“Cogito, ergo sum.” “Je pense, donc je suis.” “I think, therefore I am.”
Notice French and English require a pronoun: je and I. Latin, not so. Economical Latin is expressed in three words, French and English in five.
Did René Descartes (1596–1650), the father of modern philosophy, say it? Not exactly. “I have convinced myself that there is absolutely nothing in the world, no sky, no earth, no minds, no bodies. Does it now follow that I too do not exist? No: if I convinced myself of something then I certainly existed. But there is a deceiver of supreme power and cunning who is deliberately and constantly deceiving me. In that case I too undoubtedly exist, if he is deceiving me; and let him deceive me as much as he can, he will never bring it about that I am nothing so long as I think that I am something. So, after considering everything very thoroughly, I must finally conclude that this proposition, I am, I exist, is necessarily true whenever it is put forward by me or conceived in my mind.” (AT 7:25, CSM 2:16f)
Per Wikipedia, “In 1607, late because of his fragile health, he entered the Jesuit Collège Royal Henry-Le-Grand at La Flèche, where he was introduced to mathematics and physics, including the work of Galileo. After graduation in 1614, he studied for two years (1615–16) at the University of Poitiers, earning a Baccalauréat and Licence in canon and civil law in 1616, in accordance with his father’s wishes that he should become a lawyer. From there, he moved to Paris.
“He said, ‘I entirely abandoned the study of letters. Resolving to seek no knowledge other than that of which could be found in myself or else in the great book of the world, I spent the rest of my youth traveling, visiting courts and armies, mixing with people of diverse temperaments and ranks, gathering various experiences, testing myself in the situations which fortune offered me, and at all times reflecting upon whatever came my way to derive some profit from it.’”
I prefer a student seek Descartes’s path over the worldly profitable and elitist notion of the straight line in academic and employment progress as graphed above.
Take a look at the Jesuit school Descartes attended. You will be stunned by the list of graduates, which includes Husain Bey, Crown Prince of Tunisia.