“Try Hard” Instead Of “Try Your Best”

     On October 29, Julie Lythcott-Haims, a former corporate lawyer and freshman dean at Stanford University, gave a speech to the entire student body in Shipley Pavilion. Lythcott-Haims talked about loving ourselves and being persistent in doing what we love.       She began by explaining her own journey. In her early life, she wanted approval from other people, but later realized that although she earned the approval she craved, she did not pursue a career she loved. Through self-reflection, she asked herself, “what am I good at and what do I love?” She then realized that she wanted to work at Stanford University, and to give care and advice to students.       She shared her six points of advice to students, which included being kind, trying hard and pitching in. She compared ‘try hard’ to the common phrase “try your best,” and claimed that trying hard and giving effort are more crucial and productive than trying your so called “best.” The final three points were learn to think and do for yourself, find your best fit college, and have the courage to study what you love. She believes students should seek to understand themselves and choose their most suitable college and major instead of  following their parents’ desires.       Many students shared their thoughts about her.      “Her opinions are really interesting and she has a lot of insights. It’s important to let parents view and understand their kids’ perspectives and be more educated about parenting.” Lily L’Oiseau ‘22 stated.      “The speaker gave us really good advice for life and made me think of my future in a different way. She engaged both the students and teachers in her speech.” Elizabeth Ji ’21 commented.