SerenDestiny #7: USA Today Announces Their 2010 ALL-USA College Academic Team — and They ALL Talk About Following Their Passion

This morning’s USA Today article on the ALL-USA College Academic Team starts by quoting Julie Markham, a University of Denver grad, who says,

“I refused to give up on my dream – even when some people thought it was impossible. I believe in the words of Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw who said, “All progress depends on the unreasonable man. No matter where my journey takes me, along the way I hope to be unreasonable.”

If you have a son, daughter, niece, nephew, neighbor or friend who’s in college or who graduated recently, you might want to send them this link to the article.

It’s chock full of wisdom from these 20-somethings who already know the importance of listening to your gut and acting on your convictions. For example, Neha Deshpande of John Hopkins says, “Do things because you care, not for your resume or to look good. If you let your passion shine through, everything else will follow.”

If that sounds a little woo-woo, don’t worry.

As the article points out, the extraordinary experiences many of these students have had didn’t just “fall in their laps. Luck may have played a role, but the students laid the groundwork.”

These young people are already showing that anyone can set SerenDestiny in motion and lead a life you love if you make congruent decisions at Crucial Crossroads that are in alignment with your vision and values, and if you’re willing to invest sweat equity to realize your dreams.

As Jennifer Lamb, (a Virginia Tech grad – go Hokies!) says, “You have to make opportunies for yourself. When you find something that excites you, talk about it to the people you perceive to be most knowledgable, even at the risk of sounding stupid.”

There’s a particularly helpful section entitled “How to Get The Most Out of College” with advice from nine of the awardees that’s worth cutting out and posting on your refrigerator.

For example, Elizabeth Longino (UNC – Chapel Hill) says, “Throw away your ideas of what a successful college career is supposed to look like. There is no template or set of rules to follow. Seize on topics that are important and compelling to you and then engage deeply.”

Hmmm. Engage deeply . . wise advice for all of us.

What’s your best piece of advice on how someone could make the most out of their college experience?


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