Hello there! How is everyone’s week going? 🙂

There’s somebody I’d like you all to meet.


Meet Gabriela. She is a 20 year-old earth-dweller, Stanford student, Junior Class President, RA, feminist, intellect, workhorse, and incredible friend. She and I first met in the class “The Page and the Stage: The Rhetoric of Performance” during the spring quarter of our freshman year. Over the past year and a half, I have had the pleasure of gorging upon hundreds of deeply thought-provoking, value-testing conversations and debates with her, and from each one I walk away feeling uniquely filled, yet at the same time hungry for more.

“I can’t stand when people brag about not going to lecture,” Gabriela once remarked during one of our nights lounging about in Cedro. “It’s not cool to not go to class,” she said.

It’s not cool to not go to class.

Immediately, I agree. She and I both feel we came to college to learn, to have our intellectual limits pushed, to forever bid adieu to the foundational requirements our public high schools (@CalcBC) and focus all our mind’s power on the things we know we love. To waste the opportunity to soak up that knowledge from a professor who conducted groundbreaking research in their field is a travesty. To boast the waste? A dishonor.


…maybe I shouldn’t be so hard-edged. As one of my favorite Austin Wu quotes goes, “Moral absolutism is not something people can do.”

For a case study, let’s use an unnamed MS&E class in which I may or may not have a final project grade still pending. The professor is disorganized, unconvincing, and totally spastic. The material is dryer than paper. The TAs are unmotivated and helpful only in forking over the answers to the problem sets as opposed to helping students actually understand the material. Needless to say, the class is less than thrilling. In fact, it’s quite awful–the worst I’ve taken at Stanford.

Notes from MS&E ___
Notes from my first week of class. “I’m lost.”

I stopped attending lecture for this class after Week 3 of the 10-week quarter. I decided to stop attending when I realized that after every class, I left with a foggy, skeletal understanding of the lesson—no, not even skeletal. Skeletal would be great because then I’d have a framework upon which to base further readings—no, I left class with a couple ribs and a left femur. So I quit. Instead, I opted for TAs’ office hours and accepted the regurgitated answers they offered my classmates and me.

So what of academic passion? What of intellectual vitality and the love of learning?


Here’s what my gut tells me, though I’m interested to hear what you think, Dear Reader: If you’re taking a class that truly interests you (which should be the vast majority of your classes,) then skipping lectures, not doing readings, not going to section, and cheating do not help you. They do not make you cool, and they CERTAINLY do not prove that you are ~naturally smart~ and that’s why don’t need to do those things. Please. Spare me.

Every once in a while you (I) make a mistake and accidentally sign up for a terrible class that is neither enjoyable nor requiring of your attendance to attain a passing grade. In these cases, I suppose not attending lecture cannot be considered a moral crime. But I am of the opinion that some serious self-reflection is in store if all of your classes make you feel as miserable as I currently feel in MS&E… XYZ. *Eye nudge*

I think that the point of college is to push oneself, to explore, to dive deep into your intellectual passions. Together classes, extracurriculars, social interactions, and whatever else you personally find stimulating create all that makes college such a wonderfully enriching experience.

So I agree with Gabriela, doing the bare minimum is not impressive. It’s a damn shame.

What do you think, DR? What’s the “point” of college in your opinion/experience?

As always, thanks for reading. Luv u lots boo bearz,



A recent Instagram pic, for your viewing pleasure:

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Last football game of junior year :')

A post shared by Catherine Goetze (@catherinegoetze) on

Written by Catherine Goetze

Catherine Goetze www.cathincollege.com Find me on social media! Facebook: www.facebook.com/cathincollege Twitter: @catherinegoetze Instagram: @catherinegoetze SnapChat: @catherinegoetze Contact me: cathincollege@gmail.com


  1. Hello,

    I think you should stop going to class a be proud that you can make decisions that are good for you. If the point of going is to simply have a presence than it’s just not worth it.


  2. Cath-your writing is articulate, your thoughts are real, and your transparency relatable: you inspire me! Although I don’t think I could be as brave as you are and not go to class at all. Even if my professor teaches absolute fluff, I somehow feel compelled to attend anyway. #typeAprobz.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Until last week I was happy and excited watching your video channel, picturing myself at the farm.. 🙂
    I just got rejected a few days ago and now I don’t feel the same excitement looking at the channel update notification anymore… It just breaks my heart each time… haha

    Thank you for the wonderful indirect experience and allowing me learn what Stanford is like for the past few months. Hope you the best of luck and I am really sad to look at all my subscribed Stanford vlog channels since it was my dream school since forever, but I guess it’s time to let it go.

    I really don’t want to unsubscribe your channel because if I do so it would feel as if it’s really over and I am approving to myself that Stanford just cannot be my school anymore, but each time I look at your channel now I just feel pitiful and sorrowful. I don’t know what to do, really. I know colleges should not determine my self-worth and everything, but seriously dreaming myself at the farm and literally drawing myself in a picture of Stanford and daydreaming about Stanford life every day for years and years, it’s really hard to get over with. I don’t know what I should do. No other school has been my true interest, really..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi J– I’m sorry I’m only getting to this now. For some reason, I haven’t been getting notifications about comments recently.

      I’m sorry that you’re feeling upset about not getting into Stanford. I know that no matter what I say about how it’s a total crapshoot (it really is) or how you are still the same smart, passionate, driven individual you were before you even applied (you really are), it still hurts to be rejected. My hope is that now that some time has passed, the wound has healed slightly and you’ve been able to grow from this experience. Keep your head up, move forward with your epic, beautiful life, because every single freaking day is only what you make of it. I truly hope you choose to stay engaged in the Cath in College community– your story will help make it stronger.

      Sending love,


  4. Stop going to class.

    Seriously, stop it.

    To get the most out of college, you need to create value.

    Real value.

    Value that the market demands. In other words, value people will pay you for.

    To have the time to create this value, you need to stop going to class, aiming for straight A’s, attending parties, and making teachers happy.

    You need to cut eighty percent of your time being like everyone else.


    You should be exceptional.

    This means breaking the rules and acting differently.

    What do you do with your extra time?

    You create value.

    How do you create value?

    You help people. To do this, you need to find a pain point. This starts with asking the right questions.

    What do you wish was easier?

    Are you actively looking for a solution?

    Now, start helping. Don’t enjoy it? Move onto another problem. Keep doing this over and again until you find a fit.

    What happens when you find a problem you want to solve?

    Look for mentors in the industry.

    Ask yourself: Who has the experience to give you a jump start? Surround yourself with these experts.

    The chances are they’re not your fellow students or teachers. You’ll probably have to get their attention using Tweets, cold emails, or LinkedIn messages. Once you have the expert’s valuable time, listen well to their advice.

    After they help you figure out a direction, work hard to create the path.


So, whaddaya think?

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