What is more important – What you do or who you become? My Ivy League Experience…


During Spring break, we made our first road trip. The purpose was simple – combine fun with some college tours for our high school son.

On one beautiful Spring break day, we toured a prestigious Ivy League School. The campus was pristine, the students impressive, the entrepreneurial legends, inspiring. Not only did it top my son’s list of our Spring break campus tour, I was ready to quit my job and apply for to complete my Ph. D.

At the end of our tour, the University’s Student Guide said: Don’t let your GPA stop you from applying to our school. I heard someone in the group shouted out: “What is the average GPA?” The Student Guide replied: Over a 4.0.

I laughed (Inside my head, of course). Aware of my ignorance, and conscience of my effort not to embarrass my 15 year-old son, I didn’t raise my hand and ask: How does my son achieve a 4.2 or a 4.5 to get into your University? Instead, I waited until I was safely away from the crowd and in my car to do a Google search.

After finding the answer. I didn’t spend a lot of time strategizing how I could help my son get in. I think I was too troubled by the implications of what that might mean for his life. I had heard from other parents that their kids had a 4.2, started a nonprofit business, and were able to play the violin while standing on their head, but still didn’t get into this Ivy League School.

My questions was: What would my son sacrifice? What would we sacrifice?

Our wallets were a given! But what about our sanity? Or our souls?

As a leader, I see the fall out of such sacrifice in the lives of people every day. They work so hard, only to lose what matters most – their health, their families, their friends and their identity. All because of an addition to performance that started at a very young age.

I have to ask myself, as a parent, am I leading my children down the same path or am I teaching them by my words and my actions that what really matters most is WHO they become, not WHAT they do?

What about you?

What matters most to you?

Where do you find your identity?

What is the condition of your soul?

I would love to hear your thoughts on,  What is more important – What you do or who you become? My Ivy League Experience… Please don’t hesitate to share your stories or comments below.

If you found this blog helpful or encouraging, it would be the greatest complement to me if you shared it on your social networks. Thank you for helping build our community!

In Life and Leadership,


1 Comments on “What is more important – What you do or who you become? My Ivy League Experience…”

  1. Great thoughts Angela! We too are right in the middle of the college discussions and who we are vs. our academic performance came up just last night!


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