At the age of 18, G. Stanley Hall left his home in the tiny village of Ashfield, Mass., for Williams College, just 35 miles away, with a goal to “do something and be something in the world.” His mother wanted him to become a minister, but the young Stanley wasn’t sure about that plan. He saw a four-year degree as a chance to explore.
His parents wanted him to come home and get a real job, and even Hall, having “scarcely tried my hand in the world to know where I can do anything,” wondered what was next. He was out of money and in debt, so he returned home after his parents refused to support him financially. He was 27 years old.