Oh snap, did I mention it costs around $5-8,000 to go there? Depending on how extravagant you go, of course. Let’s be honest though, who goes to Hawaii to have another hum-drum vacay experience? I’m not getting on a plane for 10 hours for mediocre! I should mention I didn’t pay for this trip…at all. See blog #1 for questions.
Once I realized how much I loved Hawaii + how much it costs to go there = I realized also that I needed to make some different choices regarding my career path. I wanted to build a sustainable life for myself, but here’s the important part: before Hawaii, I thought I would “settle” for the current salary I made. I told myself a nice little assortment of lies –here we go again- that I could never return to school…. until Hawaii. After hearing the cost, I knew that an education from a university would open doors I never imagined before- allowing me to make more money.
Returning to school would be the paramount step in my quest to build the life of my dreams. Does it seem like the life of your dreams is beyond your reach? Are you unsure of what to do? Have a sit and allow me to elaborate on some things I have learned while at University. Have no fear! I’ve included related life lessons where applicable if you’ve never or will never attend Uni.
1.A semester is only 4 months. Reaching your goals will be 100% easier if you break them up into smaller goals first. Say you want to open your own business- a boutique. If all you focus on the BIG goal, you intimidate yourself and most importantly, you put off creating an action plan which ends up making you feel like your BIG goal is out of reach. Break the big goal into little goals that help you reach the big goal; set proposed due dates for the small goals and hold yourself accountable. I use to let the “two and a half more years of my life for a college degree” ruin it for me. Each year is 3 semesters. Each semester is 2-4 months long. Each semester is a new journey in a new class. I can do 2-4 months. I can hunker down for 2-4 months at a time. You can do anything you want to if you hold yourself accountable to the little goals! Related life lesson: Every struggle is temporary and if it’s part of reaching your BIG goal, it’s probably worth it.
2. If you’re not prepared to win, be prepared to fail. I beg you, DO NOT set little goals and just “see how it goes.” Set deadlines in a planner. If you want to eat healthy, what do you do? You meal prep so you’re never caught off guard. If you want to meet your goals, you break them up and set deadlines. You make plans to succeed on purpose. Please understand that achieving success in anything happens because we meant it to and consistency is key. I wanted to make an A in Business Statistics so I learned how to do it. I stayed up late, I cried, I YouTubed, I read the teachers resources, I practiced until I was blue in the face. I made a B. Can you imagine if I hadn’t done anything to prepare to meet my goal of making an A? Just winging it hardly ever yields favorable results. Discover what steps you need to take to be prepared to meet your goal and do whatever necessary to make sure you can follow those steps! Start with a great planner; my favorite planner is Erin Condren and there’s also The Panda Planner.
3. If you don’t know, ask. This little tidbit can be applied to every aspect of your life! Why is it so hard for us to ask questions? Is it because we don’t want to feel invaluable or stupid? Going back to college will change all that! I promise you won’t even care if it means doing the assignment right the first time! In fact, some professors purposely do not provide you with all of the instructions and if you don’t learn to ask questions, you’ll end up doing the assignment wrong and you could fail it. You know when else you should ask questions? EVERY TIME YOU DON’T KNOW SOMETHING. Every. Single. Time. If you’re dating someone you have trouble understanding, ask about what’s bugging you!! Don’t be passive aggressive; seriously, just ask. It is life changing!
4. In the beginning, understanding the professor is harder than the class at least 95% of the time. Forget all the stereotypes about which classes are hardest and embrace this one simple truth: the professor of that class is everything. After all, you’re just a sweet little student with no idea what’s happening; if the professor in charge doesn’t explain things well or fails to let you know expectations, you’ll struggle. This is especially true of online students. There is obviously a huge disconnect in communication with online classes, so it makes things a little more challenging. I am not lying when I tell you that my hardest classes were that way because the professor was 50 shades of confusing/insane/or non-existent. And yeah, someone can be 50 shades of non-existent. Related life lesson: each and every situation in life will require you to continually grow your understanding of your counterpart. Embrace it.
5. Towards the end, the professor will be 100% harder to understand and will test you in ways that make you feel all the feels. In the beginning, the professors kind of guide you towards the light of how to do things. Most of them do extremely well to teach you exactly what your finished assignments should consist of. It feels like the teacher is with you every step of the way. This is so you fully understand what is expected and so you learn about your field of study. It’s still work, but the professor is your friend. Now, just think the total opposite of that and you have your last semesters all summed up! At some point, you start reaching those upper level courses where the professor is now going to test you on everything you were supposed to have learned in college. And you better have learned it all because it’s this way in almost every degree field. A doctor enters a residency program where he or she is then asked to remember the last 8 years of education and then to apply it. Scared? I am. My strategic marketing class this semester is something out of my worst college nightmares. This guy threw the task of creating a full blown marketing strategy on our plate for an outcast product that no one would buy here and it must be successful. He returned my over 20 hours of work with “this is a capstone course, do better” and gave me a C. Only 3 more months. Related life lesson: Always check Ratemyprofessor.com first & don’t be afraid to fail once you get on your own. Failures are learning tools.
6. YOU CAN DO MATH. Isn’t that so cool! You didn’t know you could, but you can. Guess what: you can do anything if you work hard enough. If you don’t know how to do math, learn it! Study it, google it, YouTube it, ask someone to tutor you, hire a tutor, read the book, stay up late, overeat and cry…it’s okay! Because now you know that you can do anything if it’s important enough to you. Unfortunately, math had to be important for me to meet my BIG goal. Thank goodness for my sister and her husband; both could easily take over the world with their math skills. Both of them dedicated hours every week in the beginning to helping me understand math. Love them both. Related life lesson: you can do absolutely anything you set your mind to.
7. The world is a gigantic place and a lot is going on. Did you know that people in China aren’t allowed to have Facebook? Facebook has been trying to enter that market for a while and they are facing some huge challenges. China’s communist government watches it’s citizens like Big Brother on the internet. If the Chinese common folk are allowed to have Facebook, the government worries they won’t be able to control what they say on the internet. Chinese people like to blog, but they have to apply to the government to receive a license to do so. Did you also know that Japan is facing a serious upside down population problem? Japanese men and women have stopped having children and so there are more older people than younger people…by a lot. There are a number of reasons for this, one is that they can’t afford to because Japan is also facing a workforce paradigm stemming back to the 1990’s. This paradigm has Japan relying more heavily on part time workers rather than full time with benefits workers. Japan’s culture prevents the parents of most women from agreeing to let their daughter marry a man that makes small, part time money. The culture there is what you call “1950’s” in America. So since more men make small money because that’s where the demand is, less women are willing to marry and have children. Ultimately, Japan’s economy is in danger of collapsing. Can you imagine? These are just two things. College forces you to explore the world, opening your eyes to different cultures and what they experience. Related life lesson: stay up-to-date on the world’s happenings; they do affect us.
8. You will meet 5 types of people in every group project. Type one- The Invisible One. This person says things like, “I’m taking 18 hours this semester” and “I’ll do what I can” and then nothing at all. You can expect this person to turn in his or her assigned portion of the project on time but without notice. Type two- The slacker. When the project portions are divided up, this person responds as quickly as possible, taking the easiest of all the tasks. This person then doesn’t speak again unless they have a question. When their portion is finally submitted, it sucks…like totally sucks. Type three- The Lost One. You’ll recognize this person immediately because they will ask rapid fire questions which can be easily found by reading the directions provided by the professor. This person will often text the wrong group chat and give you mild heart attacks about whatever she’s talking about, only to find out she has no F*ing clue where she is; wrong class betch! When you finally receive her part of the assignment, it will make no sense at all. Type 4- The Procrastinator. This person will ask more about due dates than anything else. The mark of an overachiever? No, this a person that will wait until the last possible moment. You can expect to receive their portion of the work 1-2 hours before the due time which is usually 12 P.M. on Saturday night. Type five- the overachiever otherwise known as: the leader. This person initiates everything, does more work, stays up waiting for the procrastinator to finish so she can turn everything in, tries to explain things to the lost one, calls out the slacker to help the lost one since she clearly has less work than everyone else, still ends up trying to fix the lost ones assignment after it’s turned in, and never even bothers to call on the invisible one, because at least her crap got turned in on time and it makes sense. Related life lesson: strive to be the leader.
9. Smart=good, Resourceful=better. It is my personal opinion, having almost completed my Bachelor’s degree, that success is directly related to how resourceful you are. Anyone on this earth can be smart about something as long as they apply themselves to learning it. We truly should never stop learning and so I have concluded that to be resourceful is so much more valuable. Learning itself requires resourcefulness; innovation and creativity require resourcefulness. Remember your resources! People are resources, the internet is a resource, BOOKS are resources…the list goes on. Be resourceful in your quest to learning & you will always learn more. Related life lesson: People are the greatest resource.
10. “It’s not about what ya know, it’s who ya know” is the truest statement EVER. People are your greatest resource. If you don’t know many people, it’s time to start networking. If you make a great impression to the right person, it could open lots of new doors for you. Prime example: wedding catering is so expensive, it almost made me cry when I first started searching for a caterer for our wedding. I’m talking between $10-15 THOUSAND dollars for good wedding food. Lucky for us, we have a close friend that is a chef. He is doing our wedding catering for cost of materials only! As a college graduate, having connections in the company you dream to work for is a major plus and can actually place you at the top of the recruiters list. Related life lesson: Be nice to everyone you meet, you never know who they might know.
11. An education from a top University will open new doors and allow you to make more money. As long as you work hard! I’ve heard people tell me that G.P.A doesn’t matter but I beg to differ. As that article from Forbes points out, 67% of companies screen recent college graduates by their G.P.A. Of course, experience and accomplishments trump G.P.A but as a fresh little graduate you definitely want to make sure that your G.P.A sets you apart….in a good way. If you’ve chosen a great University, towards the end of your college career job opportunities begin surfacing within your classes. Two of my classes this semester actually send our work to top Atlanta Companies for possible career opportunities after graduation. Related life lesson: You get out what you put in.
12. You will cry. You will want to quit. Last summer, I took 15 hours in a summer. Imagine you can’t swim and 5 people are trying to help you but all they throw at you are cinder blocks- that’s a 15 hour summer. Actually, I’m nearly positive KSU has discontinued allowing people to take more than 9 hours a summer. It’s totally possible but it isn’t healthy. I had no life. I’m still struggling to keep a social life. School is so exhausting, I’ve become a full blown introvert when I have time off. I also tried to quit college the first semester I started. I opened my first calculus assignment, immediately shut my laptop down, got up, and went shopping. No words. As I was staying up late, spending hours trying to learn the material for the two statistics classes I had to take, I cried a lot. There were times when I thought I would never understand and it made me so sad. I wasn’t eating and I was using dry shampoo 6 days a week when I had a breakthrough. I got it! Anything is possible with enough dedication. Related life lesson: Crying is normal, letdowns are normal, mistakes are a learning tool and never ever ever ever quit if it matters.
13. Priorities: You will give up some things to achieve your goals. This goes without saying right? You can’t do everything. Did you know that multitasking is actually not a good idea? Multitasking is essentially spreading yourself too thin over several different tasks. The recommendation is to focus on one task at a time and give it your full attention. If you have a BIG goal in mind, you will sacrifice for it. Perhaps it’s opening a business; you’ll need to cut spending elsewhere to have the capital to make it happen. You’ll give up some of your free time to build a strategy and you’ll add a little more stress into your life. Is it worth it? Depends, is it your dream? Then hell yes it’s worth it. Do you want to loose weight? You’re going to give up junk food. College? You’re going to sacrifice your social life and your free time. Only for a little while! (see #1). Related life lesson: You must decide if what you want is worth it and then make it a priority.
14. There are exact systems for success in almost anything. How do you keep up with your finances? If you’re like me, you never look and just hope for the best. If you’re successful, you keep track. You have systems in place to be sure your bills are paid, some is saved or invested and spent. In marketing, there are exact processes every big company follows to make sure the marketing campaign is executed efficiently and correctly. The next time you watch a coke commercial, just know that months of research, planning, and studying have gone into it. Look at the color of the people, look at where they are, what they’re doing. They don’t just make this crap up! They’re trying to send a message and make you feel something. Coke’s values are embedded into it. It’s insane what goes into even the simplest commercial; an exact plan has been created, using a precise template which has proven results. Just watch this commercial from Apple, it is one of my favorites of all time: Frankenstein & Apple. Related life lesson: Be resourceful and check out the proven models you should follow before embarking on any new journey and then get creative with the steps.
15. There is no perfect time for anything. There’s always going to be hurdles on your path. There are hurdles on the path that’s leading you nowhere fast and on the path towards your goals. Which would you rather take? I know….you have 2 kids, you can’t go back to school; you can’t just do whatever you want! That might be true, but then how long are you willing to wait to stop living paycheck to paycheck? When the kids are older? Why not now? If you’re waiting for the perfect time to present itself, it never will. Again, for anything you want to accomplish: break up your little goals and just start going through them. I promise, you will look back and regret you didn’t start sooner.
Whew, that was a ton of info! Thanks for hanging in there! I truly believe in each and every person I meet. No matter what. I know you, yes you reading this right now can accomplish anything you set your heart on. While I don’t claim to be any type of guru, I have read countless books on success and relationships, attended college for a Bachelor’s degree, and my fiance and I have started a very successful business; please never hesitate to reach out to me with questions about anything! Remember: people are your greatest resource.
xo, and here’s another picture of the hotel accommodations to further motivate you: