Why You SHOULDN’T Apply to an Ivy League School | What Nobody Will Tell You (2019)
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Why You SHOULDN’T Apply to an Ivy League School | What Nobody Will Tell You (2019)


Hi, I’m Greg, and today, I am going to tell
you why you should NOT apply to an Ivy League college, or basically any other top school
that you want to go to. As a college admissions YouTuber, I want to
be 100% transparent with you about what you’re getting into when you apply to and attend
an Ivy League school. I discovered a lot of this crucial information soon after starting
my freshman year at Princeton, and by that point it was already too late. In fact, I really wish somebody had made this
video for me when I was applying to college. Now, if you’re anything like me, you’ve
watched hours of college YouTube videos, asked every resource out there how you can get into
an Ivy League school, and are under the impression that if you get accepted into an Ivy League
school, everything will be great and work out for you. This is just simply not the case. Today, I’ve
decided to compile a list of all the things I don’t like about Princeton that I believe
apply to other top schools as well. I’m not going to lie, this was a really tough video
to make, but I’m going to say some things that really need to be said, and haven’t yet
been said here on YouTube, so buckle up and listen carefully. For those of you who don’t know what the
Ivy league college student’s schedule looks like, we actually have a lot less class time
than we did in high school. For example, I only have 3-4 classes a day, each of one runs
between 50-80 minutes, AND I don’t even have class on Fridays. That’s only like, 16 hours a week! I mean,
in addition to that, I’m the business manager for my a cappella group, which takes up about
7 hours a week, and I’m a volunteer for Matriculate, a nonprofit through which I offer
college consulting services for underprivileged students, and that takes maximum 2 hours a
week. Adding that all up, that’s around 25 hours
a week, total – which is a little more than half of the commitment of your average 40
hour work week. Add YouTube onto that, and we’re looking at about 35 hours a week of
class and activities. I’m going to tell you now that the #1 thing
I hate about Princeton and other elite colleges is that I spend all my time keeping up with
the fast-paced environment of the school, and don’t have much time to develop myself.
Now, how can this be the case when I’m in half as much class as a high school student? Part of the answer to this question is the
insane amount of homework that we are assigned for each class. Of course, this varies by
your major and the actual college that you’re attending, you know, not looking at Harvard
or anything… but seriously, homework at Ivy League schools is pretty ridiculous. I’m going to give you a real life example
of a class that I’m in to show you what I’m talking about. The class is called Introduction
to Programming Systems, and it’s a required prerequisite for my major, Computer Science.
On average, we have about one homework assignment due every week and a half or so. The website for my most recent assignment
reports that the homework takes, on average, 12 hours to complete (it took me around 15).
Four days after that due date, we had a midterm exam. Oh and don’t forget, I had three other
midterm exams for my other classes, and assignments of comparable length. Altogether, on average, completing these assignments
takes about five hours a day. That’s an extra 35 hours per week, putting us at around
70 hours of pure work, class, activities, every week. Now, that amount of work for a
college student is unsustainable, and I’m about to show you why, but it’s pretty much
the schedule of most of my friends and a lot of other Ivy League students that I know. But before I get into real research that I
have done on the ways that the Ivy League’s workload negatively affects its student body,
I want to thank you all for 10,000 SUBSCRIBERS! To thank you guys, I will be doing a Q & A
for my next video, so leave a comment if you have any questions about my life, my friends,
anything like that and they will be answered in the next video. Also, please give this video a like because
it took a lot of time to think about and produce. AND subscribe to my channel for more information
about college admissions, SAT prep, and college life. Now, there are two main ways that the extreme
workload I’ve been talking about affects Ivy League college students in a negative
way. First, it promotes a very competitive, sink or swim environment in which most students
do not care about their mental health, suffer from imposter syndrome, and are generally
very unhappy during what is supposed to be “the best four years of your life.” Second, it gives students little to no time
to think about how they actually want to apply these elite degrees to the real world, making
it really easy for companies to push careers on to students that they didn’t necessarily
want. First, let’s talk about students’ mental
health. Tiger Confessions is a private facebook group where Princeton students can submit
confessions anonymously; many students make jokes, talk about crushes, or express their
feelings over the anonymous platform. Many, if not all Princeton students are either part
of the group or know of its existence, so I feel that the contents of the page are a
pretty good representation of the feelings of the Princeton student body as a whole. I took all 71 confessions that were posted
on Thursday of last week and counted up how many of them included some sort of college-related
complaint or some general life complaint. Out of 71 posts, 21 were negative and mentioned
Princeton directly by name, and about a third of those included the words “depression”
or “mental health” exactly. There were also eight posts about general
anxiety, stress, sadness that did not reference Princeton directly. So, overall, 29 out of
71 posts, approximately 41% of Princeton students who posted on that day, were unsatisfied,
feeling dumb, sad, depressed, alone, overworked, you name it. So much for the Ivy League making
you feel happy forever and ever. Now, I know that there are all sorts of biases
going on here and correlation doesn’t imply causation, but this statistic is too important
to ignore. Going to an Ivy League school will NOT, by itself, make you happy. So now you know that we Ivy League students
are working super hard to stay on top of our course load and in the process we’re confused
and upset because we don’t have time to take care of our mental health. This is a gold
mine for investment banks, management consulting firms, big tech companies, and even non profits
who are looking for super smart, fresh employees who are used to being overworked and unfulfilled
to do all of the grunt work in their businesses. I mean, it’s undeniable. I get at least two
invitations to “networking events” every single week in my Princeton email. Recruiters will wear fancy suits, they’ll
take you to really nice dinners, and they’ll talk to you all about the 6 figure income
you’re going to make right out of college. You will feel important, you will feel successful,
but according to millionaire entrepreneur Steve Papa who visited Princeton just a few
weeks ago, you will burn out, and you will realize you are not following your life purpose
(at least in most cases). Steve receives hundreds of job applications from former investment
bankers and management consultants, and apparently they are accepted into his company at much
lower rates than average, simply because they are unmotivated and they have lost touch with
their creativity and critical thinking skills. It’s crazy to me how the world’s brightest
minds are being sucked into doing nothing but making vast amounts of money for huge,
huge companies that aren’t helping anyone. The Ivy League makes it really easy for companies
to push careers onto students who have not had time to properly figure out what they
want to do with their life, and that really sucks. Now, I didn’t make this video to imply that
you should not go to an Ivy League school under any circumstances. Despite all of what
I have said in this video, I am super happy that I chose to go to Princeton– the connections
I’ve made here with my friends, the trips I’ve gone on with my a cappella group, and
some of the classes I have taken have all helped me to grow as a person. Luckily, I’ve also been doing lots of self
reflection and my work on this YouTube channel has actually helped me to discover what I
think my life purpose is. Now that you know what I have told you about
Ivy League colleges, I wish you the best in your college search– honestly, I really do.
I still think that Ivy League colleges are great, and they’re a great tool to help you
achieve your goals. It’s just important that you separate what your goals are from what
other people say that your goals should be. If you want to maximize your chances of getting
into college, check out the rest of my videos and hit that subscribe button to be notified
whenever I post another one. That’s it for today guys, peace.

About James Carlton

Read All Posts By James Carlton

100 thoughts on “Why You SHOULDN’T Apply to an Ivy League School | What Nobody Will Tell You (2019)

  1. Don't worry, I'm not telling you not to give up your dream schools — watch till the end.
    Also, Join my email newsletter NOW for instant access to bonus tips, exclusive college preparation material, and sneak peaks of my future videos: https://bit.ly/2V8UgFp

  2. If you have a high IQ, you don't have to work as many hours. So, the decision to go to college will be a function of IQ.

  3. I’m a second-year at UChicago and this video is really really really really on point. The toxic competitive culture and investment bank funnel are also in my eyes the dark side of these kinds of schools. I do love UChicago, but ivies and other elite schools aren’t all sunshine and rainbows. This is a video that needed to be made.

  4. “smartest people doing nothing but making money for big companies that aren’t helping anyone” capitalist alienation at its finest. I guess I’m still a Princeton hopeful but jeez does it make me think twice. And their acceptance rate hit rock bottom this year so it probably won’t matter anyway.

  5. I think you tried to point out that " Top Schools" nowadays are more like factories that produce high quality employees for big companies, rather than a wonderland for all kinds of dreams.
    It's sad to say that but after all it's all about the money that pay back.
    But students need to think through their lives before and during the process when they're too busy tackling assignment, exams, internship, or interviews.
    I think many people can understand your point

  6. To be honest, you still seem like you are confused about your life goals…. enjoying acapella as a hobby, while complaining about your computer science major and how big businesses manipulate students to be overworked and then finally comes to a conclusion that Princeton is very great despite all these reasons, does not look like you are sure on what you want to do. I am also a computer science major in a top 50 global university and do feel the exact same way as you, but I can’t really say that this is the life path which I 100% guarantee I want to do or will end up as… I can’t foretell my own future and so does anyone.

  7. Wow, it’s almost like this video is a message to me. I’m stuck at a crossroads between Northeastern and Johns Hopkins. Hopkins, like Princeton, is known to heavily overwork students, whereas Northeastern allows students to go on co-ops to discover their career paths while still in college. I’ve been stuck between these two for a while and have less than a month to make my decision. What would you suggest?

  8. I want to become a doctor someday.. what extracurricular can I do that demonstrate this interest to colleges? I do a lot of extracurriculars that are unrelated at my school. Any recommendations? I live in nyc and im a junior.

  9. I graduated from Brigham Young University and I paid $850 a semester for tuition and about $2,600 a year for private single room in a high-rise overlooking the Rocky Mountains. My room included three meals a day all you can eat in linen service. BYU is my Harvard. Fantastic education in fantastic people. BYU is in the top 10 for students that go on to get a PhD. BYUhas one of the highest medical school in dental school placement records. One of the best accounting programs in the world and one of the best law schools.

  10. Thank you for making this video. I go to a very competitive high school, and it’s really turned me off to schools with ultra competitive, toxic environments. I think that competition is important, as well as hard work, but not to the point where you’re just suffering and hating yourself.

  11. Should you tell college how oppressed you are by American society and all that stuff. I heard from some people that college APP is to show how underprivileged you are and all that …

  12. My 12th great grandfather was the grandfather of Dartmouth College's founder Eleazer Wheelock. Found this out recently in ancestry research.

  13. Did you know HVAC technicians and long distance truckers make $100k a year. Oh and all STEM majors at every school, including Kent State University (my alma mater), require copious amounts HW…..And the A students working for company starting C students is a real thing.

  14. I interview lots of programmers in my job and honestly, the number of hours has very little correlation to a person's ability to actually develop software. What 90% of universities teach don't prepare you to work in software development. It's what we call SDLC (software development life-cycle). 85% of the problems a programmer will encounter are people and human problems. They aren't technology problems. Doing a ton of home work is also a terrible way to learn to program. There's lots of data that shows project centric approach to learning programming is much more effective than going through text books from the start to end. You're better off going to a cheaper school, have time to do your own programing projects and get real experience developing software. Too many people fall for "it's prestigious" non-sense. Go ask anyone with 10 years of experience in IT "what do you want most in a programmer?" 95% of them will tell you "I want someone that can solve though problems and diagnose issues". Most of our customers tell us, I don't care what degree they have. I want someone that can get the job done and solve tough problems. That primarily comes from experience doing real development.

  15. Couldn't agree with you more. The amount of work my son has to do at another Ivy is just insane. And on top of that he is an athlete, which adds another 20+ hours per week (during season). First semester was brutal, second is a lot better. We will see what next year brings. Classes are not getting any easier, so …

  16. (All an opinion. Don’t get butthurt.) If you apply to and go to an Ivy League school without knowing that it’s a lot of work, then I don’t know what to tell you. You’re there for an education, and if you’re choosing to try and have a career on YouTube on top of that, then that’s your choice and not the college’s responsibility. And if it’s genuinely getting to be too much you can- and hear me out here- stop a capella (or whatever, just using his example). If it’s genuinely affecting your mental health, instead of blaming the college for providing you with the rigorous education you signed up for, maybe evaluate your time and choices- just two cents. Also! I’m not putting down the video, more people who are completely unaware of this and then get upset when they realise it’s a lot of work. You’re really articulate dude, and I’m really excited to be an Ivy League student as of August 🙂

  17. Enjoy the hard work. It'll only make you better.

    When you get out in the world, 60-70 hours a week is the norm if you want to succeed in competitive fields. And that's work, not extra curricular activities.

  18. Keep on track ! Your becoming something greater with steps you’ve taken to better yourself and understand your surroundings. Really hope your channel keeps growing and spread more knowledgable ideas and information !

  19. Hmm, what about art schools? They generally have lower standards on academics and focus more on art.
    In my area, Parsons, FIT, RISD, and Pratt are my safety schools.

  20. I think something people forget is that non-ivy league schools also can have very difficult workloads. For example, I attend a pretty low ranked liberal arts college which is made up mostly of local students. And yeah, our workload is seriously tough. Just be aware that college can be difficult wherever you go.

  21. As a graduate from an open-enrollment university, this video caught my interest. I have wondered what it would have been like to go to an uber competetive ivy league school. I have never had even the slightest desire to go ivy league, but I have wondered if its much different from less competitive universities. I gotta say, nothing mentioned in the video was much different than my experience at my open-enrollment university. I was very busy, had plenty of homework, and had my bouts with depression. A few things that stuck out to me, for those interested. I was surprised he mentioned how people thought school would bring them happiness. Why on earth would anyone think that? You go to school to get an education, to grow, and to learn the skills needed to be successful in your career. Why on earth would college be considered the best 4 years? Huh? I have not really even heard that sentiment. Perhaps its more common at ivy league schools, but it certainly wasnt something conceived of at my school. Now, I loved my time at college but I was busy as hell. On any given week, I could be studying for two tests, writing a couple essays (2-10pages, depending on class), interning, volunteering, and serving as a TA. The general advice is that you should expect to spend 3 hours outside of class for every 1 credit hour. So, for a 3 credit class you should expect to average 9 hours a week. That is an average, however, so some weels may be more or may be less. Therefore, a semester where I took 4 classes, with one or more being a four credit class, I would spend 17-20 hours a week on homework. I also was a TA and that took 5-10 hours a week, depending on the amount of work being graded or how often I taught the class. I would also volunteer or intern 5 hours a week. I was also a father and husband, which also took time. In addition, I conducted research outside of class, which took 5-10 hours a week and i worked full time for most of it. So, after 15-20 hours in class, I spent, 40 hours on work outside class. So, what, 60 hours of school-related work a welk and then I worked 20-30 hours for employment. All in all, I averaged 60-90 hours a week on either school or work. Thats ok. Many jobs have similar workloads. For example, I am applying to medical school and doctors can easily spend 60 hours a week at work. I am not saying this to toot my own horn. I have never been all that competitive of a person. What I am saying is that, at least from what was presented in the video, it does not sound like he had much more of a workload than I. Anything in life that is truly worth attaining requires great diligence and sacrifice.

    Dont go to an ivy league school just because of the prestige. That is foolish. Go to the school that best fits you and your circumstance. I went to Utah Valley University, an open-enrollment institution, and while there, I got invaluable experience teaching a class, presenting research at multiple national conferences in multiple states. I was priveleged to present at conferences at both the graduate, professional, and undergraduate level. I published and i designed a quantitative system to assess pateint progress at a local concussion clinic. I was able to volunteer in a wide variety of contexts and network well. My point is that college should be difficult and it should be trying, but success can be achieved at any university. Find a university that prioritizes teaching, student engagement, and inclusivity.

    Okay, my dissertation has gone on long enough. I was just surprised at what he considered too much work. Life is freaking hard, but, with great work, it is also freaking awesome!

  22. Would you say UC Berkeley falls in the same bracket and has the same problems as those of the ivy leagues?

  23. Lol. That’s nothing compared to Asian schools. My class actually run from 7am to 7pm. We have om average about 5 quizzes per day. And our class is from monday to saturday, and we still have to go with our org. So idk hahahahahaha

  24. I went to a private college not in the Ivy League. My schedule was more complex than this, but my school really pressed civic engagement on us in an appealing way. Most people got involved in as many ways they could to better the campus community. I assisted with Student Senate activities my freshman year of college and held various leadership positions on campus, including RHA executive board. It’s true about the depression part he mentioned though. You shouldn’t overwork yourself..

  25. Dream school? I would have beat the shit out of my kid if he said that. Have a dream job, not a dream school. Get the degree from any public state university and move on. Jobs look at your experience than your school anyway. Networking is available anywhere as long you're not too introverted. Trade schools you should watch out for as they are only interested in your money.
    For poor kids, try not to think so much about prestige schools when they're just that and hardly any job would care as long as you have a degree and some experience (do internships!!)

  26. I’m not at an Ivy League and I have 20 hours a week that I spend in class, and approximately 6 hours a week as a research assistant. Plus extracurricular activities, workshops and homework. College is hard, not just at an Ivy League.

  27. damn. My friend is a freshman at Princeton this year and is on the women’s lightweight woman team. She always tells me how much she is struggling with the workload and how unhappy she is. This video REALLLLY showed that

  28. Hi buddy I don't know if you'll see this but I'm a physics student and I've heard that computer science is very important for me to know, I started learning Vphyton and I wonder what languages are great and useful to learn in your opinion. Good luck with your studies ❤️

  29. Hey dude, I was a wharton, then hbs, yeah the work is demanding, but I was also working at ey also the same time, and now I am enjoying real success, just remember, high school and college are chalk and cheese, big change not for everyone , especially ivy league college

  30. One way to get noticed by ivy league. Be honest in your essay, be yourself, don't try to impress them, choose activities you are genuinely interested in, not a lots of useless stuff, if you have a real desire to succeed, it shows and that's attracts the selection panel

  31. If you are passionate about something, long hours will never bother you, it separates the ones who really succeeds from those who just try

  32. These issues aren't unique to Ivy League schools. College is hard and stressful no matter where one goes. If it isn't, you're either a genius, think basket weaving is a legitimate major, or you're not doing it right. It's supposed to be rigorous, and even more so for the cream of the crop that make it to the elite schools. Don't want homework? Don't go to college.

  33. As a recently accepted Cornell undergrad, I can't say I can relate much to the college specific complaints, as I'm still in high school. However, for myself, as for many other ivy prospectives, we put in similar hours to stay on top of our grades and maintain plenty of extracurriculars to be "competitive". I'm not quite sure I believe that college is that much more time consuming considering what many top high school students do daily. In addition, many of the things you mentioned were voluntary, and those voluntary activities took up about half your time, give or take.
    As for the anonymous page, you're right that there are many biases, including voluntary response and response bias (saying you're depressed to "fit in"), so I don't really buy that statistic.
    In addition, there are many occupations, like entrepeneurs, that need an ivy in their background to draw in investors. Being surrounded by other top tier, like minded individuals is another motivator in achieving those goals, if you remember from econ that competition is a driving force. You wouldn't get that at an ordinary college.
    Yes, ivy league colleges are very grueling and competitive, but people know what they signed up for. Undermotivated individuals might not thrive, but people with a clear goal in mind should shoot for those schools to push them to the top.

  34. I’m applying to the United States Military Academy and I’ve heard the work load is similar on top of all the strict rules of the academy. Great video fitting it all into under 9 minutes

  35. It wasn't until my senior year that I felt like I hit my stride, so to speak. I wish I could've spread out the workload but it would have cost my parents thousands of extra dollars. I was one of the lucky that my parents could help financially in the first place

  36. What do you think are the most important factors one should consider in their college search? Since you're already in college and understand the system, what matters and what doesn't?

  37. Sooo what do you recommend is the alternative? The point is you either go to college, in which case you should go to the best ones, but if not you need to have something backing you up where you're also learning, growing and being challenged tremendously. If youre motivated and driven, and doing something youre passionate about, having a high amount of workload won't make you depressed.

  38. Sounds like Princeton was the wrong choice for you. The whole point of going to a school of that caliber is to become the best in the world in your field, not merely baseline competent. It's like a professional athlete training to win the world championships. If you don't want to do that with your academic field, you're looking for the in-state flagship or some small, pretentious liberal arts college with lightweight academics. Many of the students that are super smart and really getting the most out of places like that typically work around 120-130 hours a week. These schools are best for people that consciously decide they want to obsess over their field for 4+ years. Being obedient, disciplined, hardworking, and good at taking orders leads to academic success, but they don't correlate with the personality to be intellectually hardcore or among the best in the world advancing a field.

  39. I have a 3.6 gpa as a sophomore in high school, do I have a chance to get into an Ivy League or is it to late at this point?

  40. Yeah, a white male telling people not to apply to the Ivy League school that he, himself, is attending! Can you spell PRIVILEGE CONTROL?

  41. So I applied to Harvard and my classes are like you said and in my classes Nuclear Science it takes me about 160 hours a week and that leaves about 8 hours of free time

  42. Hi Greg,
    If you don’t mind me asking, what was the “Translation and Globalization Firm that had many consumers in China” that you got an internship with? I am studying abroad in Spain and learning about Spanish language and culture is my passion, and I would greatly appreciate even an opportunity to apply for an internship with a similar firm or organization.

  43. Do you know how much home work indian students have do! It was more than 5 hours + 8 hours of school in 9th grade.
    Should i be scared before applying??

  44. I was going to like anyway, but the fact that you said to like it cause it took you a lot of work to make it made me do so immediately. Thanks for this video. It's good to hear an alternative opinion for once

  45. I think these comments apply to most of the situations that exist at all of the better schools. Note that. College is always more demanding than high school. A trimester system is much more stressful than a semester system.

  46. I'm sorry? Top Russian high schools take about 70 hours/week of pure study work (not including any extracurriculars). If you are not ready to work – that's your problem, not the problem of the system you are talking about at the end of the video.

  47. The work loads are the same in all colleges. I am from Argentina, and go to college here. I only had 14 hours weekly of class but the work load was a lot. I only take 2 classes and fail them both.

  48. NO PAIN, NO GAIN
    simple as that fellow.
    btw Asians are well prepared of managing workload and stress so this 70 hours work is no big deal for us.

  49. 3:25 I did the math and that would be 14 hours left over for the whole week divid that by 7 days in the week and you have 2 hours of the day left

  50. White bitch get offered best school in the world

    White bitch suprise there is a lot of work

    White bitch need to stop be a weak man

    White bitch need proposal to do army at Algeria or Neherlands learn what change they have

    Even when he talk whith bitch look an feminine bitch

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