“The students who succeed after college … are those who are always learning outside the classroom as undergraduates, in everyday circumstances, whether in clubs, sports, activities, in residence halls or in part-time jobs. It’s that lifelong curiosity that leads us to appreciate education whenever it happens and wherever, even when it doesn’t come on the campus of an elite university.” By JeffreySelingo
As students prepare for the spring semester, there are some quick, important things they can do to ensure they get off to a strong start.
Leadership - 80.1%
Ability to work in a team - 78.9%
Communication skills (written) - 70.2%
Problem-solving skills - 70.2%
Communication skills (verbal) - 68.9%
Strong work ethic - 68.9%
Initiative - 65.8%
Analytical/quantitative skills - 62.7%
Flexibility/adaptability - 60.9%
Technical skills - 59.6%
Interpersonal skills (relates well to others) - 58.4%
Computer skills - 55.3%
Detail-oriented - 52.8%
Organizational ability - 48.4%
Friendly/outgoing personality - 35.4%
Strategic planning skills - 26.7%
Creativity - 23.6%
Tactfulness - 20.5%
Entrepreneurial skills/risk-taker - 18.6%
2. Clarity: the ability to see through messes and contradictions to a future that others cannot yet see. Leaders must be clear about what they are making, but flexible about how it gets made.
3. Dilemma Flipping: the ability to turn dilemmas—which, unlike problems, cannot be solved—into advantages and opportunities.
4. Immersive Learning: the ability to immerse yourself in unfamiliar environments, to learn from them in a first person way.
5. Bio-empathy: the ability to see things from nature’s point of view; to understand, respect, and learn from its patterns.
6. Constructive Depolarizing: the ability to calm tense situations where differences dominate and communication is broken down— and bring people from divergent cultures toward positive engagement.
7. Quiet Transparency: the ability to be open and authentic about what matters, without being overly self-promoting.
8. Rapid Prototyping: the ability to create quick, early versions of innovations, with the expectation that later success will require early failures.
9. Smart-mob Organizing: the ability to create, engage with, and nurture purposeful business or social change networks through intelligent use of electronic and other media.
10. Commons Creating: the ability to seed, nurture and grow shared assets that can benefit all players— and allow competition at a higher level.
[Quoted from: http://digitalcommons.andrews.edu/jacl/vol8/iss1/13]
Regardless of which model you use, continue listing which courses and extra-curriculars and one-off programs provided you with the opportunity to learn which skills and competencies and which provided you with a deep sense of pleasure and joy. (Now, add the skills and competencies to your resume or online portfolio so you don’t lose track of them!)
Are there so-called "lessons learned" from last semester? Things you do not or absolutely do want to repeat or delve more deeply into? Keep them in mind.
Finally, it is time to take a look at the spring line-up of courses and other commitments you have for the spring.
Why this focus on articulating the things that provided you with the deepest pleasure, those moments of inexplicable joy and gratification?
As Andy Molinsky (@AndyMolinsky) says succinctly: “People have pursued one path in life — influenced by their culture, parents, or sense of what they “should” pursue — that leads them to invest time, money, and skill development in a path that is very hard to escape from.”
To avoid this trap, you must focus on the things that genuinely interest you! Because the things that interest you reflect your true passions, and they will give you joy.
Being joyful enables you to love well, to contribute to your community and the rest of the planet.
Being unhappy makes us all unable to love well and to tap into the energy we rely on to make the planet a better place for ourselves, our families, and our communities. What could be better than that?
For many years, as a dean at three Ivy League colleges and now as an AVP at a university with an extraordinary mission, I have had a front row seat to the obstacles to success that college students and their parents confront every year. Even at so-called elite, highly selective colleges such as Princeton, Harvard, and Columbia, where I spent some of my career, students struggle on a daily basis to remain healthy, happy, grounded, and to stay in school. I am dedicated to helping them.