don’t pay bills and you’re in a setting around other passionate students in your age group. College is your safety net to take risks

Imagine this: you could do nothing right for the next 10 years and still be young. You’d be 28

So for the next 10 years I want you to fail as many times as possible but not just failing

Trying

Finding your passion

Seeking

Good luck

No regrets

The only time I regret not studying more for a test is immediately after the test for maybe a few hours. To this day, I still regret not asking out the “pretty girl” in high school for a prom-postal or not starting a YouTube channel earlier or not learning Chinese or saying “No” to potentially great opportunities. Life is more than just grades and tests.

-college student recovering from exams PTSD