“College is not for everyone, but being educated is.” Valencia D. Clay
To the High School Classes Of 2021… CONGRATS 🎉!!!!!! Especially to those MIGHTY ALLENDALE-FAIRFAX TIGERS!!!!!!!! (ALLENDALE, SOUTH CAROLINA)
I know that social media and the “innanet” can make you feel pressured to try and keep up with the Kardashians (you saw what I did right there 🤣🤣 ok ok focus)… I get it… because sometimes even I feel the pressure from time to time (that demonic spirit of comparison gets us every time right 🤦🏾♀️)… and I know that you all are ready to begin your journeys, but I would like to take a little time to speak with you about the importance of having a plan.
I don’t know about any of you all’s households but in the household in which I grew up, going to college was not just an expectation, it was a requirement… a directive… a mandate. You see back in my ma’s day, and some of your grandmothers’ day, education was looked at as the only avenue to a better life… get an education, get a job/career that has great benefits, and work hard every day until retirement and maybe a little beyond retirement years… that was the plan that was set for so many of us growing up… we didn’t have any say so in what we did after high school because the plan was set.
I am going to say something to you all that your grandparents and parents may get upset about but I am going to say it anyway… COLLEGE IS NOT FOR EVERYONE AND YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GO TO COLLEGE TO BE SUCCESSFUL!!!!!!!!
I don’t know how many times I have had a conversation with colleagues, classmates, and friends that all said they wish they knew then what they know now about going to college and I feel the exact same way. I have a friend who owns a business, and he always says that he wasted a lot of time and money getting two degrees (bachelor’s and master’s degrees) when all he needed were two 1-year certifications to run his business and a few business courses. He always had the plan to own his own business but just like my household he was taught after high school you must go to college. He has only been in business for a few years and his business is already grossing close to 500K a year and he’s not using either degrees… well maybe his leadership degree a little.
Success is not measured by degrees, its measured by consistency and the execution of your plan.
I saw this quote on twitter from one of my favorite educators, Valencia D. Clay, “College is not for everyone, but being educated is.” And if I may add to that… HAVING A PLAN IS DEFINITELY FOR EVERYONE. (even the devil has a plan… think about that) It is so important to have a plan, and not just any plan, but a well thought out plan… a plan with wiggle room for accommodations and adjustments because you will have to make changes in some shape, form, or fashion throughout life (i.e., if you get married, have children, or if you have a sudden life changing event such as a death of a loved one, etc.).
What position or area do I want to retire from?
This needs be the first question you ask yourself when creating your career/life’s plan… answering this question will help you develop a clear vision about the paths you will need to take to accomplish your goals.
Once you answer the question about retirement then the next step is to determine what form of education or training you will need to reach your end goal. UNDERSTAND THIS… EVERYTHING DOES NOT REQUIRE A FOUR-YEAR DEGREE BUT EVERYTHING DOES REQUIRES A PLAN AND SOME FORM OF EDUCATION/TRAINING.
After determining which form of education or training you will need, then you will need to create steps that will help you reach your end goal. The steps you create will need a timeline with reasonable and realistic goal times. For example, if the education required for your plan is a four-year degree, you will need to be realistic and set a five-year goal time to accomplish that goal. REMEMBER LIFE HAPPENS, THERE WILL BE SETBACK, ITS INEVITABLE. And if you do not set realistic goal times you will get frustrated and give up on your goals… BEEN THERE, DONE THAT 🤦🏾♀️… DO NOT GIVE UP!
After setting your timeline for accomplishing your end goal, then you will need to collect the resources needed to get started working towards your end goal of retirement. (i.e., people, books, intangible and tangible materials, etc.). These resources will help you to grow towards your end goal… yes grow towards it… you will need resources to help change your thinking through expansion because in order to reach your end goal you will need to consistently grow your thinking about yourself mentally, socially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually… ACCOMMODATING AND ADJUSTING
If I may offer a suggestion… keep a journal… a written journal… research shows when you write your thinking out the motion makes a connection with your brain, and you are more likely to accomplish the goal or complete the task that you set. I would also suggest to write your end goal on the front cover of your journal and keep this journal in a visible place… if you put it in a bag, drawer, etc. you are less likely to revisit your plan… remember consistency is one of the major keys to success. Also, nothing else should be written in this journal but your plan… if you mix in other thoughts with your plan, your plan will become lost in a sea of other confused thoughts which will eventually create major distractions from your plan and then it becomes less and less likely that you will accomplish your end goal.
Time deadlines and actual goals will change within your plan… THAT IS 100% GUARANTEED… and sometimes your end goal may change a little, and when that happens do not erase your old goals or timelines because they will serve as a reminder of where you started and where you are now, tracking your growth and thinking. It is my opinion that there is no such thing as having a backup plan, only accommodations and adjustments. Maybe when you first created the plan you were thinking on a smaller scale but as you began working towards your end goal your vision and thoughts expanded… the end goal did not change you just decided to change the steps to reach it… and even if your end goal changes a little that does not mean that you have to throw your entire plan out and start over… that just means all it needs is just a little bit of straightening (Migos shoutout 🤣) NEVER THROW OUT THE ORIGINAL PLAN, JUST MAKE THE NECESSARY ACCOMMODATIONS AND ADJUSTMENTS!
MAN, I WISH I HAD THIS INFO BEFORE I RACKED UP ON STUDENT LOAN DEBT 😭
DISCLAIMER: I am not saying you may never have to create a new plan but what I am saying is you will not be starting from scratch… your old plan will serve as a foundation for the new plan SO DO NOT THROW IT OUT… remember… ACCOMMODATIONS AND ADJUSTMENTS!
Everyone’s plan should look different… what may work for me, may not work for you… therefore, you cannot use your friends’ or parents’ plans to help create your plan… YOU AND ONLY YOU HAVE TO CREATE YOUR PLAN… you may ask others for guidance, but the ultimate creator of the plan must be you… why?… because when you take your time to create something you will nurture it just as a mother with a newborn baby… giving it all the love, time, and attention needed for it to eventually grow successfully and productively.
Remember, your plan must be concise, easy to read, intentional, and measurable… this is important because the fluff (BS) that is often added to make your goals seem glamorous can disrupt your focus from the end goal that you are trying to accomplish… you don’t have to dress it up for it to be real… PeriodT!!!!!
Create the plan and work towards your end goal every day!
Thank me later 😘,
The Chic Educator 🍎