Would you rather be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond. Researchers at the University of Michigan say it depends on your cultural upbringing.
In three different tests, people with Chinese heritage were twice as likely than those with Western European heritage to choose the small fish option. They preferred having less than mediocre grades at a top ten college over high grades at a top 100 college.
Were the Chinese American students more harmonious and less concerned with standing out while the European Americans more individualistic? Nope. It all came down to prestige.
My roots are showing. I’d definitely go for the high grades at the lower ranked school. The study assures us there is no right or wrong choice, but it’s interesting to ponder how much our upbringing affects what we do.