« on: February 26, 2005, 12:34:43 PM »
Thanks for all the great advice--this board is a lifesaver. Something I ought to mention is that going to U of T would mean zero debt--I'd be living comfortably at home and my parents' contribution + working this year + summer employment would pretty much cover tuition. So the difference between Harvard and Toronto in terms of debt would be $150,000 at Harvard (or some astronomical amount) versus no debt.
The real dilemma is that unlike so many people posting on this board, I really don't know what I want to do with my life career-wise. I know I want to work in the legal field, but working for a private firm--although I know that's where the big money is--doesn't really appeal to me. My sister's currently a second-year associate in New York and is making really big money but she has very little job satisfaction. This might sound incredibly naive--even writing it makes me cringe a little!--but I know that I'd be miserable in a job if I didn't feel that I was somehow working for the greater good, as opposed to helping rich clients get richer (ok, don't hate me, this is a personal feeling and I totally respect anybody who works 60 hour weeks in a private firm with zero social life. Plus, there's a good chance I could end up sacrificing these lofty ideals and selling out for the big bucks when decision-time came around). As for working in Canada versus the US, I guess I'd ultimately want to end up in Canada, but that could definitely change.
In practical terms, Toronto maeks the most sense. No debt, still a great school (esp. for working in Canada), close to the family, etc. But the prestige of a Harvard degree, the international reputation, etc. is making me hesitate to accept at Toronto. Anyway, I'm not even sure what I'm asking--I'm either going to have to take the safe road and enroll at Toronto or take a giant leap of faith and take my chances at Harvard. But thanks for all your insightful replies. Very helpful!
PS- Also, for all you Americans who might not know, for working in Canada Toronto is sort of considered the "Harvard" of Canadian law schools--hardest to get into, most opportunities coming out of. All Canadian law schools are pretty good, but in Canada Toronto has the kind of prestige that Harvard has in the states.