Surprise: Going To An Ivy League Won’t Make You Any Happier As An Adult

This one is for everyone who freaked about the colleges they got into, if they were privileged enough to get into college at all: a Gallup-Purdue University poll found that the experiences you had in college rather than the type of school you went to, are the major factor in determining the happiness in your post-grad quality of life. I’m guessing this could come as a major comfort to those high school juniors and seniors who are vying for spots at Princeton, Harvard and Yale.

The poll enlisted 30,000 college grads to complete an online survey about their college experience and their life afterward. What the results found was that the key to a high quality of life for everyone, regardless of school, was making connections with professors and committing to on-campus projects.  Gallup found these key guidelines to be true regardless of whether a person attended a school that was private, public, selective, urban, rural or whatever other categories are out there these days.

The survey hinted that even when an admissions offer from a prestigious school is on the table, the deciding factors should be – in this order: price tag, quality teaching, and the opportunity for in-depth learning. I’m not sure I’d be able to abide by that if I were a 17-year-old who had an acceptance letter from an Ivy in my hands, but it’s pretty awesome advice. “Life is what you make it” is a cliche for a reason, and it seems that one’s college experience is the same way. We gain from it what we’re willing to put into it — our quality as students carries much more weight than a school’s prestige. Essentially, it’s our responsibility to set ourselves up for happy lives. Why weren’t we taught that in high school?


[Woman with a diploma via Shutterstock]