Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the day to day demands that we lose sight of the where we are in the big picture. For high school and college students that location can be critical. So in an effort to re-focus and clearly identify where you are, let’s look at the resources.
As a high school student with college on the horizon, you need to assess your grades. On-line access through district portals makes that possible. Do you use it? Are there patterns in your grades like low tests, or quizzes, missing assignments? This is a good time to evaluate where you are so that there is a good outcome for the semester. After all, many of you are nearing midterm and you have time to correct problem areas.
College students, you are in a similar position. You have on-line access to grades, you can see patterns of performance and you have time to address problem areas. Time management has a direct impact on your grades and a vast majority of college students face dropping out because of poor time management that manifests itself in low grades or even probation and loss of scholarships.
However, for you, there are some resources and practices that are different from high school. If you need assistance, check your professor’s office hours and make an appointment. It will help your status in class as they will see you as an individual who is interested and one who cares about their class performance. You can also check out math or writing labs that provide student-to-student tutorial services free. There are lots of services available, but you have to take action and take advantage of them. Contact me if you need help navigating the system.
Know where you are so that there are no surprises. Assess your situation and make a “To Do” list to ensure action and accomplishment.
As a child or even teen, our parents help us define the balance in our lives. But once we head off to school or out into the world of work, that balance becomes our responsibility.
Once upon a time our balance was structured around our need to eat, sleep and get our daily dose of exercise, but……notice that word came up again, life got a little more demanding and the balance included homework. On we went into the world of high school, college and eventually work. At every step along the way, life brought new opportunities, more challenges and greater need for balance. But, those increased responsibilities, opportunities and challenges undermined our attempts at balance and in some cases, they may even remove balance from our radar.
What are the “buts” impeding your balance? After all, having balance in our lives helps influence our sense of satisfaction and success. For some, balance includes a calm and blissful state brought on by organization and rhythm in life. For others it is a constant stream of thoughts, actions and involvements that keep one in motion. What is balance for you? What is getting in the way? What “but” can you address in your daily routine and use to assist in finding your balance?
I speak frequently about the ridiculous amount of student loan debt in our country. Not that there aren’t times and situations that they are warranted, but all too often they are a product of irresponsible choices. Irresponsible meaning that students and families do not invest the time and effort into exploring options before they commit to majors and then change their mind. In changing majors, you loose at least one semester, so the graduation target gets pushed back and the monetary investment gets extended. The national average indicates that students will change majors 3-5 times in the course of their four-year degree, but in doing so they end up graduating in six years instead of four.
The newest data shows that loan debt has increased 10% over last year. Here is a very cool interactive map that shows state-by-state the amount of loan debt and % of students with loan debt. http://money.cnn.com/interactive/pf/college/student-debt-map-2012/?iid=EL
Need help exploring your options and developing a plan NOT to be one of the statistics. I am not a financial consultant, but I am a college and career advisement specialist. Contact me.
“Location – Location – Location” is what realtors promote when listing or selling property. When you are working an application for college admissions, the motto is “Contact – Contact – Contact.” That way you continue to build value in you as an applicant and potential student in the institution.
Building value begins in middle school when you establish grades that set your track for high school courses. In high school, you create value through grades, activities, service, and leadership. But as an applicant, all of those things are already done or in motion, and you can’t quit. Establishing contact with someone in an admissions office is important in securing your best opportunity. So make contact, get a name, number and email. Check back with that individual to see if there is other information needed, where they are in the process, or to update them on a recent accomplishment. The important factor is to maintain contact. Build your value with them by demonstrating that you are an authentic candidate and not just one of the thousands who apply as a backup.
Build your value. Contact – Contact – Contact! This is not the time to be shy!
Adult workers often talk about professional development or continuing education units and the associated costs, benefits or requirements for some professions. However, I don’t think I have ever heard anyone reference high school students who prepare for college as undergoing professional development. But that is exactly what it is! There are costs associated and benefits to be had through professional preparation for college whether you do it yourself or hire a professional.
On the academic side, PSAT/SAT/ACT prep courses are all a form of professional development. Parents invest significant dollars in order for their son or daughter to increase their score potential. The investment is not a guarantee, but it enhances the probability. So it is important to plan wisely and get the biggest bang for your buck. When I am asked by parents or students, “When do we start,” I always say, “Middle school.” When the shock wears off, we get down to business and begin to plan from where they are at that moment. But here is a tip for getting the best outcome with the end in mind.
Create a calendar that targets test dates and work backward. Identify the necessary enrollment date and get registered on time to avoid late fees or missed application dates for colleges. Using these dates, work backward again and identify the necessary time frame to participate in a prep course or private tutoring so that you have time to take practice tests and target areas needing improvement. That’s how to get the biggest bang for the buck! While this only targets test dates, ultimately, you have already marked your calendar with application dates and can pace yourself accordingly. Break it down and create a focus.
The world of work has changed radically over the last 5 years and it is more important than ever that everyone look at ways in which they can enhance their own marketability. In order to do that, adults, college students and high school students need to look at professional development with a new perspective. How can you invest in yourself, your loved ones or your employees to enhance marketability or job performance? Need help? Click here to contact me for more information regarding your own professional development.
With everyone either back to school or getting there immediately after Labor Day, this is a great time to remind all students, college and high school, YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE FOLLOWS YOU. No. I am not shouting at you in text format, but I am making a point. If you (or your friends) blog it, post it on Facetime, Twitter, Instagram, or any social network, you are vulnerable to future employers, mortgage officers and credit opportunities, college admissions, and the list goes on. Be aware and be proactive.
How many hours a month do you spend on the Internet? How much time are you using it for education, entertainment, work, purchasing services or products, or connecting with friends and family? The average American spends 32 hours per month on the Internet. A tidbit I learned on a webinar hosted by Juicy Results, a terrific web marketing company. And as I thought about that number, I realized I spend that much time per week and more on the Internet! If the nature of jobs and careers in the future is changing, then this is important information to know.
Do you have a social media presence? What does it look like? Universities and employers alike are using social media to “check out” their candidates. Everything from your email address and voice message to your pictures and comments on the Internet are available for public scrutiny and feed into your public image or “social entity.”
Just as different people have different perspectives on issues, different generations view and address issues differently. In regards to social media, there is a great article and some interesting data that specifically address the issues of school and job impact. Click here to read the article and be sure to scroll down to table 2B and note the difference between Baby Boomers and Echo Boomers. While an Echo Boomer may see nothing wrong with a particular message posted on a social media site, the individual responsible for your admission to college or hiring you may be a Baby Boomer and the posting is offensive.
Now ask yourself the question again and consider who may be on the other side of the computer monitor checking you out. What does your “social entity” look like? What do you need to do to create the kind of social image that characterizes you but doesn’t jeopardize future opportunities? Contact me if you need assistance or want more information.
Most everyone has walked through a grocery store or Bed, Bath and Beyond and seen the OXO display for kitchen gadgets. They are great tools! But recently, in an advertisement for their products, they posted words of wisdom from their interns for rising college seniors. Pretty clever marketing! They specialize in kitchen tools and shared some “out of the box” thinking on their part when it comes to tools. Enjoy, and best of luck for a great year to all my college freshmen!
Sage College Advice from our Interns
We polled these rising seniors in between meetings to share some of their best advice for easing into college:
- Take advantage of every opportunity you are presented with.
- Step out of your comfort zone to try new things and meet new people – you might be surprised with the results!
- If you’re struggling with work, ask for help.
- Always have disposable cups, plates, etc. for ordering in!
- Bring an extra set of sheets for laundry day.
- Set rules with your roommate on the first day – even though it will be awkward, establishing them early will avoid conflicts.
- Try not to get too stressed. You’re entering four of the most exciting years of your life!
Have you ever noticed how much time, focused energy, and money goes in to preparing to take the SAT, ACT or a re-test to get a better score? So much of it is driven by the desire to have qualifying scores for a specific university or college of choice. Imagine the hours invested in AP or IB courses for the purpose of positioning one’s self for that perfect college. In making the selection to take a prep course for these tests, students and parents use their network of other students and parents to get recommendations for individual tutors or organizations. They go on-line and search options. So much effort and resource is spent on this one piece of preparing for college and the bigger picture of a career direction becomes a second priority or maybe third or fourth.
With the national average being six years to get a four year degree, the indicators point to students not being prepared to make a decision about their career direction and therefore the result is greater use of personal resources or student loans and lost earning potential. That’s not to say that students can’t change their mind about a career major, once they are in college, but they can make informed decisions that use both their time and their resources wisely and reduce the potential of increased time to get a bachelors degree and increase the likelihood that they will be happy with their career choice.
Making informed decisions means collecting the best possible information in multiple directions. In order to do that with a career decision, the information needs to include personal interests, an assessment of values, an inventory of skills and a quantified measure of natural abilities. If there are influencing factors like family legacies or expectations, those need to be addressed as well.
Don’t be paralyzed by indecision. Collect the information, assess your situation and goals, and if you need assistance, contact me. I can help you determine your best direction!
Once again, the issue of student loan debt is in the news. The angle this time, universities suing students over unpaid loan debt. But what continually goes unaddressed is the fact that nationally, students change their majors 3-5 times and each “change of the mind” results in approximately one semester of extended time for degree completion. Multiply that times 3-5 and you have gone from a 4 year graduation plan to 6 years spent on a 4 year degree.
Determining a career path and choosing a “good fit” college require tremendous effort and diligence. I am continually baffled by human nature. We spend hours searching for the perfect car or house, but typically far less time picking a career or college. Often we are simply influenced by where our friends go, what our parents do for a living, or the latest craze on TV and in the media. So it is no surprise that 60-85% of Americans dislike their chosen field of work.
But there is a far better method.
- Read the linked article – click here
- Determine if you will be proactive or risk being a National statistic
- Contact me for a proactive approach for a great college fit and career direction
Part of the problem with student loan debt is the fact that university costs are rising. But you don’t have to fall into the trap of the 6 year graduation group and go broke in the doing. And you don’t have to fall into the 60-85 % of disillusioned American workers. Love what you do!
- Go with a purpose
- Get a great experience in college
- Make a career out of something you love and are Naturally inclined to be successful
What action will you take today?
“In this increasingly talent-driven society, we need to know and develop our strengths to figure out where we fit in.” – Tom Rath, author, Strength Finder 2.0
The more we understand about our natural abilities, the better we can make effective choices that lead us toward satisfying and rewarding careers and lives in general. Since abilities can be measured, it only makes sense that once we know what those numbers look like, that we are able to apply them to our daily lives both on the job and in our personal time. As a life-long educator, I have been trained in the use of many instruments, but I don’t think any of them have impressed me or shown such clear benefit for individuals as does the Highlands Ability Battery. When natural abilities are measured using the Highlands Ability Battery, a series of 19 tasks yields results that measure 21 separate areas and address Personal Style, Driving Abilities, and Specialized Abilities.
These key elements; Personal Style, Driving Abilities, and Specialized Abilities are so important in identifying how we best learn, work with others and use our problem solving abilities that they have been used extensively by large corporations and organizations. They are also a critical factor in helping to identify major areas of study or compare programs of study at institutions so that a 4 year degree doesn’t turn in to a six-year graduation date. Knowing your “best fit” helps to provide a vehicle for success.
Want to learn more about yourself, Natural Abilities and your career path? Contact me.