High School Name: John Dewey High School (Brooklyn, NY)
Absolutely they were English and history -- I devoured those subjects. It wasn't only because I was so interested in them, but because I was really lucky to have so many good teachers in those subjects who both pushed me and inspired me.
Hamilton College, Clinton, NY – Bachelor's of Arts
I was an English Major. I chose English because I knew early on that I wanted to do something in journalism and be a writer. I also love literature -- reading and talking about it. I also took a number of writing classes and workshops. Taking these classes obviously improved my reading and writing skills -- but they may have been more important in teaching me how to think critically, how to look more closely and deeply at whatever is at hand. That's the most important quality a journalist can have.
I can't remember, but it was very, very early in life. Education was (and is) extremely important to my family, and it was pretty much expected that we would go to college.
My parents, grandparents and other members of my extended family all actively encouraged me -- my parents supported me, although I worked summers and at other times when school was out to earn money for books, etc. I also received a New York State Regents scholarship, which definitely helped.
Adapting to the very rigorous demands of the academics at Hamilton, learning how to manage my time and -- most importantly -- acquiring more impressive study skills.
Looking back at it, the courses I was able to take at Hamilton, and the professors I was able to learn from, was an unforgettable experience. In a lot of ways, I wish I could go back and make some better choices in terms of appreciating the educational opportunity I was given.
But I also loved the social aspects of college. I met my wife there and made friends for life.
I attend my reunions and contribute money when I can. I also am more than happy to talk to young people who are interested in attending Hamilton.
My very first full-time summer job was a delivery boy pushing a hand truck for a button-dying factory in New York's Garment District.
My very first job was driving a bus and working as a counselor for a summer camp -- it was a tough job market back then. But I fortunately was able to get a job as a reporter for a chain of weekly newspapers in New Jersey by November after my June graduation.
I would tell him or her to think long and hard about what they might want from life -- and then think just as long and hard about how they want to get there.
I think that no matter what you want to do, especially in the 21st century, it's not only important but necessary to attend college in order to be a success in just about any career.
As I said in my previous answer, college is not just important but a necessity in order to succeed at just about any career in this day and age. College gives you a chance to learn and think very differently than you ever have before -- it gives you a chance to develop and mature as a person, actually -- intellectually and socially.
I don't think you should enter college thinking about what you want to do until you get a taste of what school has to offer. You never know what subject might interest you or inspire you. Keep your mind open to new things -- even things you never thought you'd be interested in.