Dirk Knemeyer

Getting a Better Start: Introduction

Originally published on the Facio blog

Did you know that 80% of college students change their majors? And the average college student changes their major three times? While perhaps dismissed as “just part of the process”, it speaks to a process that is badly broken. I mean, think about it: when we are in high school we are already being driven to “choose”. That’s because the process of getting into university requires a vision and commitment when you are still just a relative child. It makes no sense, and that fooolishness plays out with people thrashing through their 18-22 years, many unable to get comfortable and making the realization that the path they picked isn’t the right one for them.

Of course, the problem starts even earlier than that. Our degree of self-understanding as children and young adults is generally woeful. We simply are not in touch with who we are, much less who those around us are, which leads toward us muddling through our lives. A good teacher will inspire us and take us in a direction that we are not necessarily compatible with. An enthusiastic parent will make their interests ours without consideration of what would best fit each of us. An aptitude for a particular subject is translated into something tantamount to one’s life calling – when it might not be that at all.

In the upcoming weeks we will look at three different ways that a re-thinking of how we treat children and young adults can lead those future citizens into lives that better resonate with their essential selves. For most of us, nothing in life is quite so wonderful as “fitting in”, whether that be with an academic program, a career, our circle of friends, or the person we choose to spend our lives with. Finding fit requires knowing ourselves. We’re going to talk about how we can help people from a much earlier age get a sense of who they are and how and where they fit.

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