Nobody has heard of our University, stop making it worse!
Here’s a scary story. I applied for an internship last summer at a highly-esteemed sports agency. During my interview, not only had the head of this agency mention he had never heard of Washington University, he actually asked me if I had made up the school.
When someone finally corroborated my story, that the University indeed exists, my interviewer questioned why I didn’t try to go to a “good school” instead. So when I read this editorial “The benefits of not going to Harvard” I became monumentally perturbed.
The author revels in our ambiguity. “There’s something to be said for attending a school that can make at least some decisions about how it operates without having to consider how the national media will react.” Right, because that would make us an important institution with worldwide relevance, and nobody wants that. I would trade the “expectation that [one can] start up a game of ultimate Frisbee outside of Olin Library” for increased recognition in a second. Are you kidding?
I would trade it for an extra book in the library, and I never go to that evil place. (As a side note, where does one go to play ultimate Frisbee outside of Olin? Is this the game I’ve seen where one team tries to avoid running into the Washington statue while the other players dodge around trees and bound over sharp concrete ledges?)
Washington University has loads of attributes the author could have lauded. Our University must be outstanding-it attracts venerable professors despite the conspicuous crutch of them having to live in the Midwest!
And, “when the school hires researchers over lecturers” I am far more proud than discouraged.
These actions make our school more reputable as a research institution (which-little known fact-we are!). If anyone complains about this hiring practice, they should transfer to a liberal arts college where their complaints will be merited. Swarthmore will warmly embrace you.
People have not heard of our university because we constantly compare it to other universities, instead of letting it speak for itself. “We constantly find ourselves comparing ourselves to Harvard.” Why? When the layman has finally heard of our little school sometime in the next eon, you really want it to be called the “Harvard of the Midwest?”
We are not Harvard, and will never be Harvard, and these constant comparisons of our University to Harvard or any other top-tier school will only lead to the continued standing of our reputation as a nonentity.
I personally would not have enjoyed going to Harvard as much as I have Washington University.
Harvard is far too cutthroat for me. And I would have been forced to try much harder in high school. Forget that, I did enough in high school. I felt reasonably challenged and could still maximize my happiness.
I have found friends here that feel similarly. Yet, I am fully aware that there are probably numerous universities that I would have enjoyed more than this one.
This is likely true for everyone enrolled here. It’s like marriage: nobody ever makes the optimal choice for a partner. You can try to convince yourself that you have all you want, but you just chose the best one you’ve seen so far. Even then, you still probably chose the wrong one.
What can Washington University do to become world-renowned? I have no idea.
If I did, Mark Wrighton would be sending titanium suitcases of unmarked, nonsequential bills my direction. But I know that one way we can fade even further into obscurity is by embracing our anonymity.
We should all aspire to make this University famous. The author writes, “We have the advantage of studying on a campus that isn’t constantly invaded by tourists.” That’s an advantage? I would be elated if tourists swamped the University-at least that would mean we were relevant. And consequently, it would be less likely for any student to be accused of conjuring up the existence of Washington University as if it were some tall tale.
Matt is a senior in Arts & Sciences. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected].
Popularity: 1% [?]