This book is a guide to finding yourself in college by being active and not just letting things happen. I have included inspiring stories of highly successful people whose college lives, by their own admission, were not so clearly defined at the beginning. Yet, they made their way through the sometimes unplanned or chaotic process to find intellectual challenges, connections, and opportunities that led them to realize their passionate pursuits, their callings. You, too, can learn college success skills that will allow you to learn how to identify your talents and passions and find direction from mentors, assignments, and projects. You can make college even more significant than you ever dared to dream.
I understand college from every side now. I learned each time 1 enrolled as a student—earning a BS, an MA, and then a PhD. I learned from teaching in high school and college and from conducting corporate training programs. I learned from interviewing achievers about their college and professional experiences and from my career-coaching clients, who shared their achievements and frustrations. For years I have been regularly giving presentations to business organizations, encouraging their members to live more productively and purposefully, and to college classes, teaching students to think about how to [use] college in the largest sense possible.
My intention is so much greater than simply helping you pass your courses, get good grades, or just do adequate work. I hope that you will learn to develop the life skills that will enable you, too, to work and live more meaningfully. After all, it is the reason you are coming to college and investing your time, money, and hope.
College sounds so simple: apply, get accepted, and fulfill your requirements. However, that is less than half the story of the glory that you can find in college—if you are willing. Too often, students miss out. Even smart students misuse their college years. Let me show you the profound difference between being just a good student and being an adventurous,