Five Things College Freshmen and Their Parents Need to Know

Increasingly college freshmen are enrolling in majors that do not fulfill their personal passions because they think it is more important to have a high paying career. That is a mistake. This choice is not an either or. Both the freshman and the parents should be doing everything they can to have both. It’s possible. Your Future is Calling gives you a clear road map to follow.

Buzz TodaySource: Bureau of Labor Statistics” Number of Jobs Held…Results From a Longitudinal Survey”: The average person born in the latter years of the baby boom (1957 – 1964) held 11.3 jobs from age 18 to 46, according to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The survey was of 9,964 men and women who were ages 14 to 22 when first interviewed in 1979 and ages 45 to 53 when interviewed most recently in 2010 – 2011. Both high school and college graduates were included in the research.

Here are the five things college freshmen and their parents need to know.

#1 College is often viewed as the place where our sons and daughters go to “find themselves”. This a part of the mission of our colleges and universities and it should be. But the truth is that many of us spend most of our lives trying to “find ourselves”. There are scientific ways to help the freshman accelerate this personal development, to help they find out “who they are”. Among online instruments I recommend these in particular: O*NET Interest ProfilerStrong Interest Inventory, the Gallup SF-34 Strengths Finder and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator All of these personal assessments can be done online for less than $100 (O*NET Profiler is free). They are well worth the investment of the freshman’s time and money.

#2 College freshmen are faced with many complex decisions as they set the course for their life. Many of those decisions, including immediate ones like the university they decide to attend, the major(s) they study and the careers they ultimately go into depend on “who they are”. It is one of the most important things they (and their parents) need to know to make good decisions.

#3 In college, and in careers after graduation, the freshman will compete against others and some will make better decisions because they have a good idea about “who they are” from the start. Your freshman needs to have every possible advantage in these life competitions.

#4 Career choices are important to consider early in the education process. Earning power is strongly related to the career chosen and there are lots of sources of excellent data that shows exactly what various careers pay. Three I recommend on this important topic include: O*NET, Occupational Employment Statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor and for California residents interested in a community college, there is the very detailed Salary Surfer.

#5 Many freshmen start out with majors that do not lead to good career choices. It is what I call the Major – Major – Major decision. This costs time and can lead to huge student debt. It is important to consider the choice of college major as the first step in the life career decisions. The earlier the freshman can know about what motivates them the better will be the education choices.

The bottom line is that the freshman year is the first big step to the life of an adult in our society. Cost, quality, the college of choice, the major are all important decisions for the freshman. It is not easy. The press is telling the story about today’s college experience. Business Week reported: “Stress Takes Its Toll on College Students”

But even with all of these factors one thing is very clear. The freshman will live every day of their life with “who they are”. What science tells us is that this does not fundamentally change over the course of an entire lifetime. We are who we are. On the other hand, what the BUZZ Today clearly tells us is that the freshman will change jobs – many times. What the freshman has to get right is knowing what motivates them, not how they can make the most money possible in their first job after graduation.