I was reading Noah Yuval Harari’s Sapiens this week and one of his quotes stood out to me. He said “consistency is the playground of the dull mind,” and after reading it, I knew what my blog post for this week would be about: choosing an intellectual path and sticking to it … or not.
Long story short, I almost ended up going to college in London at an institution renowned worldwide for its Economics program. But I committed to Dartmouth. Although my choice was unexpected to many people, afterwards I wondered how it didn’t occur to me earlier that Dartmouth was the right place for me.
The main distinction I cared about most between the British and American liberal arts system is the flexibility the latter entails. At Dartmouth, you can pick any class you want and explore, regardless of your level. On the one hand, if you’re experienced and want to continue delving into a field of interest, you will have all the resources to do so. On the other hand, if you’re a complete beginner and want to just try something new, that’s also fine – actually, not only is it ok, it is encouraged.
Because I didn’t (and still don’t) have a particular passion quite yet, and because I started to doubt why I chose Economics with Math as my majors in the first place, it became obvious to me that Dartmouth was the best choice. While I plan on taking an Economics course next term or perhaps in the spring, I'm not taking any Econ classes this term. In fact, I am trying out a biology class and it’s my favorite (and also most challenging) course.
All in all, while it took me a while to admit to myself that I was lost and that my study path was very unclear, once I did, I felt liberated. At Dartmouth, I have the time and the resources to try, fail and succeed, and slowly craft my path. At the moment, however, I am content to embrace inconsistency.