News: Students as Lemmings – Inside Higher Ed

News: Students as Lemmings – Inside Higher Ed

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This article brings to mind a few things many of you have heard me say before–but I’m going to repeat them anyway 😉

I don’t care if the person telling what “you’d be great at(!)” is your mother, father, sister, brother or best friend in the whole wide world, they don’t know you as well as you know yourself. Your choice of educational path and career goal should be something you protect as though it were your first-born child. If you enter the work force at the age of 25 and retire at 65, and if you work only forty hours per week the whole time, you’ll log roughly 80,000 hours of work in your lifetime–do you really want someone else to decided how you should be spending a majority of those hours?

If you are undeclared or exploratory, you need to own this reality. There is rarely lasting truth in the “light bulb” moment or in the parental/sibling/peer revelation. The best way to make decisions about educational goals and career paths is to engage in the process of deciding, educate yourself about majors and careers based upon your interests, abilities and life goals, and ultimately embark upon your well-made plan to reach your goal(s).

Below is a graphic my office likes to call “The Bermuda Triangle of Undeclaredness.” We love the way it encapsulates our approach to guiding you to the nexus point of all the factors at play in your decision–this is where lasting truth resides (we also love using made-up words like undelcaredness 😉

Bermuda Triangle of Undeclaredness


About Art

I've been a higher education professional for over 15 years and an Academic Advising administrator for the past eight of those. I have a background in exploratory student advising and have spent a great deal of time guiding students through contemplating their personal college-to-career pathways. I've published, presented, and consulted on the intersection of social media and academia and am a firm believer in social media's power as a tool for engagement rather than solely information delivery. I've worked at public and private institutions as well as 2-year colleges and 4-year universities. I believe in Academic Advising as a teaching and learning activity, that learner-centered education is the key to students' academic success, and that as long as we keep students' individual goals and success at the center of our decision-making process, the problem of college-level student attrition can be solved.
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