From Director to Encourager: Learning to Cheer from the Sidelines

ID-1003929It’s likely some of you have students who will be on their way to college in a matter of weeks or days. Finally, their first taste of independence (and arguably the greatest milestone for their parents as well)!  So, how are you feeling about it? If you (or someone you know) has a college freshman about to start school, this post is for you!

 

I remember the first time I (Arlyn) heard the term “helicopter parent.” It was at my daughter’s college freshman orientation, where they separated parents and students into different rooms and gave us each a good talking-to. There they told us, in no uncertain terms, that helicopter parenting would be detrimental to our students’ success in college.

It’s pretty easy to imagine. A young adult is off to the real world—college or the work force—ready to make his or her mark in life. As he does, there is a helicopter hovering over him, the pilot barking advice through a megaphone. The copter sweeps in for closer views at times. Other times, it pulls away slightly but it is always a very real presence, with the whirl of its blades never too far away.

Our children’s generation has seen the rise of helicopter parents more than any other.. As they hover, they’re always advising and intervening, enabling and rescuing, offering opinions and sometimes outright manipulating. Why? Generally speaking, the reasons include “to be involved in my child’s life,” to “help,” and to “be an advocate.” Good intentions—but when they start to work against our ultimate parenting objectives, these efforts can actually become counterproductive and downright detrimental. Employers and school and college counselors are witnessing it in droves.

“Millennials have had helicopter parents who have protected them,” says Dan Jones, president of the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors. “They haven’t had the opportunity to struggle. When they come to college and bad things happen, they haven’t developed resiliency and self-soothing skills.”[i]

Let’s back up and identify why this is such a problem today, since our parents’ generation didn’t suffer from it as much. Theirs was (again, generally speaking) more a generation of self-sufficiency—of parents and their adult children living their own lives. This, however, is the generation of highly involved parenting. This is the generation whose fathers are in the Lamaze classes and the delivery rooms, whose parents are at every ball practice, and some of whose moms (or dads) give up lucrative careers to take on the full-time career of parenting. And, they give it every bit as much effort and excellence as their corporate careers! Thus, was born the performance parent.

These involved parents serve on the committees at the preschool and bring cupcakes to every party, they make their kids’ beds and pick up after them, they sometimes DO their kids’ homework, and they make every personal effort they can to help their kids make the team, earn a 4.0, get the job …

So, guess who’s having a little trouble letting go when Junior goes off into the real world? (Hint: It’s not Junior!) Just check the Facebook posts of parents who are readying to launch their teen and you’ll see what I mean!

Young children need their parents A LOT. They need us to interpret the world for them, help them make decisions, recognize and avoid danger, choose the right kinds of friends, and know when to work and when to play. That being said, our role is an evolving one. In fact, our goal should be to eventually work ourselves out of a job! Well, sort of.

When our kids were little, we put training wheels on their bikes, and then took them off as they demonstrated increased strength, balance, and confidence. That’s how we should be approaching the teen years. We go from holding them on the bike with both hands, to keeping one hand on the seat, to letting them ride alone with training wheels, to taking off the training wheels and cheering like crazy from the sidelines. That’s what being a “chief encourager” is all about.

Going from director to chief encourager is one of the biggest challenges for parents during the years leading up to and including the launch. And truthfully, it can be a big challenge for teens as well (although they probably won’t admit it). Change isn’t easy for any of us. But if teens are going to be successful, confident adults, they need to be able to operate independently. If you haven’t started operating as your teen’s chief encourager (rather than pilot or director), it’s time to start practicing now! You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how your teen rises to the occasion as you gradually let go.

This blog post was adapted from Parenting for the Launch: Raising Teens to Succeed in the Real World by Dennis Trittin and Arlyn Lawrence. To purchase, visit www.parentingforthelaunch.com.

Photo: freedigitalphotos.net, by Tim Seed

The Three P’s for College Academic Success

ID-100103840College is just around the corner for the hundreds of thousands of students who are graduating this year. Transitioning from high school to college academics can be challenging for many (More homework! Longer papers! Lecture notes! Stiffer competition! Fewer grades!), so here are some tips to make the grade.

First of all, remember this: You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to get GOOD GRADES!

 

To do well in college, perform your best, and get the most out of each class/assignment, it’s important to understand the secrets to academic achievement:

  1. The first success ingredient is good planning. This involves making a study calendar a few days out. You can find a reproducible homework and study planner on our website. Take an inventory of what you have planned for each week, including social events, and make sure you have enough time carved out to fully complete assignments and studying.
  2. This means staying committed to your study schedule, becoming a skilled time manager, and finding a study environment that works best for you. You can use the reproducible daily schedule  on our website to help with this.  Come prepared and, ideally, sit in the front row (it has a way of keeping you awake during those 8:00 a.,m. lectures!). Complete all of your required readings well in advance so you’ll have ample time to review and review and review. Remember, reps are the key to recall! Click here to read about my “Rainbow Highlighter Study Method” (step 3 in the post).
  3. Deliver what your audience (i.e., teacher or professor) is looking for (play close attention to syllabi and grading rubrics) and enter your exams with supreme confidence that you’re prepared to excel. Be rested, alert, and ready to go. Fuel your body with what it needs for optimum performance and make sure you get enough sleep. And, when you have multiple essay questions, start with the easy one to build brain momentum. It’ll also give you more time to contemplate answers to the more difficult ones.

If you can fully appreciate the need for planning, preparing, and performing, you’ll be well on your way to achieving repeatable academic success. (That’s the best part, adapting these three P’s into your regular study schedule means that you can continuously do well.) In this increasingly competitive world, academic performance is critical!

 

How have YOU helped the students in your life become organized and disciplined studiers? Or, if you are a student, what have you found works for you? Share your ideas with our online community of parents, educators, and youth organizations; we’d love to hear from you!

Photo: Freedigitalphotos.net, by Ambro

Five Ways You Can Set Your Teen up for Success in College

ID-10068687We’ve shared these statistics before, but they’re never any less shocking. The United States is ranked 9th among 28 industrialized countries for college enrollment, but DEAD LAST for college completion. This means that thousands of aspiring students will begin college each year, but a large percentage will never finish.

If you’re a parent of a soon-to-be graduating teen, this is a message you don’t want to miss. As parents, we need to set our children up for success by equipping and encouraging them to reach their goals.

For a host of reasons, today’s young adult faces an even greater transition than in generations past. The fact that so many students don’t finish college reveals their lack of preparation for adulthood and all the responsibility that comes with it.

In many cases, it’s because they get off to a rocky start. The first three months after leaving home are vitally important, often setting the tone for the rest of a person’s college or career experience. We’ve all heard the tragic stories of college careers that ended prematurely.

Here are some ways you can help position your teen for a strong start after they leave home:

  • Prepare them for the social adjustment. The loss of a teen’s convenient support structure (parents at home, familiar teachers and friends) can be hard to take, especially for those who are reserved by nature. Often, this leads to intense loneliness and getting into the wrong crowd for the sake of making new “friends” quickly.

            Talk about this in advance, so they won’t be surprised by loneliness and feelings of isolation. Help them plan some strategies, like making it a point to meet everyone on their dorm floor, joining clubs/organizations of interest, working out at the rec center, studying in the library where they can meet people, etc. All of these strategies help make a big place feel smaller. The goal should be to patiently seek out people who share their interests and values. It will take time, but they will make new friends.

  • Help them develop strong disciplines. Time management, distractions, new responsibilities (laundry!), variable class schedules, and the like are all new facts of life. Plus, in today’s technology-laden world, the temptation to be playing video games (or surfing Pinterest) instead of doing homework can be huge—not to mention the new social opportunities.

Help them develop a list of priorities and to become master schedulers and time managers. What’s important to them? Grades? Fitness? New friends? Spiritual life? Encourage them to look at their priority list daily. Their time is a precious asset with limited capacity!

  • Prepare them for the academic pressure. Competition is stiffer, grades are fewer, professors are less inclined to offer extra credit, and college is pricey! Many times it takes students a full year to adjust to these new stressors. I was a poster child for that!

Encourage them to buy and use an academic planner (or app on their phone) that puts all of their exam and assignment due dates in ONE PLACE. This way your student can keep track of deadlines and not feel rushed. Also, What I Wish I Knew at 18 contains some effective strategies for mastering the academic transition into college.

  • Set them up for financial success. I was amazed by how many credit card mailers our household received when our kids were high school seniors! Is it any wonder we hear so many young adults run into problems with credit cards and overspending?

It is a MUST for parents and students to be on the same page with respect to money. If you are funding their college education, be sure they understand their financial responsibilities. Whether they are in college or out in the workforce or military, you can help them set up a list of expenses and create at least a rudimentary budget.

  • Establish a communication strategy. Be sure to develop mutually agreed upon expectations for communicating after they leave. Regularly scheduled weekly calls during the first year are reasonable. (We regularly hear of text/phone calls with parents as much as 5-10 times a day—NOT reasonable!) They can always call in the interim, but resist the temptation to initiate frequent calls or texts to check in. As hard as it may be, that would run counter to your role as an empowering coach.

 

Bottom Line: Advance preparation for these key adjustments will make all the difference in the world. Put the above five tips into practice and you’ll help position your teen for a successful transition into their new life chapter.

If you have a young adult in college what ways did you help prepare them for the transition? How did they do? Do you wish you did anything differently or have any advice to share?

Photo attribution: freedigitalphotos.net, photo by: imagerymajestic

Are You and Your Students “Launch Ready?”

With spring break just around the corner, the end of the school year is within sight. As parents, teachers, and mentors of high schoolers, this should be a thoughtful time of year for all of us. Are the kids in our lives prepared for the real world after graduation? If not, what’s high on our “to do” lists? If our students are currently juniors or sophomores, are they already preparing for the next step? What kind of life are they envisioning after high school?

Let’s be honest. When we contemplated having children, what did most of us think about? Likely our minds were filled with images of babies, toddlers, and elementary school-aged kids. Visions of their first day home, their first steps, their first words, their first ride without training wheels, their first day of school, Little League games, and dance recitals gave us a sense of joyful anticipation of what the future held.

I’d be willing to bet that very few of us pictured a teenager being launched from our loving arms into the real world. It’s seems so far down the road that it really doesn’t enter our minds at the outset. After all, we have SO much time before we get to that point, right? Then reality hits—and they’re off—just like the blink of an eye.

If we did think about the teen years, we probably thought about Friday night football games. We might have pictured ourselves helping them with homework and projects, or we may have imagined helping them learn to drive their first car, or seeing them off to senior prom.

Sure, those are important hallmarks of adolescence in American culture. But, if those cultural images were as far as our imaginations were able to take us, something was missing.

In our work with educators, youth mentors, and business and community leaders, we are hearing an overwhelming and urgent cry. They tell us the current generation of young adults, generally speaking, is emerging into the world grossly underprepared to succeed. Consider these facts:

  • One in four high school students fails to graduate, according to the Washington Post.
  • In a ranking of 18 industrialized nations, the United States ranked ninth in college enrollment and dead last in college completion.
  • The average current teen jobless rate, as of this writing, is 23.7%.
  • Over and over we hear that many employers prefer to hire older job applicants, because they are more reliable, better mannered, more motivated, and have a stronger work ethic.

How did we get to this current state of affairs? And what can we parents be doing to equip and empower our teens for success in the real world and reverse this course? As parents, it is imperative to provide our children with the wings they need to thrive in the real world. That means strategically equipping them for independent adulthood, starting now! So, gather the tools you need for your toolkit to prepare YOU (and your children!) for the ride ahead.

We wrote Parenting for the Launch: Raising Teens to Succeed in the Real World for such a time as this. We hope you check it out at here. And, here’s a checklist to help prepare for this milestone.

Do you have a young person that you are preparing for “launch time?” How are you ensuring they’re properly equipped? Do you feel “ready?” If you haven’t yet, check out our book, Parenting for the Launch, for an arsenal of easily applicable advice for you and your teen as you position yourselves for this upcoming milestone.

Wings vs. Strings: Empowering Your Teen to Thrive

Take a guess what’s the most common question I receive from teenagers. The quickest way to success? How to land that job? How to handle stress? Nope. It’s how can I convince my parents to let me live my dream? Kaboom!

As parents, we all want to empower our children to be the best they can be: to build healthy relationships, to be successful in college and career, and to thrive as independents. (And even if we aren’t parents, we probably feel this way about the young people in our lives, right?) Part of empowering our children is to give them wings rather than strings.

Wings are the things we do to prepare our children to be secure and confident people ready to make their mark. Wings allow them to soar. Strings, on the other hand, tie our children down and prevent them from achieving their full potential. It happens when we over manage them. Or, if we coddle, enable, or ignore them.

How do we release eagles to soar rather than kites we control?

One of the most important things for any parent to remember is that your child’s success is not entirely reliant upon you!. Lots of other factors are at play. However, the foundation you lay will have a lasting effect on your child and will impact his or her life choices and worldview. And, your parenting style will impact their outcomes.

With that, let’s visit some real-world examples of how parents unintentionally give their children strings:

  • helicoptering (hovering, reminding constantly, orchestrating their every plan, interfering, nagging)
  • performance-driven (excessive pressuring of kids for their achievements and accomplishments; valuing performance above the person)
  • vicariousness (living life through the child; glorying in his or her successes and agonizing in his/her defeats as if they are the parent’s own)
  • enabling (failing to enforce discipline or accountability, not letting him/her fail and face consequences)
  • overprotection (being overly fearful of outside influences and perceived dangers; not allowing kids to experience enough of the real world to make informed choices; not permitting them to make their own decisions)

In contrast, we empower our kids when we train them with strong internal guiding principles and give them freedom, opportunity, and accountability according to their desires and maturity. Here are some examples of giving our children wings:

  • healthy separation (understanding that teens are their own persons separate from their parents)
  • trust and grace (giving them incremental freedom as it is earned through demonstrating responsibility and integrity; extending forgiveness and taking steps to re-establish trust when it is broken)
  • equipping (strategically training them to handle real world responsibilities and situations)
  • empowering (letting them experience new/different kinds of people and challenging situations with trust and guidance; appreciating their unique design and interests and encouraging them accordingly; having them make their own decisions and supporting them through the consequences)

Ultimately, raising young adults is not about us and our identity, interests, or agenda. It’s about doing what’s best for our kids—guiding them to fulfill their dreams and purpose. Empowering them to live confidently and independently, with integrity and impact. When we give our children wings, we give them one of the greatest gifts of all—our unwavering belief in them. It’s huge!

Parents (as well as teachers and your mentors): what are your own methods for preparing your teen for the real world? What’s your parenting style? Do you struggle with overmanaging, or the opposite, enabling? Share your triumphs and struggles, we would love to hear from you! – See more at: http://dennistrittin.com/view_blog.aspx?blog_id=223#nogo2

Making the Right Call in Risky Situations!

Are there young adults in your life who have recently left home and entered college or the career field? Or, high schoolers about to graduate into independent life? Here’s a special message for them you’ll want to share!

 

Once you leave your parents’ home to travel, study, or work, you’ll experience a newfound freedom and sense of independence. And, you’ll no doubt encounter potentially risky situations that require quick decisions in the moment. Unfortunately there will be no time to call mom and dad, phone a friend, or ask the audience. How will you handle it?

These scenarios often involve alcohol, drugs, sex, and cheating, and especially arise when you feel pressure to fit in with others. They can compromise your value system and derail your plans, dreams, and even your physical, emotional, and spiritual health if you’re not careful. During these situations, it’s wise to pause and ask how your conscience will feel tomorrow if you answer “yes” or “no.”  Will you feel guilt or shame, or be proud of your actions? Let that answer guide your decision.

It’s also helpful to quickly ask yourself these following questions:

-What are the potential consequences to your well being and reputation?

– What answer aligns with your value system?

– How will your decision impact the people you love and care about?

Succumbing to high-risk behavior and situations leads down a path from which it’s very difficult to recover. Your best bet is to avoid these situations altogether before they occur and test you (if not, at least decide in advance how you will react if and when your values are challenged). I’ve heard far too many stories of young people who didn’t heed this advice and whose college careers ended prematurely due to unwise decisions. Often, they lose years of momentum and wander aimlessly in the aftermath. But, you have a purpose and a destiny that is worth guarding and respecting at all times. By following your conscience and your value system, you’ll be well positioned to handle life’s risky situations.

Have you ever been in a situation like this? Did you have the courage to go with your values over the pressure you received from others? If not, how can you better prepare yourself the next time?  After all, life is about learning and recovering from our mistakes, isn’t it?

Studying for Success: Part Three

Now you’re ready to roll. You’ve prepared well for your exam (using what you learned about my winning study method in parts one and two)  and are supremely confident in your ability to perform. But wait—there are still a few other pointers that will help during your exams! Often, you’ll have essay tests instead of (or in addition to) multiple choice or short-answer exams. Here are my four tips to helping you efficiently and effectively take essay-style tests:

  1. If you are given the potential questions ahead of time, keep them in mind while you review. On the night before the exam, identify which questions you’re most comfortable with and develop a list of key words. I often used acronyms of these terms to help me remember the main points.
  2. This next step is key, and happens when you actually receive your exam. Peruse the essay questions. Answer the easiest one first and the hardest last. Many students answer the questions in the same sequence provided by the professor but panic when the first question is difficult. By answering the easiest questions first, you’ll be able to contemplate the more difficult questions in the meantime. It’s multi-tasking at its best! By the time you answer the most difficult question, you’ll have had ample preparation while you wrote your answers to the other questions.
  3. When answering essay questions, be aware that professors look for key words or phrases when they grade. I always made it a point to include as many key words/concepts as I could in a given essay. If the test asks for you to list five key aspects, I’d give them at least eight. This gives you an extra cushion in case your terms don’t exactly correspond to your professor’s.
  4. After your exam, you’ll want to analyze your performance and make mid-course corrections for next time. Study your incorrect/weaker answers to see what you could have done differently in your preparation. Then, modify your methods accordingly.

Be sure to ask your professor for help when necessary. If I struggled with exams or concepts, I made a beeline to his/her office. Remember, you and your parents are paying big bucks to attend college. You’re perfectly entitled to take your professors’ time! This is especially important in cumulative subjects like math. Otherwise, you’ll be digging a deeper and deeper ditch.

College academics are tougher than those in high school, but they’re not impossible. Perhaps the biggest adjustment is the need for better organization and discipline. Whether or not you adopt this study method, the basic principles do work. Good luck!

Are you disciplined and organized when it comes to your study method?  What works for you? In what areas do you need to improve? Share your ideas and questions with us; we’d love to hear from you!

Studying for Success: Part Two

Hopefully you read last week’s post describing four tips for successful exam preparation. (The four pointers were: 1- Know your audience, 2- Take detailed notes, 3- Highlight while you read, and 4- Complete all assigned reading several days before the test date.) If you missed, it, here’s the LINK. Today, I’ll share my last two pointers for becoming a supremely confident test-taker:

  1. Develop your study schedule. This requires estimating how many study hours are needed to achieve an excellent result. Determining the amount of hours is an inexact science, but the bottom line is you’re better off overestimating than underestimating. Take into consideration the extent of your study material, the size and type of the test, etc.
    Once you’ve estimated your required study time, assign review hours into your daily schedule. Generally speaking, for midterms and finals, you should plan on studying over a four-day period for each exam. In building my schedule, I would work backwards from the exam date. My objective was always to complete my review by the night before the exam. For example, if my test was on Friday, I would start my review on Monday. That would give me the four days of review I required. Then, it was simply a matter of assigning my study hours to those days, taking into account my class schedule, activities, and the like.
  2. Review your study material (textbook and notebook) using the “rainbow highlighter method.” Here’s how it works: Let’s assume your exam covers five chapters of material. Start your review with the first chapter, rereading the yellow highlighted portion from your initial reading. Because this will be your second reading of that material, your ability to understand and recall it will be twice as good (remember, recall is all about reps!). However, there may still be detail or concepts you’re not totally confident about and where another review would help. Simply take a different color highlighter (e.g., lime green) and highlight those sentences you’ll want to review again tomorrow.
    Repeat this process again the next day using yet a different color (e.g., orange), but only reread the yellow-green section. You’re now reading this information for the fourth time, highlighting in orange any sentences you want to read again tomorrow. This will be yet a further reduction in the amount you need to reread.

You can see how your confidence grows and grows as the amount of material you highlight shrinks and shrinks. At the end of your review period, you’ve used several different highlighted colors and seen the most difficult material four to five times. This degree of repetition has a powerful impact on your ability to recall the material—not to mention your confidence as you enter the exam!

So there you have it: my six best tips for achieving your ultimate performance and, with effort, hopefully your best grades ever. This method is excellent at instilling confidence, which is a necessity in achieving under pressure. It completely transformed my academic performance and I hope it will for you, too.

If you’re a teacher, parent, or have a young person in your life who is currently in college or high school, I encourage you to share this with them! Becoming an efficient studier is an important skill to master throughout life.

How do prepare for an exam? If you’re a teacher, do you have your own tips that you share with your students? Do you currently practice any of the above tips? As always, feel free to share your own thoughts, ideas, or experiences.

Finding That Job!

One of the greatest unknowns for college students is predicting what the job market will be like when they graduate. After all, it’s four years down the road and lots can change in the meantime. The answer will be based on the state of the economy and the supply and demand picture for their career choice. Unfortunately, these factors are simply outside of our control.

Even if a young person’s path doesn’t include college, they’ll still be facing this kind of uncertainty. If the unemployment rate is low, chances are they’ll have little difficulty landing a good job. If it’s high, who knows how long it could take? Plus, they’ll have to work that much harder just to get their foot in the door.

So, how can all of us help? What are ways parents, educators, mentors and friends can help young people find the jobs they’re looking for—and progress once they find them?
Young adults need to be savvier and more competitive than ever to find, land, and advance in the jobs of today’s work place. Here are some suggestions you can share to help position them for a thriving career:

1. Use your existing networks. No matter how talented we are, we all need people who will go to bat for us, both personally and professionally. Their invaluable assistance can take the form of introductions and connections, references and advocacy, decision-making in our favor, an information source, or general help. They help us gain access to strategically important people. It’s like having our very own sales force!

The employment recruitment process has changed night and day since I was younger. Nowadays, it’s all about online applications that seem to disappear into the proverbial black hole—it’s SO impersonal and frustrating. Somehow, some way, our application needs to stand out. No doubt about it, the best way is to have an insider advocating on our behalf. It adds a measure of dependability and reassurance to the hiring manager, and that’s huge. It may not land us the job, but it helps get us into the game.

2. Broaden your base of employment prospects. Spread your net wide. Talk to others in your field. Read trade journals and industry bulletins, blogs, and newsletters. What’s going on in your industry of choice and where are the jobs? There are likely companies for which you could work that you haven’t even considered. My editor’s son is a land use planner who works for a county government. He recently discovered that a large aircraft manufacturer in our state regularly hires land use planners. He was surprised; he’d never even considered the thought of working for a company like that. Now that he knows, it’s an avenue he plans to pursue in his next steps.

3. Be flexible with respect to location. This point is short but important. Many times you’ll have to go to the job; it won’t come to you. The more flexible you can be about this, the more marketable you are.

4. Develop your competitive edge. Our world is much more competitive than ever before. Our economy has become service-oriented and knowledge-based, which has changed everything. Now, you have to demonstrate something special (i.e, skills, experiences, and achievements) in order to land the job and advance in your career. Together, these make up your competitive edge. Consider what would stand out about you to future employers during your eventual job search. Go the extra mile to become better qualified through experiences and continuing education. If you’re lacking a skill or a professional qualification, attack it with full force! Demonstrate an attitude of continuous improvement and a commitment to excellence. Show results and impact. Create great personal stories that will inspire employers. If you don’t, remember that someone else will—and they’ll wind up with your job or promotion!

This is only part of the picture! Join us next week for part two of this blog: How to Market Yourself and Move Ahead in Your Career Field.

How have you found and moved ahead in your job(s)? Do you think things are easier, harder, or the same for young adults in today’s job market? How can we help encourage students in finding and landing the right jobs? We’d love to hear your thoughts?

Suffering from Senioritis?

 
 

se·nior·i·tis noun se-nyer-‘i-tis: an ebbing of motivation and effort by school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences, and lower grades.
 
Sound familiar? I know at this stage in my senior year I had a bad case of it! We all did. After all, we were on the homestretch, and most of us had made our college or career decisions by now. So, it was pretty easy to rationalize slacking off at school. But, decades later (and hopefully wiser), I can now look back with a different perspective.
 
If you have (or are) a high school senior, you know just what I’m talking about. So here’s a thought about why it’s a good idea to stay the course and finish STRONG.
 
After graduation, students will find themselves in many situations, especially involving college and career, where finishing strong after a long, arduous effort will make or break their success. As life goes on, the stakes will only get higher!
 
Success requires planning, practice, and perseverance. Compare your daily productivity with and without a “to do” list and you’ll see what I mean. Trust me, there is a lot of goal setting in college and career!
 
However, goals can only be achieved through discipline and effort. That’s why if college is the next step, this involves developing great study habits. College academics are much more rigorous and the competition is tougher. My 3.8 high school GPA quickly became a 2.85 in my freshman year of college! It was demoralizing, but eventually I figured it out and would later become Valedictorian of my MBA program. Same brain, different study habits! (ref: chapter 7 in What I Wish I Knew at 18).
 
Seniors are about to enter the most amazing six months of change in their lives. They’ll be saying “Hello” to their future with more freedom and responsibility than ever before. Encourage them that this is their time to finish strong and launch their future well. With planning, practice, perseverance, and patience, they’ll knock it out of the park. It’s there for the taking.
 
Do you have – or know someone with – a classic case of senioritis?  It’s that time of year! What are some of your ideas for overcoming it and finishing strong? Share them with our online community; we’d love to hear from you!