Students seem overly obsessed with grades and organized activities, both relative to standardized tests and to what I’d most recommend: doing something original. You don’t have to step very far outside scheduled classes and clubs to start to see how very different the world is when you have to organize it yourself.
For example, if you try to study a subject in depth without following a textbook or review, you’ll have to decide for yourself which sources seem how relevant to your topic. If you try to add something to the subject you’ll have to decide what changes are how feasible and interesting. Doing these may feel awkward at first, but they will be very useful skills later in life. Similar skills come from writing your own game or starting your own business or composing your own album.
i think the article makes a great point, although i think organized activities does have room for originality. i shared this article with our intern and he wasn't too impressed. i was trying to come up with a reason why that this is probably good advice. but it didn't really click. i tried what i usually do and i sent him my blog post about doing a honors thesis. he seemed to like that a little more, but maybe because i wrote it. haha.
anyway, i left our chat hoping i proved a point. later in the day i came across these two articles; Advice for College Students and Success & Motivation:Scatterbrained and in College. i think all three of these provide good advice.
here is steve shapiro's talk at RIT. the cool thing is that his advice is inline with our student intern mantra; make students awesome and my thoughts about soft skills.
mark cuban's article:
You are still in school. You don’t need to have all the answers or focus on one thing. You should be trying a lot of things until you find the one thing you really love to do and are good at. When that happens, you will be able to focus.
Being focused at 21 is way over rated. Now is the time to screw up, try as many different things as you can and just maybe figure things out.
The thing you do need to do is learn. Learn accounting. Learn finance. Learn statistics. Learn as much as you can about business. Read biographies about business people. You dont have to focus on 1 thing, but you have to create a base of knowledge so you are ready when its time.
You will never know when that time will come. But you can be ready when it does.
i sent both those articles to our intern and had a short discussion.
intern: I'm wasting my money
me: well he got that opportunity from school.
me: his point is that there are a lot of opportunities in school
me: from being in school
me: take advantage of that.
me: ie. like honors thesis
me: ie like other programs they have.
intern: i see
intern: i wasn't that ambitious of a college student in the past few years
intern: that is where i fail
me: yeah neither was i.
i hope that he got that "yeah neither was i." really meant i was like him until i made the decision to do my honors thesis. and after reflecting on all these articles. the advice they all share is carpe diem. seize the opportunities that are given to you. if you don't do anything you get nothing. don't be lame, do something.
ps. our intern is doing something. he's becoming awesome.