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Why are all the intelligent people from ivy leagues and other top schools? Watch

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    I went to the bookstore today and was taken aback by the amount of books written by people who graduated from ivy leagues/ Oxbridge/ mit etc. Books on psychology, philosophy, economics, management, art etc... everything is written by people from top unis. Why are they so represented? I bought books on anxiety and depression and was taken aback by the fact that the authors graduated with a 4.0 gpa from harvard and claimed to have suffered from depression all through their uni days. I felt like i didnt want to give it a try to connect to them and what they wrote in the book. I am trying to find good books by people who started off like average joes like me. Ofc they have something interesting to say as well, no?
    I went to the gadget store and picked up a brand of awesome headphones by master and dynamic for 400 euros. Was shocked to find out that the co. was again started by a guy from uni of chicago. Even the arts are dominated by these people. Feels like normal people cant do anything impactful nowadays. Even top fashion firms have ceos from ivy leagues like ralph lauren etc.
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    The rich get richer, and where do rich kids go to school? Top unis.

    Networking will often get you further than your own hard work, and if daddy already knows the right people, then you haven't even got to work at that side of things.
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    (Original post by bluthmichaelb)
    I went to the bookstore today and was taken aback by the amount of books written by people who graduated from ivy leagues/ Oxbridge/ mit etc. Books on psychology, philosophy, economics, management, art etc... everything is written by people from top unis. Why are they so represented?
    I went to the gadget store and picked up a brand of awesome headphones by master and dynamic for 400 euros. Was shocked to find out that the co. was again started by a guy from uni of chicago. Even the arts are dominated by these people. Feels like normal people cant do anything impactful nowadays. Even top fashion firms have ceos from ivy leagues like ralph lauren etc.
    Perhaps it's because smart people tend to work hard enough to get into top unis and become successful? Why is this even a question?

    I bought books on anxiety and depression and was taken aback by the fact that the authors graduated with a 4.0 gpa from harvard and claimed to have suffered from depression all through their uni days. I felt like i didnt want to give it a try to connect to them and what they wrote in the book. I am trying to find good books by people who started off like average joes like me. Ofc they have something interesting to say as well, no?
    This narrative of "oh, he graduated with a 4.0 from harvard, there can't be anything messed up in his life/he has everything sorted and no reason to have mental disorders" is literally one of the things wrong with society. "Claimed to have suffered from depression"? Are you kidding me? You have no right to belittle someone else's mental health just because on the surface you perceive them to have it all. I know far too many people who are victims of this societal evil and suffer because of it. I personally suffer from OCD that wasn't taken seriously for years by everyone around me - parents, teachers and peers - because they decided I had no reason to suffer from it as an upper middle class girl who did well at school and had a "bright future ahead".

    Believe it or not, intelligent people suffer as well. In that we're all the same. Perhaps if you try connecting with them, things can be different. I can still understand if you don't understand where these authors are coming from, but that's no reason to believe they're not going through some of the same things you are.

    (Original post by Donkey******)
    The rich get richer, and where do rich kids go to school? Top unis.

    Networking will often get you further than your own hard work, and if daddy already knows the right people, then you haven't even got to work at that side of things.
    Because clearly everyone high enough on the corporate ladder and big enough in the publication world got there because of daddy's money and contacts.

    Perhaps it is still possible in the US because of how shady the admissions process is but in the UK, I seriously don't think anyone is going to be let in /just/ because he/she is the son or daughter of a large businessman. No one even with grades like BBB is going to be let in for BSc Economics at LSE just because their father graduated from there. You may argue that money gets you the best schools thus getting you the best teachers thus best grades, but let's be honest - it really is up to you whether you get into good unis or not, and perhaps some of it is down to luck. Yes, private schools and Oxbridge educated teachers will help nudge you in the right direction, but they're not going to write your papers for you. Daddy's money isn't going to change your grade from an E to an A*.
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    (Original post by theonetruequeen)


    Because clearly everyone high enough on the corporate ladder and big enough in the publication world got there because of daddy's money and contacts.

    Perhaps it is still possible in the US because of how shady the admissions process is but in the UK, I seriously don't think anyone is going to be let in /just/ because he/she is the son or daughter of a large businessman. No one even with grades like BBB is going to be let in for BSc Economics at LSE just because their father graduated from there. You may argue that money gets you the best schools thus getting you the best teachers thus best grades, but let's be honest - it really is up to you whether you get into good unis or not, and perhaps some of it is down to luck. Yes, private schools and Oxbridge educated teachers will help nudge you in the right direction, but they're not going to write your papers for you. Daddy's money isn't going to change your grade from an E to an A*.
    I didn't say everyone did I?

    If you read what I said, connections get your further than hard work. A name is more powerful than your achievements. Jobs for the boys is real.

    http://www.harrowschool.org.uk/University-Destinations

    That sums my point up nicely. I'm not saying these people didn't get good grades, but elitism is very real and who daddy knows is more useful to progressing a career at the top than your qualifications.
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    You can buy your way into any of the Ivy League universities. Some students they let in are dumb as rock e.g. George W Bush https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legacy_preferences

    You can also get into the Ivies on athletic scholarships and racial preferences. Only about half the undergraduate places in the Ivies are open to normal competitive applications.

    The Ivies get their power from recruitment people too stupid to assess the people in front of them and have to rely on brands.
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    (Original post by Donkey******)
    The rich get richer, and where do rich kids go to school? Top unis.

    Networking will often get you further than your own hard work, and if daddy already knows the right people, then you haven't even got to work at that side of things.
    what

    how would they get into top unis through 'networking'?

    they'd need to still meet the minimum requirements to even apply for jobs etc in high finance so they're obviously very smart.
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    This is silly. Kids good at football go on to be footballers. Kids with a talent for music go on to be musicians. Hardly surprising when people with good degrees from good universities go on to be successful authors. If your point is about getting to a good university in the first place, that has nothing to do with writing books years later.
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    (Original post by BabyLadDarren)
    what

    how would they get into top unis through 'networking'?

    they'd need to still meet the minimum requirements to even apply for jobs etc in high finance so they're obviously very smart.
    You think so? People get offered places despite being nowhere near offers just because they know the right people. These things happen. A good word from a friend of a tutor goes a long way.

    Same as the workplace, jobs for the boys.
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    (Original post by Donkey******)
    You think so? People get offered places despite being nowhere near offers just because they know the right people. These things happen. A good word from a friend of a tutor goes a long way.

    Same as the workplace, jobs for the boys.
    I've honestly never heard of this, in the UK anyway.

    the workplace is another matter, there are people on this forum that have gotten ridiculous jobs with no prior experience because their sister was the manager at the bank.
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    (Original post by BabyLadDarren)
    I've honestly never heard of this, in the UK anyway.

    the workplace is another matter, there are people on this forum that have gotten ridiculous jobs with no prior experience because their sister was the manager at the bank.
    Tutors decide who they want on their course, if you speak to them properly they can pull strings.

    Not knowing the ins and outs of every university I wouldn't want to speculate, and I don't think we have quite the same culture of "My dad went to [school x] so I should go to [school x]" as in America, but money talks, and you're always going to look after your friends.
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    I did say that this happens in Ivies (Stanford as well - I personally know someone who get in there because his dad was an alumnus) but it's genuinely hard to believe that people get into Oxbridge without meeting their requirements.
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    (Original post by theonetruequeen)
    I did say that this happens in Ivies (Stanford as well - I personally know someone who get in there because his dad was an alumnus) but it's genuinely hard to believe that people get into Oxbridge without meeting their requirements.
    I agree with you on oxbridge, I doubt a secret handshake is going to do too much when you've got BBB.
    That said, I think you'd be surprised how many people get in elsewhere by this method. (read into that properly, I'm not saying 20% of people at top unis are there because someone pulled strings, but I am saying I bet there are more people than you would think who are there because of a favour)
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    (Original post by Donkey******)
    I agree with you on oxbridge, I doubt a secret handshake is going to do too much when you've got BBB.
    That said, I think you'd be surprised how many people get in elsewhere by this method. (read into that properly, I'm not saying 20% of people at top unis are there because someone pulled strings, but I am saying I bet there are more people than you would think who are there because of a favour)
    Do you have any evidence whatsoever for this happening in the UK?
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    (Original post by Duncan2012)
    Do you have any evidence whatsoever for this happening in the UK?
    Several cases of unis in the top 20, the school you go to helps you get an interview, my grandparents lived next door to one of the senior lecturers for one of the courses I was applying for hence, fairly easy to go for a coffee and a chat, my tutor at school went to Oxford and Warwick for his studies, another did Oxford and Cambridge, a lot of people met course tutors before getting to interview.

    I'm not saying it's a handshake and here's your place, but as per my original point, networking seems to get you a lot further than grades.
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    (Original post by theonetruequeen)
    Perhaps it's because smart people tend to work hard enough to get into top unis and become successful? Why is this even a question?
    Quoting two paragraphs to expand more on the points.

    Simply put, if you want to do something badly enough, and you work hard enough on it (e.g. publishing a book), then you will find a way to make it happen. Top unis have a higher percentage of people who have this drive (by generalized virtue of those who make it in, even if you account for admission politics), coupled with the intelligence, hence, those that want to write books eventually follow through, taking a bigger slice of the published authors market. It doesn't mean smaller unis do not have published authors, just that they may not be as much.

    I don't want to get into the admission politics and social-economic background of others, because its existence has little bearing on you as a person, and how you should approach life. Yes, rich people get better opportunities. Yes, graduating from an Ivy League may make a publisher more inclined to publish your book just because your name has the Harvard stamp behind it. Yes, there's a ton of privileges others have that may make it easier for them than you. The world is unfair. Big surprise. Big deal.

    But you know what? There are kids in poverty licking rusted taps for dirty water just so they can see the sunrise tomorrow. They exist. They live on the same earth we do. How about that for an "average joe" comparison? If you want to compare with the top, it's fair game for me to compare with the bottom.

    About talent, visualize it as a normal bell curve. Most people are average (center), some are below (left), some above (right). Life deals the cards. This is something you can't change. Now place a point to the right of the bell curve. The ones above average have a shorter distance to it. The average and below average ones are further. It's a simple metaphor for how much harder you'll have to work to get to the same point as someone who is more talented. Now change the subject to wealth/privilege, same point applies. Maybe for wealth it's skewed a little more left, making it harder, but my point stands.

    I'm a firm believer that one can do anything he/she puts their heart to, but even I will acknowledge the fact that there are things hard work cannot get. I will never be an Olympic gold medal gymnast even if I worked my butt off now. Even if I started at 3, I may not have had the genetic talent for it. There will be a wall at some point where I just can't get any better. Such is life. But even acknowledging that doesn't mean you give up.

    So here's the kicker: Ask yourself how much you have pushed yourself to realize your dreams. Do you know why you don't see as many people from less privileged/gifted backgrounds making it big? It's because life hits them so hard that some just give up before they ever reach their fullest potential. Trust me when I tell you this breaks my heart too. I consider myself average. It breaks my heart when people cannot achieve their dreams due to life circumstance, be it money, or intelligence. And as I mentioned in the previous paragraph, it may not be their fault.

    We all have limits. That's what makes us human. I cannot promise you if you work hard you will get everything you want. I can't. You may achieve your goals in face of the odds. You may not. But don't quit before you reach your limit. Push yourself to the very end. The thing is, and I truly believe in this, is that if you put in your utmost, and you reach the point of your fullest potential, no matter where that may be. You will be happy. You will be proud. You will be satisfied. You may not see it now, but I do hope one day you will. Finding the balance between being grateful, and always pushing for more is a lifelong endeavor. Give yourself the chance to be patient enough to find it.

    (Original post by theonetruequeen)
    Believe it or not, intelligent people suffer as well. In that we're all the same. Perhaps if you try connecting with them, things can be different. I can still understand if you don't understand where these authors are coming from, but that's no reason to believe they're not going through some of the same things you are.
    I'm already writing an essay above, but I do want to address this point from theonetruequeen as well. This looks at the topic from another perspective, and may seem like a counter-point to what I've written above, but I believe both perspectives are equally valid and hold true together.

    Some people may be more talented/privileged, but we all have the same shared humanity. They have their difficult times as well. They feel joy, sadness, loss, disappointment like you do. And their experiences are just as valid as your own. Not more valid because they are Ivy League or whatever, but equally valid. You may have different strengths than they do, and vice versa, but that is the strength of humanity. People coming together, drawing on the strengths of one another, to make build a better world. So embrace their experiences, share your own, and learn from each other.

    A side note: you know the funniest thing about this is that part of this is something I learned from a random thread on reddit about relationships: "The boy/girl isn't out of your league - we are all human - leagues don't exist." I've already talked about shared humanity, but here's another point I want to share as well: Your self-worth isn't determined by what school you graduate from. So what if he/she's a ivy league and I'm community college? Does that mean I tattoo the word "inferior" on my forehead and live the rest of my life as scum? That's a sad way to view things. You have to find your worth in something meaningful to you. I cannot tell you what that is. If you're religious, it may come from God. If you're not, it may be in the things you do that you love. Don't let the name of a school ever make you feel like you are worth less, because you are equally human as anyone else. Society tries to tell you that some professions are better than others, but at the end of the day, how you do it is equally important as what you do. Don't let the chase of beating others ruin your ability to appreciate the simpler things and be happy. If you work hard and rise above Ivy League graduates and are happy for it, then good for you. If you don't, but still find something that makes you happy, fulfilled, and satisfied, then what's wrong with that? No matter where you come from in life, You can do meaningful work. You can make a difference. You are enough.

    ps: okay that was long. my head's buzzing now so pardon me for inconsistencies. i do apologize if anything seems confrontational - it's not intended. I wish you well, and do ask me anything if you want.
 
 
 
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