Scott Schimmel (00:25.43)
This is going to sound a bit ironic because the school that I went to for college, if I told you to, I will tell you today, University of San Diego, USD, it's considered as far as I know, the people I talk to, it's considered now a pretty top tier university. But the part that's going to sound silly is that when I went there to the group of people that I knew, the community I came from, it was almost embarrassing to go to USD.
So I grew up in South Orange County, went to a private Catholic school, very high achieving academic school. I just remember even before I went, it was one of the key features of that high school that a hundred percent of students graduate 99 or something percent go to four year universities is very much a college preparatory school and the little niche world that I was a part of.
was taking honors classes and AP classes. So it was not only in this kind of broader culture of academic achievement, but in a subculture of kids that were just really into academics. National merit scholars, people go into like nerdy camps in the summer. Sorry to insult you if that's you. But seriously, it was a very intense academic oriented school. So.
I remember not wanting to play that game, not wanting to play the game, especially senior year, when we had to wear uniforms to school every day. In fact, this is probably a sweater I could have worn at school, a navy blue sweater. But on Fridays you got to wear your college sweatshirt of choice. And so what you didn't see typically, those college sweatshirts, you didn't see the local community college. You didn't see really the USDA. You saw Stanford, Georgetown, Boston College.
Harvard, Princeton, Yale, UCSD. You saw these top tier at that time to my culture, the top tier universities. So I remember almost wanting to hide the fact. I wouldn't say, I wouldn't just like raise my hand and say I'm going to USD because I remember hearing people just like snicker essentially. Isn't that bizarre? I know though that there is, because I've worked with students, college students for 23 years.
Scott Schimmel (02:51.894)
high school and college students that so many people, young people don't have much clarity yet about how they're naturally wired and the aspirational career path they want to go down. And like conventional wisdom has told them, many people have said, if you don't know who you are, what you want to do or where you want to go, don't worry about it. But make sure you go to a good school. Make sure. And it's almost like.
Who would argue that sentiment? Who would argue if a kid says I'm gonna try to get accepted to the most The top rated schools in the highest ranked school I get accepted to I'm gonna go there Most people would think and hear that and think yeah smart very wise Because the concept would be if you get into a top-rated school you are quote-unquote set for life
you're now at this upper echelon and you cannot fall from grace. You can only stay at least that plateau or higher. And you'll probably be set up with connections with the kind of gravitas that comes with that diploma. You'll be set up with people's impressions of who you are. And to some degree, that is true. There's truth to that. That's why most people wouldn't like blink. However, I think choosing a college.
based on their rankings, based on what people perceive to be top-ly rated or not. I think choosing a college based on rankings, I think choosing a career based on quote unquote, where the jobs are or where the highest paying jobs are or where the economy is going in the future. I think choosing for those reasons alone is a lazy way to approach your life. I think it's lazy. I think...
not knowing who you are and then choosing just, hey, apparently going into investment banking or law or engineering or going into becoming a computer engineer because you don't know what else to do, because it's ranked high and it's prestigious and that's what the rankings say, I think it's just a lazy thing to do. I think you can do better. I want you to find your unique wiring, your path.
Scott Schimmel (05:14.322)
I want you to figure out and do the work to figure out what you value, not what other people value, but what you value. I want you to figure out what you believe in, what you stand for. I want to figure out what you're good at and what you're drawn to, what you're interested in, where you're willing to put time, energy and effort and then find a place that fits. For me, USD fit. The kind of environment that I wanted, the kind of people I wanted to be around, the kind of learning, kind of culture.
and it transformed my life going there. I'm so glad I did not listen to the list. I'm so glad that I listened to my heart, my intuition. It takes courage to do that. It takes boldness. You might take some hits. You might get some side eyes at the worst or the best. You might get some actual direct confrontation from the people that you respect and trust, but it doesn't matter because this is your life that you have to live, no one else's. So don't go the lazy route. Don't just...
open up Yelp for colleges and careers and say, what should I pick? What is everyone else picking these days? Who says what's the top? And then going with that, that's lazy. Figure out what your own tastes are. Figure out what you are into. I don't like In-N-Out french fries, full confession. I do not like YouTube music. I think they suck. I think Harry Potter's lame. I think people who drive Teslas are like super cliche. Those are some of my like...
anti the rankings opinions hot takes. I love to know what yours are. And if you've got a young person in your life, if you are an emerging adult do the due diligence to figure out who you are how you're wired and where it makes the most sense for you to go apply that to this world. That's my two cents.