At some point, every college student hears these phrases & questions. For some, the answers & solutions may come fairly easy; For the majority, they create a fear-stricken panic that they are missing something that everyone else is discovering.
Telling a college student that the years in which they obtain a bachelors degree are also the years in which they will “find themselves”, has always irked me. We want our students to “find themselves”, so that they will be more effective & influential as adults. So why is it, that we haven’t implemented a process that tangibly helps these students do just that? a system that helps students “find themselves”.
The quote above suggests that life isn’t about finding yourself, but rather creating yourself. I agree whole-heartedly but also believe that the two concepts go hand in hand.
In order for someone to “create” themselves there are THREE KEY things they must “find” first.
1) Discover YOUR Unique Strengths
Whether or not you know what your unique strengths are makes no difference. If you think you know, know that you have more. If you don’t know at all, there are tests and people out there, devoted to helping you figure that out.
2) Be true to what motivates YOU
Not what you think COULD motivate you, or what you’re TOLD motivates you. At your core, ask yourself: What would you love to do so much, that you would wake up and do it for free? That is one of the main questions in where your answer will help you find YOUR motivations, and in turn, will aide in you “finding yourself”.
3) Find a MENTOR
Find someone who you would love to be like. Call them, email them, ask them to mentor you! Those who have great success love to tell their story. As happy as it would make you to hear what they have to say, it will make them equally happy to have you listen! Listening to someone who has been in your shoes and succeeded through the trial and error will help give you a greater perspective towards what you are after.
After having a real grasp on the three keys of finding themselves, there is a much greater chance that students and young adults will have a more successful time creating themselves. The end goal in all of this is to allow our students to dive into a realm of self-discovery that frees them to create the people they are meant to be.