Self-awareness is one of the 12 critical components in any successful college plan.
But self-awareness is an EQ (emotional intelligence) element, not an IQ element, so the typical high school curriculum doesn’t really address this; we as parents are often required to supplement the traditional classroom education with some assessments and exercises that put a laser focus not only on the WHAT (as in “what will I major in”) but the WHY (as in “why would this career path be a good fit for me”?).
Noted author and speaker Simon Sinek says that understanding your “why” is crucial to discovering your passion and gives individuals a filter to make better decisions. So, when it comes to the 6-figure investment known as college, why wouldn’t we want to use every tool at our disposal to understand how to play to a student’s strengths, how to leverage their hard-wiring and interests, how to eliminate distractions that will inevitably be discarded?
Studies show that our personalities are pretty much formed by the time we’re 7, so it is possible for a 16 or 17-year old to grasp their WHAT and WHY… we have the science, we’re just not using it when it comes to education. Why not leverage the process used by Fortune 500 companies to leverage their human capital? The Birkman Method – when expertly adapted for high school and college students – can provide emerging adults with context and language that allows them to advocate effectively for themselves and make better decisions about how they spend their time and energy. More importantly, it gives them the ability to take ownership of their decisions and engage in informed decision-making that traditional personality profiles can’t begin to provide.
Self-awareness allows students to understand how to play to their strengths. It allows them to understand where they’ll thrive from a career perspective, what kind of environment is right for them and why they behave the way they do. There are no guarantees, of course, but using the information and empowering language provided from tools like the Birkman allows our students a better chance to influence their outcomes. Making a 6-figure investment without understanding why a student is going to college is the proverbial roll of the dice; self-awareness is a student’s super power in terms of talking the helm and staying on course. And staying on course – four year degree in four years – puts you in the lucky minority that never pays retail for college.
If you’d like to learn more about the impact of self-awareness on the cost of college, chapter 4 of my book Never Pay Retail for College covers it extensively. You can find the book’s description by clicking on the title in the menu at the top of the page.