​Most of us have a childhood story about someone who crushed our dream or extinguished a spark of interest we expressed in something. For most of us, it’s not easy to answer the question: What do you want to be or do when you grow up? Any criticism, judgment or discouragement when we try to answer this question only complicates an already difficult process. We’ve got to stop crushing our students’ dreams. Let’s encourage our students’ to explore, experiment, and be curious as they sift and sort through the many opportunities and possibilities available to them today. In the words of Bo Eason, “Stop building a case against your greatness!”


​​In this episode, I share one of Steve Harvey’s stories from his Master Class episode on OWN. His story, no doubt, is one most of us can relate to; we honestly and sincerely share a dream or interest only to have it crushed by a well-meaning adult with limited vision. There are too many opportunities and possibilities – known and initially unknown paths – to the realization of our dreams to have them prematurely squashed.

Perhaps that dream or interest doesn’t pan out, this happens a lot, but how will we know unless we explore it, be curious about it, experiment with it to see if it’s the right fit for us. In other words, before we’re so quick to dismiss, explore.

Exploration can be costly, but it can also be free. If you have a specific interest or dream job, launch a project and do some research, arrange a field trip; shadow someone – a family member, friend of a family member or someone else who you learn is doing what you think you may want to do; volunteer with a group or organization; apply for internships; take some online courses (there are lots of free, reputable online courses and many with a small price attached), etc. The point is to commit to your discovery process and know that you have a lot of options available to help you explore.

Take full responsibility for sifting and sorting through your options.

Yes, this will take time and it may take some money, but isn’t it better to dive in, be curious, explore and experiment BEFORE you apply and lay out a ton of money?

College is expensive and the process can be overwhelming, especially when you’re not clear about where you’re headed. At least do enough digging to have an opaque vision of where you’d like to land prior to selecting your college of choice.

Maybe college isn’t even part of your equation. Perhaps there’s another way, a way that’s a better fit for you to get where and what you want.

If college is part of your equation, choose consciously. With an upfront strategy, getting accepted, financing college, and successfully navigating those four years can be a lot easier than many students who are in college right now are experiencing without a plan.

​Winging it or pushing cruise control after you’re accepted is a great way to get and stay stuck throughout your 4+ years.​

As a student, insist that you have some skin in the game. If you’re a student whose parents are helping with funding your college journey, take full responsibility for figuring out who you want to be and what you really want to do. Volunteer to contribute monetarily as you dive into your discovery process. Step up to the plate and orchestrate your own research to figure all of this out.

When you buy into your process, you own it, this is what being empowered and owning your journey is all about. Your parents love you, want you to be successful and are there to provide all of the support you need, but this is about YOU. Don’t sit back and allow them to do all the work to figure this out for you.

In this episode, I mentioned the “People Like Us: Social Class in America” PBS series. Click here for a quick summary of the “Don’t Get About Your Raisin'” segment of this film. There are also a few video clips from the film on YouTube. It’s a fascinating look at social class in America, how we view the different social classes and how we either block or allow access based on our own stories.
​If you’re a student in the process of planning your college launch, check out some of the lists available under the resource hub on my website that may be helpful during your planning process:

Finish-N-4™ Fundamentals to Launch Checklist
College Require & Desire Questions
College Culture Questions

If you’re feeling a bit stuck around how to begin figuring out who you want to be and what you want to do/contribute, check out Elle Luna’s book, The Crossroads Between Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion. I highly recommend this book as a guide and solid resource for students as they sift and sort through their options.


​Take a peek at RobbiCrawford.com where you’ll find resources and services for students and families to play the college game better.

Sign up for a complimentary College Prep Consultation; for students and parents. Let’s discuss your biggest challenge right now and some next steps to get you moving in your desired direction.

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