It’s 2017, the era of everyone getting a trophy and everyone having a college degree. But so many graduates (even from elite universities) are unemployed or underemployed. There is absolutely nothing wrong with scooping ice cream or entering data into Excel spreadsheets, but I am sure you didn’t grow up dreaming about writing a check for $250,000 to Yale to be able to do that for $15/hour.
What is your end game?
But let’s step back for a minute and widen the scope. Everyone is looking at it in terms of getting from point A (high school) to point B (college). But in the grand scheme of things, what is that for? This is a QUARTER MILLION DOLLAR investment. And yes, it is an investment, so you should expect to get something in return—namely, something worth greater than $250,000. Why are these well-intentioned, hardworking people all about going to college? Is it just about the stamped piece of paper with your name printed on it in fancy font?
There's more than one path to success
Obviously there is more to it. There is an end goal involved. Whether it’s to get a job, to make money, to be secure, there is something that this road eventually leads to. But instead of just attacking this one small portion of your journey, is there another way to your ultimate goal? What if there is a better (faster and more effective) way to get there? When traffic is backed up, do you get in the very end of line behind the other 18 cars, or do you look for a faster road to take?
It pays to be selfless
It’s not even about college. Why should someone give you their money? Why should they give you a job? Are you bringing something to the table – your labor, your ideas, etc.? What are you doing to make their lives better? What are you doing to help them make money, have better relationships, or better health?
To get what you want, help others get what they want
The idea is that college can help you do those things. But even so, gaining admission means nothing. It’s about coming out of there with something to differentiate yourself with. It’s so competitive to get in, and most people graduate. So when you get out, just in your class there are going to be a bunch of people with the same degree as you. Don’t forget the people in previous and future classes, too. So what makes you different?
First, you have to truly be able to add value to the lives of others. If you can help people solve their problems, they’ll open their wallets. But you also have to be able to show it. That is why RizeU exists: to help you develop and promote your distinct strengths, to get you into college and come out with options.
Let us know your comments and thoughts below.