[December 29, 2020] Leaders in a position to provide tips to college-bound High Schoolers bear great responsibility. Care must be taken to provide accurate information to anyone considering going to college. I am frequently asked to give a few tips. I listed them below. What will be noticed immediately is how my tips differ from typical “tips for college-bound students.”
First, High Schools today are patently unprepared to ready students for any serious college degree program. This is a serious problem that is not going to change anytime soon. However, we are convinced the opposite is true; that our college-prep curricula will make a success out of anyone – it will not. The trend to dumb-down standards in the classroom will only make this situation worse. High Schools no longer teach how to read with a critical eye, think, write correctly, logically, or layout a good argument logically.
Second, it is incumbent upon the High Schooler to properly prepare themselves for their near-term future. This means readying themselves intellectually but also physically, psychologically, mentally, and emotionally. Preparing oneself where you want to be in the future, a vision of achieving it, creating a realistic plan of action, and focusing your efforts on it beginning now, is the epitome of preparation.
Third, our society – visibly represented by actors, politicians, the news media, and musicians – encourages us to lie, cheat, and steal. To use alcohol and abuse drugs “as long as it doesn’t hurt others.” To adopt a personal philosophy that rejects service to others and pledges oneself to the state. To reject religion as a way of life. To do whatever it takes to win, regardless of others, rules, or customs. And recently encourage us to consider ourselves morally superior to those who disagree with us politically.
Fourth, be aware of radical indoctrination and on-campus anti-democratic movements. I recommend that one steer clear of them and avoid being drawn into anything at all that does direct harm to the United States, their community, or one’s self.
And, fifth, focus on what your degree program will be. Learn as much as possible technically, network with your High School teachers and your student peers. Select your friends and extracurricular activities with care. Chose those friends who desire to do well in life, who are reliable, intelligent, and motivated. Most importantly, take charge of your life, accept resp
“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why.” – Bernard Baruch
What I did not cover was “how” to choose the right college for yourself, how to do well on entrance exams like the SAT or ACT, whether you should visit a college before agreeing to go there, or the application process itself. These are important. I’ve found that these preparatory efforts are needed but pale compared to the five tips I provided.