As the school year races our way, planning for new student orientations are revving up. By some lucky star I have been selected to speak at the Power Up for new students at my college in August. The theme is the “Ultimate Guide to Success.” (Not sure how I feel about being ‘ultimate’ yet, but I am going to try.)
After I received the email inviting me to give the speech, I lay awake in bed hoping some earth-shattering ideas would come to me for the presentation. The one thing I fear most is to give a “typical” start-of-the-year speech. Instead of flashes of inspiration my 7 year-old appeared. Apparently, he couldn’t sleep either. So I asked him what I should say to help students start the year. (Why would’t we ask a 7 year-old?)
He gave it some serious thought and said,
“Tell them to do their best and forget the rest.” (Thank you, Paw Patrol.)
Then he went on to say, “Tell them to ask questions.”
Wait a second.
That was pretty good advice. Isn’t asking questions the scariest part of learning?
Third, my budding genius said, “Tell them it’s okay to fail.”
Whoa! This is pretty deep advice for a soon-to-be 2nd grader.
It might just be what my soon-to-be college students need to hear as well.
True, none of these tidbits are new to the realm of inspiration but they may be new in this order. If nothing else, I now had some jumping off points for my “ultimate guide.” My job now is to figure out how to present these epiphanies in a not-so-typical way.
If you had the chance to speak to incoming college students, what advice would you give?
What do you think are “ultimate” ideas for advice to share?
I am thinking of starting the presentation by zip lining from the back of the auditorium or being shot out of a cannon or something powerful that lives up to the “ultimate” theme.
On the lines of avoiding “typical,” I think there will be live tigers and flame throwing. If nothing else I will have their attention and hopefully they will be able to walk away with ideas for success in school. (I just hope to be able to walk away.)
Anyway…. As you take on the current and upcoming tasks in your life, be sure to do your best and forget the rest, ask questions, and don’t be afraid to fail. Share what you know with others and be generous with the knowledge gained from your own triumphs and trip-ups.
Whatever you face, be sure to put intentergy into your efforts and you will come out anything but typical.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. I really would appreciate any advice you think would be helpful to our future students.
P.P.S. My 7 year-old has declined to give the speech for me. He doesn’t want to miss school the first week and he really doesn’t like talking in front of audiences (or going to bed when he is told.)