True Story: As I’m sitting at my favorite sushi bar treating myself to a few rolls, a friendly stranger asked me if I was in school. Naturally this led to him finding out I’m an engineer amongst other things, but what stuck out is that he set his chopsticks down to sincerely tell me to keep pushing and doing what I’m doing, because there are children out there that look like me that need to see that they can also be where I am in life. All I have to say is it’s crazy how God perfectly aligns people to interact with you throughout the day. I needed that conversation because this season I’ve been in has been one of the grittiest I’ve had in a while.
Any how, this conversation also made me realize I never shared a thing I like to do when I can – visit kids in the classroom. This time, Aaron and I teamed up to provide different perspectives of life after high school to Junior students at Washington Marion.
Engineering is my career of choice. One of my passions is showing young people that they can reach the moon and beyond if they just shoot for the stars.
But, I like to do so in a less sugar coated way than what I feel they are getting. Too many kids are looking at college as a lifestyle and thing to do – not as a tool to get to the next level. Too many kids are also being misguided, falsely fed that college is the only way to be successful, and ultimately having a ton of debt before they even realize what debt means. Way too many kids give up too easily. WAY too many kids expect handouts and take opportunities for granted.
Aaron and I come from different backgrounds. He went to a technical college for psychology and decided after one semester that it wasn’t for him. He left school to pursue filmmaking on his own, and is now a successful self-taught director, writer, editor, and videographer. On the other hand, I spent 4.5 years in college to get a degree in engineering, and am now practicing traffic engineering.
Using our different backgrounds as examples, we talked about the different paths and options available after high school. We talked about goals, plans, and dreams. And we also talked about how regardless of the path you take after high school, you will be remembered by how you treated people along the way, and that the connections you make or don’t make will come into play. I.e. People skills AND strong mindsets matter.
The real world doesn’t do bad attitudes, eye rolling, or shoulder shrugs. Your boss does not have to give you your paycheck just because you showed up to work.
Life is not fair. Some get to where they are by pulling it out the mud, some are born into success. The bottom line is, you can become any thing you want. Just keep a good attitude and work for it. And when things go awry – because they will – look at your situation and find the lesson to be learned. Take notes and get better. Evolving into your best you is a lifetime thing.
It’s important that young people interact with young professionals. Inspire to be inspired.