As human beings we naturally seek the approval of others. Whether it is our friends, family, peers or even strangers, we set benchmarks for how and where we measure ourselves in the society and culture that we live in. This barometer of acceptance plays no larger role in life then it does throughout the college years.
Though college is just as much exploratory as it is educational, students today have never been under more pressure to not only be conscious of the gauge between them and their colleagues, but they are also under pressure to separate themselves from the hundreds of thousands who are majoring in the same fields and competing for the same job interviews and opportunities.
With all these measurements and constant pressures it’s easy for young scholars to want to validate their decisions through their established support systems.
“Mom, Dad, what do you think I should major in?”
“Hey Katie, I think I’m going to go to Georgetown, what do you think about it!?”
“Professor Johnson, I've always done well in English classes, do you think I should be an English major?”
“I just watched this awesome show on Netflix and now I want to be a lawyer”
These are all common examples of how students who are in the transition from high school to college validate their decisions for many distinctive choices of their collegiate journey. At the time it may seem as though these decisions are not that important. You may think that you can always change your mind and that it is just easier to choose something consciously saying that you can always change it down the road.
That’s why we seek the approval of our peers and families. To validate a weak thought. The comfort of compliance and understanding is much easier than spending time making a tough decision.
“Well Joey, you did really well in your engineering classes so we think you should major in engineering”
“I visited Georgetown over break, I thought the campus was lame”
“There’s no money for English majors, you should go into business”
“I've always been great at arguing my point, I’m totally meant to be a lawyer”
The answers you receive from these types of questions can have major impacts on the decisions that will conclusively affect the rest of your life. An encouragement in the wrong direction, or consequently, a determent from a true passion, can cause major setbacks in the life of a young adult whose decision to go to college rightly gives them the freedom to indulge in the passions that should lead to a career and future that brings that person happiness and success.
At The College Confidence Coach, we believe that the only way for students to have a truly successful collegiate experience is to start with a process of genuine self-discovery, allowing their young minds to discover where their true passions and strengths coexist and how they can collaboratively lead to prosperity and progress both in the classroom and beyond.
We call our method for progress The Internal Self-Validation Method™, and while we realize that it is not for everyone, it is our mission to help every student recognize the importance of validating their collegiate decisions internally rather than relying on the advice of others to constitute a plan that may not be the right fit.
At the end of the day we humans all share another common goal: happiness. We all just want to feel good about who we are and where we are at. So why would you ever let anyone but yourself tell you where your happiness stems from?
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is more people who have become alive.” – Howard Thurman