Are you done with school?

By Adela Penagos, PhD, President

This is the time of the year where most students around the world get a break from school.  When I speak to students about what they enjoy the most of their time off, they seem to agree that when stepping away from their over-committed student life, they are happier, able to enjoy their friends and family and they are stress-free.  Hopefully, you do not have to take classes over the summer (or winter, depending on your side of the globe), giving you some quality time to explore or engage in the things you just never seemed to have time for in the midst of juggling classes, extracurricular activities, possibly a job, and checking your constant inflow of updates and tweets! 

How do you decide what to spend your quality time on?  Try finding something that:

  • Helps you get out of bed fully energized

  • Allows you to enjoy your evenings and weekends

  • Makes you joyful and grateful

I have been fortunate enough to spend the past four months doing the one thing that gets me out of bed fully energized: learning.  I have read books, gone on retreats, met new people, and have been gotten involved in entrepreneurship.  However, the most important piece of this experience has been, learning about myself, and what I want to do and what I do not want to do with my professional life.  After spending fourteen years advising students to follow their passion, I have taken on my own advice and decided to follow my own passion: helping students find the right college or program for them given their unique academic, personal, social, and spiritual talents.  As a result, everyday, I am happy and stress-free, just as students seem to be when stepping away from their over-committed life style. 

Being excited about what you do will help you enjoy life, your friends, and family much more.  Take time this break to do something you cannot do in the frenzy of the academic year, whatever that is, even if it means laying out on the beach or looking at the stars.  It will make your life and yourself more interesting for the next step you take, as you will get to know yourself.  You are one of the biggest gifts you have.

Taking the time to learn about yourself, will be the foundation in achieving your goals, the latter are not built on alone, or over a break from school.  Our goals are something tangible built from a mortar and pestle sort of foundation.  The foundation to build your dream starts by developing a plan to gaining college admittance, so just as I have not forgotten to pay the bills and balance my checkbook, while you pursue your interests, singular or varied this summer (or winter), remember that the window of opportunity is approaching, not precipitously, but swiftly, and while your future should never force you out of living in the present, preparation for such can only lead to a better result.