Why’d you enroll to attend college? You’ve probably contemplated this question, but if you haven’t, we encourage you to take some time to sit and take a few quiet moments to consider it. Even if you have thought about it, we strongly encourage you to think about it again.
You’ve got to know why you’re doing what you doing. If you don’t know or you’re unclear about your reasons, why are you doing it?
College is an expensive undertaking that gives you the most bang for your buck when there’s a measure of clarity around why you’re there.
Cultural messages are SO strong around college being a given, but its not needed to succeed. This is where you typically get this long list of wildly successful people, who are rich, have a lot of crap, are famous and they dropped out of college.
Not happening here, I’m not going to list anyone, because for many of you that isn’t going to really motivate you to do anything different.
Reading through a list of people who are famous for being successful is nice, but they’re within our reach, physically or otherwise. You know what I mean?
I don’t know any of them personally and you probably don’t either, so their story, although impressive and makes you go WOW, is really unrelatable. I can’t truly relate and I’m just guessing, but you probably can’t either.
So, let’s just focus on YOU and why you decided to take the big plunge.
Maybe you’ve got this – your parents are footing the bill, you’ve got some pretty sweet scholarships, you’ve got a great setup where you can pay it all off yourself – cool, because school debt is no joke.
Regardless of whether you leave college in debt or not, will you leave with what you came for?
Do you even know what you came for is where I’m nudging you.
Taking the time to get as clear as you can about your vision for yourself is key.
If you don’t have a clue about the general direction you’re headed, you’ll wander aimlessly, perhaps spending each waking moment – consciously or unconsciously – doing what someone else says you “should” be doing.
Your life is yours. It’s up to you to decide where your compass is pointed.
Don’t’ get me wrong, I’m also a huge advocate of wandering. Sometimes you need to wander to widen your purview before making any big decisions. So wander on, but wander on purpose, with a purpose. Does that make sense?
College can be part of your wandering equation, but YOU have to make that decision.
College can be a necessary part of your vision to navigate your path; but if it isn’t, it can be a huge detour.
So, I ask you again, why did YOU enroll in college?
What is YOUR definition of success, anyway?
What are YOU reaching for?
What kind of feelings are YOU going for here?
When you reach graduation day, what’ll be next?
You may or may not know the answer to these questions, but have you even considered them? If not, it’s time.
Whether you’re a first year college student, a senior, or somewhere in between , it’s never too late to ask: WHY AM I HERE? Then answer the question.
If you’re in college because:
- you want to please your parents – that’s a DETOUR ANSWER
- it’s what you’re supposed to do next – that’s a DETOUR ANSWER
- you’re answering the cultural call – that’s a DETOUR ANSWER
To save us both some time (because I can keep going with this list of DETOUR ANSWERS), any answer you give that doesn’t start with YOU and your desire, YOU and your goals, YOU and your definition of success, YOU and what you want to contribute, or YOU and your intentions (again, I can keep going) and ends with YOU landing where you really want to land, is going to become a big ‘ol DETOUR, period!
We live in a time of unprecedented opportunities and possibilities to pursue a path of your choosing. Don’t waste precious time chasing someone else’s dream.
If the big push is coming from your parents because of their unrealized dreams, they had their turn. Now its YOUR turn, which means it’s probably time for a crucial conversation.
And, when you have that chat, it has to come from a genuine place, from your heart, no hem-hawing or bullshitting. I know that can be easier said than done, but it is possible to shift out of parent-pleasing mode and into pleasing YOU mode (we’ll address this topic in a future post).
Again, it’s your life and when it’s all said and done, when the curtain closes, what matters most is experience, meaning and fulfillment.
Will your decision include doing what you really care about, what matters? Will you experience fulfillment? Will you make the decision because there’s a reason to be there, not just because it’s what’s next or what someone expects you to do?
The college experience can be a wonderful one.
I loved every second of my college experience (to be totally transparent, I cried when both high school and college were over), but my decision to attend was because I determined it was a necessary next step on my journey.
Was I crystal clear about where I was headed? NOPE, but I WAS wandering on purpose. In fact, I changed my major four times.
My point is this:
You’re probably not going to be crystal clear about your vision for some time, its just part of this whole life thing, but if you’re sitting in your classes miserable while wading in mediocrity every single day, why in the hell are you sitting there?
You DON’T have to have all of the answers, hell, I don’t have all of the answers and I’ve experienced TONS. No one does!
No one has all of the answers, oftentimes it takes moving through that given situation to be in the right place and have the right tools to come up with the right solution at that time.
However, as you move through this period where you’re trying to figure out some next steps around your contribution, your worklife, and your desired lifestyle, just make all that you do count.
If you’re not in college because you want to be, it’s probably time for crucial conversation with yourself!
Robbi Crawford, The Student’s Mentor, Author and Speaker is the founder of BrijBrand.co. Subscribe to our blog below and join the BrijBrand community; we’ll keep you in the loop about what we’re building for YOU, a safe place to land when you’re feeling stuck, want to get focused and need some useful info, targeted help and genuine support!