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HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE:


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Glenn Reynolds

July 29 2017

 

It’s not just people on the right complaining, as this from The New Republic demonstrates: Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League: The nation’s top colleges are turning our kids into zombies. “Our system of elite education manufactures young people who are smart and talented and driven, yes, but also anxious, timid, and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they’re doing but with no idea why they’re doing it. . . . There are exceptions, kids who insist, against all odds, on trying to get a real education. But their experience tends to make them feel like freaks. One student told me that a friend of hers had left Yale because she found the school ‘stifling to the parts of yourself that you’d call a soul.'”

The Ivy League’s position appears unassailable, but it ultimately depends on prestige, and that can evaporate quickly, leaving you with an overpriced product that doesn’t sell nearly as well without the prestige.

 

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A young woman from another school wrote me this about her boyfriend at Yale:

Before he started college, he spent most of his time reading and writing short stories. Three years later, he’s painfully insecure, worrying about things my public-educated friends don’t give a second thought to, like the stigma of eating lunch alone and whether he’s “networking” enough. No one but me knows he fakes being well-read by thumbing through the first and last chapters of any book he hears about and obsessively devouring reviews in lieu of the real thing. He does this not because he’s incurious, but because there’s a bigger social reward for being able to talk about books than for actually reading them.

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