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The pursuit of prestige has an upside. The quest for cash and cachet—and envy of others' good fortune—are not simply base instincts to be overcome. A bit of status anxiety is a good thing, so long as you understand what you really covet and why.
There are few non-legally binding documents as closely read but as coolly received as class notes from one's alma mater. "On the same day I was accepted to a traumasurgery/critical care fellowship, I asked my beautiful girlfriend, an internal medicine resident, to be my wife," reads one Ivy League entry. Another alum informs that while his wife "has continued her participation with the U.S. national women's lacrosse team and hopes to win her third World Cup, I've had much more modest success on the sailplane racing circuit."