Stop Letting Others Diminish Your College Education
Experiences make you, and how you react to those experiences grow you.
In my world, outside of coaching, I am exposed to a vast number of “thought leaders” that, whether you asked or not, share their thoughts as though it is the gospel truth. While sometimes you may agree, there may be times that you don’t, and that is okay. Thoughts are meant to be challenged, questioned, and put beneath the light.
One that I’ve recently challenged internally, not externally (I guess no longer the case now.), is the worth of a college education. Many in the guru world question the validity and necessity of having a college degree as a requirement to be successful. While I don’t believe it is required, I do believe experiences make you, and how you react to those experiences grow you. The gurus argue in absolutes, and often the ones that question the value of a degree themselves never went to or completed a degree. These gurus argue, “look at what I do now, and it has nothing to do with getting a degree”, or “the money I saved not going to college allowed me to build this business”. Statements like these and speaking in absolutes diminishes the experience of those that did value getting a degree. While both those arguments may hold truth to the individual that is sharing this, their truths might not be the truth of someone else.
I am a graduate of Texas A&M University by way of a year and a half at Southwest Texas State University, now Texas State. My degree was Kinesiology; the study of movement. My final degree was a B.S. in Kinesiology with a minor in Business Administration. Out of college, my first job was a Director with the YMCA. After a relatively short period of time with the YMCA, I obtained my real estate license and sold homes for 6 years, and then launched into leadership and coaching, which eventually led me to opening Red Hawk Coaching back in 2017. While I am “not using my degree”, I am using the experiences to my advantage. What did college teach me?
- How to make it on my own.
- How to be accountable to the decisions I make.
- How to form and maintain relationships.
- How to work with others.
- College developed patience.
- College developed the habits to better use my time.
- College made me think differently, though I did not always agree.
- College put me in front of “start up” opportunities.
- College taught me how to lead others.
- A bi-product of college was it made me work to achieve my goal of graduating debt free.
I can create a much longer list, yet notice how none of what I listed had anything to do with the degree I earned. Experiences make you, and how you react to those experiences grow you. “Jeremy, college is for woke people.” I hate to inform those that lean into this argument that colleges were “woke” 20 years ago and probably 20 years before that. Remember, everything you're taught you don’t have to agree with, and it doesn’t mean you have to compromise what you believe.
Having gone to college doesn’t define me, and I don’t discredit what it did for me. The experiences I was able to build upon have served me well because I choose for them to serve me well. While I’m picking on gurus that may speak poorly about the college experience, this can apply to so many experiences in both life and business. Some of these experiences may even be tragic or horrific, yet the experiences have given you the knowledge, and you’ve made choices based on those experiences, to help you navigate what we call life. When acknowledgement to your experiences is diminished by others, and you allow people to do this to you, you lose one of the greatest gifts we are given; the ability to grow.
Next time someone tells you what you’ve done doesn’t matter, remember, everything matters, and that it is your experience not theirs.
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Author: Jeremy Williams is the Owner/CEO of Red Hawk Coaching, and #1 Amazon Best-Selling Author. For more information about coaching opportunities with Red Hawk Coaching, visit www.RedHawkCoaching.com.
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