Sean, 22, had a rough time as a high school Junior, fighting to manage the stress that came along with his parent’s divorce and financial “dystopia.” His grades fell, his mood fell and he didn’t feel confident applying to four year college, without a real academic or career direction. “It felt like a waste of time and I didn’t want to waste family money,” he told us.
Sean struggled to articulate his dreams and goals, and even his passions. His high school grades didn’t do him justice at all. He didn’t want to talk about his personal difficulties and he was reticent to write about it. He didn’t even give much credence to his grades. He felt caught in between two worlds and pressure to conform.
Assessment: After a few meetings with Sean, asking questions about his childhood hobbies, his academic and non academic interests, his values and beliefs and the things in his life that motivated him, we uncovered a lot of clues: he loved history; he was drawn to conflict and war and methods for resolution; he had a powerful memory for topics that truly resonated with him; he taught himself the guitar; he was bored with his current education; he wanted to travel; he loved ice hockey.
Education & Career Brainstorming: We talked about occupation ideas, programs that suited him, and colleges that looked interesting.
Education Planning & Transfer Application: With new ideas in his head and a list of potential colleges to explore, Sean started visiting campuses and researching. We/he visited about 5 campuses and he began to get excited. Essays were brainstormed, written, torn up, re-written, read aloud and finally saved! Applications were submitted.
Interview Training: The idea of talking about himself wasn’t high on the list of Sean’s Fun Things to Do! But, we helped him develop a script, practice and practice again, and eventually the script was put away. He learned how to self advocate, ask questions and shake hands firmly while maintaining eye contact.
Sean is now a Junior at American University, studying International Studies with a focus on Conflict Resolution and History. His transition has been a mix of fun and challenge, but he now feels more confident, focused and excited about his future. Most recently he told us that he had just finished a 25 hour stretch of paper-writing, needed a nap and a shower, but was having a great time!