Juniors and seniors in high school and college!!! Don’t you want to make as smooth a transition as possible into the next phase of your journey by playing the college game smarter and faster?

Yes, you can play the game smarter and faster!

Transitioning into your school or work of choice has become a serious game of information excavation, wisdom, strategizing and intention.

I’ll briefly review what I believe covers what is generally required. And, in future posts I’ll unpack each one and share more details.

INFORMATION EXCAVATION: Whether you’re a high schooler in partnership with your parents or a caring advocate, OR a college student flying solo or in partnership with a parent or caring advocate, your challenge is sifting and sorting through TOO MUCH information to get to the crux of what is necessary  or “the right” information for you to make the smoothest transition possible into the next phase of your journey. You have to dig to find what you consider valuable for your situation. This takes time, effort and energy. If you’re not willing or don’t have the time, effort and energy to expend, it will also take money.

WISDOM: What you do with what you learn after sifting and sorting through those endless pages of information for what’s “the right” info for you and your situation is key. Why? Because learning how to make smarter decisions and choices in a particular area, then choosing not to apply what you’ve learned is going to slow you down, hinder your progress, maybe even block you from some sweet opportunities.

For example: it’s no secret that lots of money is left on the table every year in the form of government grants and scholarships, but this continues to be the case year after year. Why? Because students, their parents or both don’t feel it’s worth the effort to apply for the few hundred dollar scholarships or those in unique spaces and places, here and there to pay for college. If it isn’t a big money scholarship with an award of thousands of dollars (the most competitive), they dismiss it, and in my humble opinion, forfeit some real opportunities to lower their debt during and post college or eliminate debt all together.

STRATEGIZING: You’ve got to have a plan and you’ve got to start creating one sooner rather than later. I suggest easing into strategizing your first year of high school and college, and maintaining a moderate pace, then ramp it up during your junior year.

Why? Our school to work system almost demands that you start thinking about your destination as soon as you start. So you’ve got to begin mapping out your route early.

Believe me, I hate this as much as I bet you do, but you’ve got to use your runway time wisely before taking off.

You may not be clear about your destination when you begin, which is totally OK. I’m a big advocate of using your college space and time to explore and experiment. But, you also have to remember that college costs money, a lot of money. It’s important to strike a balance of some sort.

I’m pretty sure whomever is footing the bill (you, your parents or your angel investor) isn’t going to be cool with transferring endless amounts of money into your college’s bank account while you casually explore your options. There are other ways to address the “I’d like to explore my options” route (I’ll cover some of these in future posts). But once you say “yes” to college, you’re on the money clock.

INTENTION: This is one of my favorite words when it comes to school – high school and college. Actually, when it comes to life.

Why? Because it’s about taking control of your situation, being on purpose about the what, why, where, when, who and how of the game.

Jim Rohn sums it up nicely:

IF YOU DON’T DESIGN YOUR OWN LIFE PLAN, CHANCES ARE YOU’LL FALL INTO SOMEONE ELSE’S PLAN. AND GUESS WHAT THEY HAVE PLANNED FOR YOU? NOT MUCH. 

I love this quote more and more every time I see it or share it because he’s exactly right; if you don’t have a plan, where you land defaults to someone else’s plan for you.

Why give someone else that kind of power over your school life, your work life or life in general?

I think I’ve generally addressed these above, but here are the common questions:

  • When’s the best time for high schoolers to begin planning to transition into their college of choice?
  • When’s the best time for college students to begin planning to transition into their work of choice?

There are no hard and fast rules here, but my answer to both questions is to begin when you start – high school or college.

Consider a runway…ease into your strategy and keep a moderate pace, ramp things up at the beginning of your junior year and build momentum during your senior year for a solid take off.

Future posts will address this in more detail, but just remember, THIS IS A GAME.

Please don’t consider it a win or lose situation, though, because I’m a strong advocate of competing with yourself and your last, best situation, not with others and theirs.

I possess and encourage students and their families to rock an abundant mindset, not a fear and scarcity mindset.

There is plenty for everyone, I truly believe that. I even believe that there’s plenty for everyone to get what they want.

Just loiter around BrijBrand’s website, blog and social media pages and I’ll help you with the information excavation piece.

And, if you want a more personal, tailored approach to how to play the game taking your situation into account, we can certainly talk about what that requires as well. Email me at robbi@brijbrand.co and let’s chat.

I want you to play the game smarter and faster from a place of less stress and more success with as much intention as you can muster.


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Robbi Crawford, Professional Mentor, Sociologist, Author and Speaker. Founder of BrijBrand. Visit BrijBrand for more helpful info and resources. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. Her mission is to help you play the college game smarter and faster with intention, less stress and more success.