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Feeling Dumb at Harvard: Student Paper Advises How to Boost Self-Esteem

Did you know that some Harvard students feel dumb, and that they feel sooooo badly about themselves because of it? Neither did I, but that’s the premise of a recent article published by the Harvard Crimson–a student newspaper at that lofty, storied campus.

The article identifies a problem: Namely, because Harvard students are surrounded by so many smart people, they feel dumb. Citing a recent campus visit by author Malcolm Gladwell, the article spells it out this way: “If you’re last in your class at Harvard, it doesn’t feel like you’re a good student, even though you really are.”

Poor Harvard students, feeling dumb precisely because they are so smart! That must be hard.

The article then identifies a number of solutions for Harvard students who feel dumb and badly about themselves. According to the recommendations put forward in article, if you are a Harvard student who needs to improve your self esteem, you should take the following steps:

Step 1.) Buy yourself a new pair of shoes.

Step 2.) Watch a Miley Cyrus video on YouTube. (I’m not making these up, I promise.)

Step 3.) Look at old photos on Facebook.

Step 4.) Don’t look at Facebook. (Steps 3 & 4 were offered successively and, apparently, without irony.)

Step 5.) “Vent” your feelings to a close friend or, even better, “a dining hall worker.” (Venting at the hired help is a great emotional outlet for the elite ruling class!)

Step 6.) Remember that you were “chosen” to be at Harvard because you were “special enough” to stand out from everyone else.

Again, I remind you, these recommendations were intended for students with low self-esteem, not too much self-esteem, as you might assume from reading step number 6.

I hope any Harvard students out there who happen to be reading this article and feeling all-around lousy about themselves will find these tips helpful. Boosting delicate Harvard egos is, after all, a difficult task.

Oh, Harvard! There is a light at the end of your solipsistic darkness! A beacon shining through the misty cloud of fear and self-doubt! Above all, there is hope! Feeling dumb at Harvard is a problem from which you can be delivered! (With help from Miley Cyrus.)

There were a few other recommendations, but you’ll have to go check out the article yourself to see them all. I can’t write anymore today because I just now realized that I’m not “special enough” to have been “chosen” to be a Harvard student, and I simply feel awful about myself now as a result. Awful, I say.

Excuse me while I go look for a dining hall worker. I feel the need to vent…

Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.

Follow Nathan on Twitter @NathanHarden

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