I often find myself thinking about the topic of human motivation. Yesterday, I learned that Olympic figure skater Karen Chen was going to be going to Cornell University as a pre-med student. Then you have Nathan Chen, who's currently at Yale also pursuing medicine, and whose siblings are respectively in tech, finance, and aerospace.
My first thought was, are these kids emblematic of the mentality that can't extricate success from achievement? But then, it makes sense that they be surrounded by society's most advantaged (and controversially, smartest?) and that their attitude on the ice would probably translate well into competitiveness in academics. (One of my closest friends is a competitive figure skater as well, and an extraordinarily hand-working and successful student now in physical therapy.)
Maybe they just want to prove to themselves that they can do "it." But I'm of the mind that if you have a platform and money, maybe you should better spend those efforts (with your hard-earned privilege) where someone often can't pursue because they're restricted by money. Maybe they can maximize impact in the world by pursuing entrepreneurship, theology, philosophy, political science, writing, or other liberal arts degrees. It seems to me a lot of stress to be training for both the MCAT and Olympic trials. After all, I think there's lots of due sacrifice to doing both, which may even negate the social advantages to going to such great schools. But to each their own, I guess!