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Summer possibilities

Ahh…summer has arrived (for most students anyway). As many families begin to pack their summer schedules with campus visits, work, and activities, I hope you all also take some time to rest, especially the students. It seems like this year was particularly busy (and a little challenging) so I feel like many of them need to catch their breath a bit. Students must learn the importance of rest both physically and mentally during the summer months. 

Just a couple of months ago, I spoke to a group of high school students in a program called CEO. It’s essentially a school program that students earn class credit for while learning how to own and operate a business. It’s very cool and wow! The students came up with some amazing business ideas! While I was there mainly to talk about business ownership, I veered off a bit and shared how to find opportunities everywhere. After returning to my office, I realized I share this same message with the students in my practice.

I’m encouraging my students more than ever to take advantage of opportunities right in their local communities. So many of my students often share their frustration of “I don’t know what I want to do for a career or a college major!” It is probably the biggest stressor I hear them mention during our calls. First, it’s important to recognize they’re not alone. Many students share this same feeling. But this is also a time for students to get curious. The only way to learn what to study in college or what career path might be a good fit is to take action steps to figure it out. (Remember that action board idea I shared a few months ago? If not, revisit this blog.) 

Summer is full of possibilities! While the summer can include summer camps and pre-college programs, there are so many other opportunities available if we slow down for a minute and look around. As many of my students have heard me ask them, “What sets your soul on fire?” This usually leads to more questions about what things get them excited and fired up. Whatever that “thing” is for them, if there is (good) energy behind it, it’s worth pursuing! For example, identify a problem in your local community or neighborhood and then help create a solution. 

One former student of mine decided to start a business cleaning trash cans. He definitely had an entrepreneurial spirit! He saw a problem/need, researched it, developed a system for cleaning the cans, and hit the ground running. Another former student contacted a local university and asked if there was anyone she could job shadow in the area of environmental science. Within a matter of a week or so, she was paired with an environmental engineer and was put to work assisting with research. 

This generation is so inspiring. Really, I am amazed at what students are up to these days. Give them an idea and the sky's the limit! If your student is eager to find what sets their soul on fire, encourage them to get curious, look around, find a need in the community, and develop a way to find a solution.


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