He's a Stanford pass out. I go to IIT. Anirudh works at Google. She is interning at HP Labs. Do I give a shit? Course, I do. Great colleges are brilliant. And all those who've been to great universities or work in great companies are popular. But for all the wrong reasons.
And for those of us who cannot make the cut into the best of stuff, there's the quintessential Tarantino line, "I didn't go to film school. I went to films."
Losers behold! We have hope.
I have immense respect for scholars. Or people who we assume to be scholars. Just because somebody goes to MIT or interning at Google, is he really great? Ofcourse he is. The fact that he's made the cut proves that he's very good at things a lot of people are good at. I sometimes wish I had gone to a good college. To begin with, its cool. People "ooh" when you say you study in MIT. But importantly, two, I'd have been in the company of some great people. That is undeniable.
What differentiates a good college from just another college. Facilities, no. Subjects, no. Faculty, maybe a little. Students, you got it. But is going to a good college a prerequisite to lead a happy, successful life? That depends on how you define success anyway.
Ok, beyond the muddle now. I'm a huge believer in tangential learning. When you try teach somebody something, if what you say is worth 10%, how and in whose company you do it defines the rest. And that is what truly differentiates mediocre students from the really good ones.
But the four years I've spent in an anonymous college have shaped me in more ways than one. Three things about me changed immensely- Confidence, Courage and Camaraderie. I've met some great people. Would things have been any different had I gone to a different college? I can't know because I didn't go to a different college.
Bottom line is, you want to learn subjects, you can do it online anytime. You want to learn how to live, any place on Earth will teach you that. Albeit in its own way.