Who are you? What makes you tick? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are your core values, and how do they impact your everyday life? Self-discovery is an essential component of personal growth.
Discovering your potential and purpose in life is a key element to thriving, rather than surviving—especially for students transitioning from high school to college, which is a career- and life-defining stage in their lives. This is something that today’s guests, Greg and Beth Langston, discovered the hard way while preparing their kids for college application in a system that paid little attention to the crucial role of self-discovery.
Drawing on their professional and personal experiences, Greg and Beth Langston created the College Flight Plan Self-Discovery Course. According to their website, the program “gives your students everything they need to determine a career course as they confidently apply their unique strengths, values, purpose and goals to their lives.”
Listen in on our conversation as Greg and Beth highlight the importance of helping your kids get clarity of their core values or purpose, confidence, and a sense of control over their future.
How it all Began:
Kim: Tell me a little bit about how you got started helping families get into college.
Beth: Well, we actually started with our own children. [While preparing for the college application process] we wanted them to have opportunities for self-discovery; to know themselves; to find their purpose, which is key. And we were very disappointed when we got here, and nothing was going on.
Kim: What are some of the things that you feel are key to teaching students (i.e., to prepare them)?
Beth: Our plan has always been to catch them early because they can benefit greater and not waste years in college trying to find what they do well, the right majors, etc.
Greg: Young people not knowing what they're good at often manifests itself in college. Only 40% of college students graduate in four years—60% of them graduate in six years. And the reason for that is because they're changing majors so many times.
Kim: I really feel like that [not celebrating students who go to junior college, trade schools, or neither] is misguided because not everybody needs to, or should go to, college.
Beth: We wish they had more statistics of those kids who went to college and stayed for one or two years before dropping out with debt. How are they going to pay that debt?
Greg: The fact is, college is great for a bunch of people. But it's not necessarily the be-all and end-all… there is a connotation that if you go to a trade school, you are not going to earn a good living,
Kim: What is involved in the self-discovery process? What does it look like?
Greg: It's a three-phase process. It's video-based with an integrated workbook and it takes about 12 hours to complete. This includes a holistic, comprehensive review of who they are and what they’re good at, an action plan to achieve goals they set, and then picking their vocation or college major.
Beth: The best part of it is to be part of that meeting [students giving their elevator speech in from of their parents] and to see the transformation that has taken place in these young people. i.e., the clarity… confidence… the sense of control.
Beth: Parents [wrongfully] feel that the high school is going to take care of it for them; that the college counselor there is going to walk their child through the process.
Greg: Students don't do enough self-discovery…which was the genesis for us creating the program. Schools don't provide it, families don't provide it, and families think the schools are going to do that.
Kim: There's something different that they're looking for in an admissions essay. Can you talk a little bit about what some of those pieces are?
Beth: It’s not your English class essay. They are looking for what makes you unique. They want kids that know their values, purpose, strengths, weaknesses, natural inclinations, and that have a goal or a plan for their future.
Kim: Since we've been in the pandemic; since the school model changed last year; since some schools aren't even looking at test scores anymore. Is there anything different that students need to consider this year as they apply to colleges?
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