The Seven Biggest Myths about Heading Off to College

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The Seven Biggest Myths about Heading Off to College

“Success is 20% skills and 80% strategy. You might know how to read, but more importantly, what’s your plan to read?”

Jim Rohn

The Highlands Ability Battery is a series of worksamples designed to measure and define your natural abilities. How easily you complete a worksample defines how “naturally” the underlying aptitude comes to you.

The Highlands Battery an essential tool in unlocking your future success.

Myth vs. Fact:

Myth #1:

I already know what I want to study in college. I don’t need to do any further exploration.
Fact: Until a student understands her innate abilities – how she learns and solves problems best, any decision about what to study in college is premature. Having no focus is just as bad as having a focus that is prematurely narrow.

Myth #2:

I have no clue about what I want to study in college, I’ll wait until I get there to figure that out.
Fact: Even the most elite universities cannot look inside your heart and mind to know what you are passionate about, what has meaning for you. The Highlands Program is a process that students can use to come up with 2-3 reasonable options. If a student goes to college with these reasonable options at hand, he will have sufficient focus to choose courses, majors and summer jobs that will actively allow him to take the ball down the field.

Myth #3:

I’ll just shoot for the best school I can get into.
Fact:In the “real world” – that place out there after college – people get ahead fastest, are most successful, and are the happiest when they know clearly how to state what their highest and best contribution can be. The key ingredient in the ability to do this – knowing how you can contribute – is self-knowledge.

Myth #4:

My parents, teachers and college counselor can guide me through this college selection process.
Fact: All the people in your life want what is best for you, of course. But they are not you. They can’t feel what you feel, or know what sort of courses will turn you on. Only you can know these things about yourself. Advice is fine – but it helps only when the student has done the basic work of finding out about himself.

Myth #5:

It’s too early to think about life after college.
Fact:The transition from high school to college is the first important turning point in our adult lives. When students go to college with 2-3 clear ideas or career goals, they can significantly increase their chances of enjoying college and being successful in college.

Myth #6:

It’s all up to my SAT/ACT score, GPA, essay and recommendations and my athletic/leadership/artistic talents.
Fact: What you’ve accomplished, how well you do on standardized tests, and how well-rounded you are, are all important. But what is more basically important is who you are. Your school grades, SAT scores, or athletic performance can’t always tell you that. Before going off to college and beginning to make decisions that are going to affect you the rest of your life – find out what your natural talents and abilities are. You will be much happier that way.

Myth #7:

If I take the right courses, do the right extra-curriculum and put the kind of stuff they want to read on my essays, I’ll do okay.
Fact: We can only quote Lourdes Ramirez, Associate Dean of Admissions at Harvard: “Of all the questions that parents and students ask me, the one that I absolutely refuse to answer is “what courses should I take to get into Harvard.” You should take the courses you are interested in and that you love. The Highlands Ability Battery will help you discover what your real talents are, what really turns you on, and what ultimately is going to make you feel it was all worth it.

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About the Author:

Molly Carey Smith, M.A. is a career counselor who specializes in providing career assessments to help high school and college students identify college majors and career options and to help young adults transition more effectively in a new role or career. The Highlands Ability Battery, The Strong Interest Inventory and The Rutger's Value Assessment are the perfect tools to identify which college major and career options are the best fit. The more knowledge you have about yourself the more effective your life and career decisions will be. To contact Molly -