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We’re all told to work hard in school, so that we can get into the best colleges or
universities, and be successful. But, does the school you choose actually matter?
Take a look at these SAT scores for an average school - which are out of 800, by the way.
Those that have the highest SAT scores end up representing over 50% of the people who
get degrees at these schools, while the lowest SAT scores only represent around 18% of the
people who actually graduate. Not so surprising.
But now let’s look at a top school, like Harvard. Here, the students with the lowest
SAT scores, are still smarter than the best students at an average school. And yet, when
we look at their rate of completion, it looks awfully similar. The top students represent
just over 50% of people who graduate, while the lower SAT scores represent around 15%
of people who actually graduate.
Wait, what’s going on here? This phenomenon is known as the Big Fish - Little Pond Effect.
Simply put, we compare ourselves not globally, but to our neighbours or people who are in
the same boat as we are. As a result, students at top schools compare themselves to their
brilliant peers, and if you’re in the bottom half of your class, you’re likely to have
feelings of inadequacy. Even though compared to the rest of the world you are at the top!
Who do you think has a higher incidence of suicide? People who live in developed countries
that declare themselves as very happy, like Switzerland, Denmark and Canada or those which
describe themselves as unhappy, like Italy, Greece, and Spain? The happy countries. If
you’re depressed but everyone around you is also unhappy, you may think of yourself
as normal, as opposed to being stuck around people who are happier than you.
Similarly, if you’re very intelligent at an elite school, you may end up being a little
fish in a very big pond. And feeling as though you’re at the bottom impacts your confidence
and ultimately your motivation. Need more statistics? 50% of US students in STEM programs
drop out in the first or second year of school. But for every 10 point decrease in the school’s
average SAT score, degree completion rises by 2%! Meaning, you’re much more likely
to even get your degree if you don’t go to your top pick.
But who ends up being more successful in the ‘real world’? A study looking at publications
produced by economists in their first six years after graduation showed that top students
in the 99th percentile - ie smarter than almost every other person at the school - from the
top 5 schools in America were producing an impressive amount of publications. But those
in the 75th percentile, still the top quarter of best students, are publishing next to nothing.
Essentially failures in their field.
But if we now look at the best students from the 30 worst schools, we see that they’re
publishing more than those in the top quarter of the best schools in the country! Clearly,
your surroundings and peers matter.
Now, of course, this doesn’t cover every aspect of going to a top ranked school - including
the fact that having a degree from one of them can be a badge of honour, and may help
you find a job more easily. But, that’s if you ever even graduate.
So when you’re applying for school, or even at your new college, keep in mind that whether
you go to the best or worst school, the formula for success is mixed. Remember the importance
of confidence in your abilities, and how being a Big Fish in a little pond can sometimes
be more important than your school itself.
If you’re worried about doing your best at school, you can check out our previous
video on the 9 best scientific study tips with link in the description. And subscribe
for more weekly science videos!
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你還是擁有名校迷思嗎?帶你來解惑! (Does Your School Matter?)

62897 分類 收藏
Harvey Pan 發佈於 2018 年 2 月 23 日   Harvey Pan 翻譯   Pi-Chien Hu 審核

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隨著教育程度的普及,讀大學已經不是一件難事,但現代卻逐漸出現追求名校、高學歷這樣的迷思,難道真的讀了名校就會成為成功的人才嗎?這部影片要打破你對名校的刻板觀念!

1phenomenon0:52
phenomenon 在這裡是「現象」的意思,有時候也有「奇蹟、稀有事件」或是「傑出的人才」之意。
The employment problem tends to be a phenomenon commonly found in cities.
就業問題常常是一個城市現象。


*同場加映:
我們從線上教育學到了什麼?Daphne Koller: What we're learning from online education


2peer1:06
peer 這個字本身有三種不同的詞性,也有不同的意思。在這部影片中,指的是「同伴、同輩的人」。而作為動詞解釋的話,則有「與...相比、與...同等」還有「凝視、隱約出現」之意,作為形容詞,則有「同等的」意思。
Children are easily influenced by their peers.
孩子很容易受同輩影響。


*同場加映:
【杜蘭大學畢業演講】脫口秀女王 Ellen 要你追隨熱情,忠於自己!(中英字幕) (Ellen DeGeneres at Tulane 2009 Commencement Speech)


3inadequacy1:10
inadequacy 是「不適當、不完全」的意思,在這裡指的是當你和優秀的同儕比較時,會感到自己的「不足」。相反詞是「adequacy」,「充分、適當」的意思。
My grades reflect the shocking inadequacy of the school system.
我的分數反映了學校制度的不健全已到了驚人的地步。


*同場加映:
當你的另一半拒絕性行為,你該做的應該是...? (Sexual Rejection)


4drop out1:52
drop out 這個片語有「退出、放棄」的意思,經常用在退學、或是棄權的時候。
So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK.
所以,我決議退學,並且堅信日後會證明我這樣做是對的。


*同場加映:
"Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." 賈伯斯在史丹佛大學的著名演講 (中英字幕) (Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address)


5badge2:53
badge 有「徽章、象徵」或是「識別證」的意思,在影片中,badge of honor 代表「榮譽感」或是「榮譽的象徵」。
Wisdom is the badge of maturity.
智慧是成熟的象徵。


*同場加映:
睡覺也可以減肥?教你正確的睡眠知識!(Sleep to Lose Weight)


原來名校競爭遠比我們想像的要更加辛苦呀!記得在優秀環境和壓力之中不要迷失了自己的初衷,畢竟人生追求成就之餘也要保持一顆快樂的心!

文 / Stephanie Hsu

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