fighting climate change

Climate change—or let’s be blunt here, global warming—is a difficult topic of discussion not only because no one genuinely understands the ramifications of a warming Earth, but also because there is not one unified blueprint to tackling the problem.

We fight fire with water. We fight obesity with exercising and dieting. We fight lethargy with sleep. We fight boredom with Netflix. But how exactly do we stop global warming?

First off, this is a global issue. When one person is obese, that individual can fight obesity with independent exercising and dieting. But global warming requires the entire world—or at least, a large majority of the population—to come together and tackle the issue. And this is where we have a quagmire because pollution is an externality: 

“For economists, the problem is that polluters are not required to bear the full cost of the pollution they create in terms of the costs to wider society.”

My proposed solution?

Look. I won’t give you one.

Because, let’s be honest, we all know how to reduce our carbon footprint.

And if you legitimately don’t know how to help the environment, then you’re not being creative enough.

Instead, I urge you to think more about what it means to our world if we don’t do anything. And I mean now. And even if it means baby steps towards a better future, at least we are doing something, anything.

Because in a world where everyone wants to take take take, let’s remember that we need to give back to Mother Earth too.

Advertisements

Baby steps

Baby steps

It’s all about baby steps

I still remember these words from

my grade 8-9 basketball coach

1% better every day

Whether that be personal life, academics, career, health, or basketball

1% better every day

Don’t worry about being a millionaire overnight

Celebrities aren’t made by one movie (they usually did several crappy movies before the star in the movie that “makes” their career)

Rome wasn’t built in one day

It’s not a lot, but baby steps eventually turn into strides, and before you even realize it, you will be running fast towards your goals

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

Different circumstances

Today I went to Milton Herschel School and man this school is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen

It must be over 4 times as big as Vilanova’s 250 acre campus

Children lived in mansions which houses up to 14 kids

The school where they took classes looked more like a tiny college

And there was just so much free land and greenery

But the students at MHS all come from underprivileged communities

Which is good and bad

Good because it allows kids without the right circumstances to flourish through support and education

Bad because some times the circumstances of a child isn’t where they go to school or how much money you throw at them

The graduating classes of MHS often have huge disparity in terms of where the children end up

My friend who goes to Villanova has friends at Princeton, UPenn, Georgetown and other esteemed universities

But out of his 200 graduating class, he notes several who have dropped out of college after one or few semesters and maybe 15 have ended up starting families already before they’ve turned 20, which also forces them to leave school

It’s an interesting case study of whether or not it’s possible to “help” people through institutions like MHS

How can we truly help people besides simply financially and educationally? I think personal life and EQ skills are just as important to teach besides a good education and scholarships for school

Not everyone is fit for school

But everyone is fit for life. And I think life skills is something we need to better teach future generations

Succeed with too little or struggle with too much

My freshman year of college I had a 3.94 GPA. I had all A’s and two A-‘s.

But if I am being completely honest, that doesn’t mean as much as people think. Because there’s more context to it. And I don’t want to say any of this to gloat, because there are still people who graduate with a 4.0, and there are people who work way harder than I do–which is essentially the topic of this post.

Let me first give some context. My freshman year of college was easier than I expected because:

  1. I came in with 5 AP exams (4 of which was self-taught) so a lot of the hard work that I missed out on my freshman year at Villanova was shifted to my high school years. And that made sense because I was chronically stressed my Junior year of high school.
  2. Villanova School of Business is known for having a significantly easy 1st year (relative to STEM).
  3. My second semester I went to Singapore to study abroad, which meant I only took 4 courses rather than the 6 I am taking right now.

I barely remember studying for any of my classes. My final exams went and came in a blur as if I didn’t even take them.

But now, here I am, a sophomore.

Taking a full course load of 19 credits, 6 courses.

A lot of this content is new to me, so it’s not like I can skimp by without actually studying. Last semester, I definitely struggled. Near the end of the Fall semester, I was constantly calculating how my grades fell within each course, hoping that my GPA wouldn’t fall too heavily.

So here’s the dilemma I’ve been having with myself as I approach course selections for next year: should I try to succeed with less, or struggle with more?

A lot of people would consider a 4.0 GPA “successful”

But as I said at the beginning of this post: we need more context.

I can get a 4.0 GPA. A lot of people can. Granted, the best way to do that would also have an asterisk next to that GPA, because that would mean I’d have to drop my humanities courses (which I love, but, it’s really hard to get an “A” in a class where the central thesis is “what is God” or “what does it mean to be Human?”)

But what if I choose to overload every semester, and continue to challenge myself with 6 courses. I’d sacrifice my time to do other things. I want to write more. I want to do more podcasting. I want to create content for YouTube and magic. I want to read more.

There’s nothing wrong with taking more courses and challenging yourself.

At the end of my 4 years of university, if anything, I hope I can come out with not only a diploma but also the ability to say I took interesting courses and challenged myself intellectually.

But the asterisk is this: what am I sacrificing to do that?

Is it better to succeed with less, or struggle with more?

At some point, I think I need to realize I have to level up and go to the next level. I can’t stay in this stage, because if I stay in this stage, I know I’ll “succeed”, but I also know I won’t grow.

The more I struggle, the more I learn.

I definitely think I’ve been too complacent. With my time. With my energy. With my resources.

It’s time to kick it into high gear…

But after I come back from Spring Break 🙂

 

Living expenses

Personal finance is a topic I’ve always enjoyed studying.

How can people, individuals, manage their finances in the most efficient way while also satisfying the economical unlimited wants and desires of being human?

How about we do some incredibly rudimentary examples of personal finance:

$1000 apartment or $800 shared with your college friends

$15 UBER ride or walking OR $2 subway train

$15 lunch at Pret a Manger OR making your own lunch for $5

$5 Starbucks coffee vs. no coffee

And the biggest one that I’ve been trying to cut out for my living expenses:

Haircuts.

Yes.

I get a haircut quite regularly, around every 3-weeks.

Nothing fancy. I’ve been trying to grow out the top of my hair so I’ve just been asking for my sides and back to be shaved and cleaned up. It takes less than 10-minutes, really, and it’s really not worth my money.

The opportunity cost of getting my sides fixed is roughly $30. $20 for the haircut, $10 for my time spent commuting to and from.

Now, because of how simple of a haircut I need every 3 weeks, I can very much do it myself.

$30 shaver on Amazon and learn how to be self-sufficient.

That’s 17 fewer haircuts I’d need every year, 17*25=$425 minus the initial $30 for the shaver = I’d save $395 in the first year, and then $425 every year after.

It doesn’t seem like much at first, but it adds up.

Invest that $395 into the stock market, and expect even just an average of 7% annual interest compounded over 20 years, I’d have $16,193

Do it for 40 years and I’d have $78,855.

Just by cutting my own hair.

How’s that for self-sufficient?

Read more finance stuff on my Down to Finance website:

www.downtofinancedtf.com

 

 

 

Being forgetful

Isn’t being forgetful one of the worst feelings in the world?

Forgetting that word…It’s on the tip of my tongue, we say

Forgetting to do homework, that you told yourself you’d remember to do…

Forgetting that one small fact for that important test…

Forgetting how it feels to hug your dog

Forgetting a phone number

Forgetting the feeling of love from a friend, or partner that you used to feel daily

We fear forgetting things because it means that time has passed. Change is the only thing that is certain, and that certainty is beautifully frightening.

Time scares us. Time is changing. Time moves forward, while we live in the past, forgetting how much better life used to be.

But if we look forward, instead, we can realize how much more potential we can have in this life, not in forgetting things, but in remembering to take care of ourselves, remembering to love one another, remembering to be the best version you can be.

Because just as we can forget the important things in life, we can also forget the pain.

And move on. And move forward. And live.