01/21/2014 05:19 pm ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

Why College Students Feel So Ambivalent About Wall Street Jobs

College students seem to have a love-hate relationship with Wall Street. Even in 2011, when the Occupy Wall Street movement threw recruiters for a loop, the country's best and brightest were still headed for flashy jobs in finance.

Sam Polk has an idea why.

After Polk, a former hedge fund trader, published a New York Times op-ed about the wealth addiction he experienced on Wall Street, Polk told HuffPost Live's Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani that college students reached out to him en masse to explain their frustrations with pressure to succeed.

"One of the big groups of respondents to my article has been college kids, kids that are graduating from really good schools -- Yale, Dartmouth -- and they're saying, 'What do I do? I'm so scared that if I don't go to Wall Street or I don't try to get a really prestigious job, then I'm sort of going to disappear,'" Polk said.

But Polk has a different view. He said that despite the anxiety that comes with competing against high-achieving peers, students at elite colleges "have won the absolute lottery" compared to people who never attend college, and it's important for some students to renounce Wall Street in favor of making life better for those less fortunate.

Check out the full conversation with Sam Polk at HuffPost Live HERE.