What if getting into the “Right School” wasn’t that important?


My daughter had her college orientation yesterday.  She is going to a large public university, so even our small orientation day was over a thousand people.

For an introvert (me), this was a little overwhelming.

And then the speakers get up and talk about how your good grades aren’t enough for true success in school. That you have to get involved, join clubs, and develop relationships with professors, manage your time, not call campus safety when you roommate eats your crackers, etc. if you want to get a job or not die of homesickness while you are there.

That’s a lot of pressure.

It’s a little bit like that book “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”.  The skills that got you into college aren’t the same ones that will help you build a successful college career and life.

High school is mostly prescribed for kids. They have to be at school at a certain time.  Attendance is taken. Friends are often the same ones they’ve had since middle school. Whether you follow them or not – you pretty much know all the rules.

But college is different.  And the skills you need to make the most of it are different.  Even the simplest thing like reaching out to your new roommate to decide who brings the mini fridge can feel challenging (Do I email?  Do I facebook message? How do I say “hi” without sounding like a weirdo?).

I developed a class called Savvy 101 for my daughter and her friends.  It won’t answer all of the questions your child will have about developing personal agency.  But it’s designed to cover the basics:

Savvy 101:

  • Who are you when your Mom isn’t telling you what to do?

  • How do you make a good first impression on your roommate, your teachers, your hallmates, etc?

  • What are the keys to developing confidence instead of social anxiety?

  • How do you effectively ask for what you need and saying no to what you don’t?

I would love to hear what concerns or thoughts you have on the topic! Do you have a college student?  How did they prepare to make the transition? What would they have liked to have known? Tell me and I’ll share it with my tribe.

Also, if you know a high school or college student that could use some help – I’d love it if you’d share this with them.

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