As the first in my family to attend an Ivy League school, I used to praise my university any chance I could. I shrugged off any casual comment about how Ivy League schools weren’t “worth it”, and paid little attention to any critique about Ivy League elitism. I had worked all my adolescent life for the degree I earned, and I was proud of it. I had little interest in over-analyzing what that degree actually meant.
But two years after graduating, when I took a year off to travel, I began thinking differently. Travel gave me an entirely different education than my university, and one I ultimately felt was equally valuable. While I still cherish my college years, and still feel immensely proud to call myself a first-generation Ivy League graduate, I now understand the many things travel taught me that my “elite” education never could. Here are a few: