Put the “Higher” Back in “Higher Education”

A 62-year old is laid off after an entire career with the same company. As part of his severance he is given modern job search training. The biggest piece of advice? “Find the keywords that the prospective employer is looking for and type them in white around the border of your resume. People won’t see it, but the computer that’s scanning your resume will.”

One of the best students I ever worked with came to my office asking for help on a homework problem that he already had the solution to. When I asked why he needed my help he told me that he copied the solution from the internet so that he wouldn’t lose any points, but now he wants to actually understand it.

A student didn’t turn in a single assignment all semester, and got a failing grade on the final exam. Then asked me for a passing grade because it was his birthday. He made sure to send me proof that it really was his birthday.

Here’s my question: what have we done!?

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The two least popular ideas on campus, and why you need to be obsessed with them

Time management and budgeting. If those words make you want to move on from this post, then DON’T. You need this. If you’re not obsessed with maximizing your time and money, then you may be settling for a mediocre life.

Time Management. Budgeting. Probably the least popular ideas on a college campus. Students want their “freedom,” and the faculty model terrible behavior.

The Faulty Faculty – but at least they care

How many times has a professor sent you an email after 5pm or updated your grade on the weekend? This is the same person who docked you points for turning in an assignment late!?

We learned this in grad school. The typical grad student practices working all hours of the day, pulling late nights to turn in a journal article at 11:59 the day of the deadline, cramming homework and tests. The number one way to succeed as a grad student is to get it done. No matter what.

The problem is that you become really good at what you practice.

The grad students who do this the best go on to become professors. For years we practice “sacrificing” so that later in life we can live amazing. The problem is that when we finally get out the only way we know how to succeed is to switch back into all or nothing mode.

Institutionalized

It’s like that scene in Shawshank Redemption, where the inmate is paroled after more than 50 years in prison. He can’t function outside of the institution. And so the faculty function the only way they know how: Get. It. Done.

Unintended Consequences

The problem is that the way we end up structuring our classes, the way we communicate with students and the lifestyle we model for our students all scream: work any and all hours to get it done.

Who are the most accomplished students in the world? Professors. So why wouldn’t current students emulate their behavior?

Quite unintentionally college campuses are becoming a training ground for workaholics, distracted spouses and preoccupied parents.

BUT IT DOESNT HAVE TO BE THAT WAY.

I started down that path. Several years into grad school I learned an important lesson: the only way for me to finish was to set some boundaries. During the workday I had to be on my game. But nights and weekends? Those were my time. And my wife’s time.

As a student, I stopped working nights and weekends… and I got more done at higher quality!

What I discovered is that by putting healthy boundaries in place my productivity increased. Dramatically. I had more free time and less stress than any time in my life. Yet I accomplished more as a student than ever before.

Here’s my point: from the outside things like time management and budgets look restrictive. But once you’re living one, you realize that they actually liberate you.

IF YOU’D LIKE TO LEARN MORE, I’m building an online community called the Intentional Academy for people like you. People who are tired of business as usual. People who want to take control of their time and learn how to launch the career of their dreams. Join for free today!