I had an experience yesterday while strolling the streets of a very affluent town that has lingered with me. Tucked away in this community that has been home to Hollywood celebrities and rock and roll stars is one of the finest private college preparatory schools in the country. With tuition at $31,315, this is an environment where great care is exercised to help students to fully realize their potential.
Standing atop a large rock in the midst of a meticulously landscaped flower garden, I felt surrounded by an energy of excited hope. It was Sunday, yet a well-equipped gym kept a trail of students coming and going. To my surprise, I felt my heart pang. I found myself wondering what my life would have been like if I had been similarly prepared.
I was raised in a working class European family with old country values. As the only daughter in the middle of two brothers, I was handed down the inspiration to get married and have children. College was neither encouraged or discouraged. I’ve since discovered that guidance for life ahead was a rare commodity among many in my generation. Get a degree and find a good job is about as deep as it got.
I don’t think times have changed too much. With a ratio of hundreds of students per career counselor in public schools today, there’s not a lot of personal attention going around to help students discover what they want to do with their lives. It astounds me that we remain a culture that places so little emphasis on preparing its individuals to live fulfilling, rich lives. All too often without that supportive guidance early on, we end up in mid-life feeling the clock ticking away the time we have left to create a legacy we can feel good about.
There is some good news to all of this:
- It is never too late to realize your potential.
- Some of us work better under pressure anyway.