A 17 year-old young man sat in my office telling me:
“I have no clue about what I want to study in college. I’ll wait until I get there to figure that out.”
The young man grew up in a family with two working parents who were college graduates. He was an intelligent and attractive individual. He would also be graduating soon in the top 10% of his class.
With all that he had going for him, I was shocked to hear that he had given very little thought to one of the biggest decisions of his life: college major.
Without a good dose of reality, I think most readers know that the results of his approach are fairly predictable.
The student will likely spend four years taking courses, going to parties, and avoiding the real world. At some point (4-5 years down the road), the student is going to face graduation. And students who have not been dealing with who they are and what they want to do in life probably aren’t going to be any further along than they were when they first entered college.
Fact: Even the most elite universities cannot look inside your heart and mind to know what you are passionate about, what has meaning for you. Only you can know that.
Prepare: In this case, the 17-year-old I mentioned had someone to advise him to take a more reasoned approach. He took the time to learn about himself through our visits and through a personal retreat time he designed for himself. He put in some hard work to consider his values and goals, to understand his personality and his natural giftedness.
The Highlands Ability Battery was one of the tools I used with him to uncover what he was naturally talented at doing. He came to understand that his logic and conceptual aptitudes, coupled with his mechanical talents could make him successful in an engineering field. His personality styles of Introversion and Openness to Learning would also be a match for that career choice.
If a student goes to college with some reasonable options at hand—ones that are based on objective tests and measures—he will have sufficient focus to choose courses, majors, and summer jobs (or internships) that will actively allow him to take the ball down the field.
The point: Having no focus is just as bad as having a focus that is prematurely narrow. Learn more about career match at www.scramboose.com.