Values are this slippery thing. You suspect you must have them, but they’re hard to pin down.
Often we can better understand our own values system when we are confronted with other people’s values that we disagree with.
There are so, so many opportunities to explore your values based on what is going on in the world right now.
And, understanding your own values not only lets you live a more authentic life, where you can be more true to yourself in the decisions you make — but from a very practical perspective, digging into your values will let you do a better job of applying for graduate education.
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Hopefully that (very long!) post was helpful.
Whatever your values, being able to identify them — name them — and also being able to justify and explain them, can be a truly fascinating process of self-discovery. Some schools’ essay questions really invite this type of journeying inside. The Stanford “What matters most?” and the Yale “significant commitment” questions are both 100% in this domain, of requiring some true thought and internal investigation.
And, as you’ve seen we’ve done with the examination of Duke and Darden’s respective approaches to policies around coronavirus, you can also use values to help you decide on your schools.
It’s useful to remember that the admissions department is not the entirety of the school — you don’t necessarily want to wholly judge the school by an experience with them alone. However, they are the public-facing face of the school to the community of prospective students, and all policies they implement are absolutely representative of the culture and leadership overall.