Lev, You have a quality Ivy League education. You obviously don't know who you would be today if you took a different path in your education, but how do you think your education has formed your decisions in choosing your subject matter (especially in fiction)?
It's complicated. Obviously most people who go into a PhD program in Comparative Literature don't end up writing books about teenage wizards, and in some ways the Magicians books are a reaction against all that fancy literary education. But having read deeply in the history of the novel gave me a lot to draw on too. A lot of what I did in the Magicians I learned from the reading I did in college and grad school.