Chapter 3: Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Success
I have sat at two commencement ceremonies wondering what I was going to do next as they asked us to move our tassel from right to left. That isn’t a good feeling. College for me wasn’t this great learning experience; it was educational purgatory. Just a place where I went until some sort of job happened. In college, I did all the things you should do, like get involved, go to meetings, sit on planning boards, but I didn’t have that thirst to really go for something. One summer at home, I decided to work with kids. It was pleasing enough and I thought it would be cool. I also spent that summer videotaping and photographing all the crazy things we did. So, after a summer of videotaping my friends, I thought about majoring in film, and teaching kids. This choice was hardly on the road to personal success and inspiration, but finally I could see a light at the end of the tunnel. The next moment I arrived back at college, I added a minor of secondary education. Finally, I had attained a degree that helped me be employable. I really felt a burden was lifted as I could finally tell my dad I had a plan to get a job.
I believe the best approach to college is to know that you are exchanging large sums of money for an opportunity to look better on a resume. For some, they will actually learn a valuable skill. Most of us will learn how to write 3000 word papers by 11:59am the day it is due. Sad but true. We may make some friends, but if we really don’t know what we desire to do then we can’t make the right steps to improve who we are as a person.
That graduation day was quite memorable. I was scared because I really didn’t know what I was going to do. There were people that were excited to graduate while I was dying inside. Yes, I was employable as a teacher, but I really just wanted to get a job to please others. Where was that inspiration in life that I was promised I would glean from college? Where was the mentality of me running from the campus into the world to take it on with all my might?
After college, I was still confused, but worked for a bit. After a move back to Florida I landed a job as a teacher. Finally, I was using my degree. Within three years, I completed my Master’s degree, and had a real desire to be a high school principal. Four years, I realized, that there was nothing I enjoyed more than teaching kids. There wasn’t a better job in the world, but it had its limitations. In a modern world of achievement and limitless potential, teaching became a place where my mind was boxed in. I loved being in front of the class and teaching World History and Sociology, but that wasn’t enough. I loved coaching and building up a team, but even that had some limitations. After a personal leave of absence to take care of my son, I finally walked away from teaching to be more of what I needed to be. That is where I realized how much I had missed on my journey to where I wanted to be. This book is for you, the high school student that is currently floating. No, I don’t have a magic cure for you to find what you are looking for, but I know there are certain skills that if you apply them and add them to your character, you will have a better chance of success when you finally find what you want to do.
This is a part of a chapter from my book Learning Curve: How to Prepare For Success When You Don’t Know Where Your Life Is Going by Pierce Brunson. Every Monday and Thursday for the next 12 weeks I will share parts of the book starting today 3/17/2014. The next shares will come from my new book Rock The Crowd (Wednesday/ Friday Schedule starting 4/21/2014), a book that helps teachers give the best performances of their life as they teach their students.
Learning Curve: How To Prepare for Success When You Don’t Know Where Your Life Is Going is dedicated to helping the high school student that desires success in life but doesn’t know exactly what they want to do or how to do it. During this confusing and stressful time most students just pick a college major or get a job and just hope things work out. Well, that strategy is terrible! The best strategy includes learning and adding the characteristics in this book to one’s personality so that as the right opportunities come along the student can take hold of them. Learning Curve is the jumpstart information that helps teens prevent a lifetime of wishing, “if only someone would have told me”, once valuable opportunities have gone away.
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