Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

"Reflecting on Your Life"

That's the name of Harvard's freshman seminar, as described in the Times Education Life supplement. The seminar prods first-years to ask themselves some pretty basic philosophical questions:
What does it mean to live a good life? What about a productive life? How about a happy life? How might I think about these ideas if the answers conflict with one another? And how do I use my time here at college to build on the answers to these tough questions?
So, "how to live wisely?" For one thing, "don't be afraid to take classes that challenge your suppositions." You've come to the right course, CoPhilosophers!
The same supplement has sound advice on selecting a major:
Most people are unsure when they're starting out. Where they end up isn't a direct result of their major; it's the result of a meandering process... Most advice about majors includes the admonition "Follow your passion." But passion is something you discover over time, by finding an interest, however small, and nurturing it. There's no epiphany; it's a collection of small decisions that move you step by tiny step.
If you can make all those decisions and take all those steps in four years, good for you. (I didn't.) But Tip #15 may be for you too: "I wish I had spent five years in college." If you can spare the time and expense, go for it. Our slogan entreating you to "finish in four and get more" sounds catchy but may not be your wisest choice. It may not get you the "more" you need.

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