Picture this: It is a sunny 75 degree day. Almost no humidity. And you are sitting at the edge of a huge field. At the place you are sitting you can see the outline of this very thick forested area of trees. You are admiring the view, taking in the fresh air, and enjoying the fact that you are out there on this beautiful day.
About that time someone approached you and says at the other end of the heavy forested area is one million dollars. You can have that one million dollars if you can make it to the other side of the forested area.
At the time, you are thinking, this sounds too good to be true. “What is the catch?”, you ask.
The person replies and says, “I know for a fact there have been many people who have tried to go through that area to get to the one million dollars. Some have made it, and some have not. All I know is that while going through that forest you will encounter a lot of obstacles. I hear it is hilly in there. I have heard that there are large pits that you can fall into. And there is a large body of water that requires a lot of resilience and patience to get across.”
Nobody has died attempting to go through there. But a lot of people quit after a few of the challenges pop up. Eventually the people who give up just say “What is the point?. I didn’t have the million dollars before hand, and it isn’t worth the risk to get it now. I will just figure out another way.” And they quit.
If you are in higher education, this is the reality of what you are selling every single day. You are selling to people who there is one million dollars on the other side of the forest just waiting for them to pick up. However, if it was as easy to just pick up the one million dollars and walk away. Everybody would.
But this is not the case. They will encounter lots of obstacles along the way. Their patience will be challenged. Their resilience will be challenged. The process of getting through college is like trying to cross through an unknown area. You don’t know what supplies you need. You don’t know how long it will take, and you don’t know what elements you will face until you do.
And since most people have never faced these elements and these conditions, while also trying to manage and accomplish a very large task while doing so. They are not equipped to over come the obstacles because they don’t know how to.
If you are in higher education it is your job to help equip the prospective students you see with the right tools to help them accomplish this great endeavor. They must know that it wont be easy for them. They must have an understanding of the sacrifices that will have to make. And they must have a back up plan when things don’t go as planned. And lastly, they must have someone in their life pushing and telling them they can do it. It cannot be done alone.
Whan all of these things are considered and planned for accordingly, and you have the right person in your corner coaching you along the way. Anything can be accomplished.
Remember that today as you are sitting with a prospective student. They just want the one million dollars. They see a beautiful forest that they have to cross through. But they don’t understand what is in that beautiful forest. Help them see what it is they will have to go through and help them plan accordingly. You owe it to them.
To your success and your future.