Over the last few decades, Americans have turned college admissions into a terrifying and occasionally devastating process, preceded by test prep, tutors, all sorts of stratagems, all kinds of rankings, and a conviction among too many young people that their futures will be determined and their worth established by which schools say yes and which say no.
That belief is wrong. It’s cruel. And in WHERE YOU GO IS NOT WHO YOU’LL BE, Frank Bruni explains why, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes.
Bruni, a bestselling author and a columnist for the New York Times, shows that the Ivy League has no monopoly on corner offices, governors’ mansions, or the most prestigious academic and scientific grants. Through statistics, surveys, and the stories of hugely successful people who didn’t attend the most exclusive schools, he demonstrates that many kinds of colleges-large public universities, tiny hideaways in the hinterlands-serve as ideal springboards. And he illuminates how to make the most of them. What matters in the end are a student’s efforts in and out of the classroom, not the gleam of his or her diploma.
Where you go isn’t who you’ll be. Americans need to hear that-and this indispensable manifesto says it with eloquence and respect for the real promise of higher education.
“For students, parents, teachers, and everyone else suffering during the college admissions process, Frank Bruni offers an outstanding resource. Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be is a thought-provoking look at how the system works-and a fresh, reassuring reminder of what really matters in the college experience.”
-Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Happier at Home
“A mind-opening book. I’m pretty sure it’s going to change my life. It’s already changed the way I think.”
-Pamela Druckerman, bestselling author of Bringing Up Bébé
“The supposition that intelligence can be measured, that success can be predicted, and that the combination of the two creates happiness is rightly exploded in this sharply observed and deeply felt book. In deconstructing the college admissions process, Frank Bruni exposes the folly by which enfranchised people measure their own lives. He speaks with a voice of urgent sanity.”
-Andrew Solomon, National Book Award-winning author of Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity