Exploring Higher Education:
Hope and a Future

What's a Girl to Do About College?

Here at Crown of Beauty, we've always been strong advocates for unusual callings, creative gifting's, and pursuing "the road less traveled."

So many of you aspire to be artists, musicians, authors, full-time bloggers or YouTubers, and we love encouraging you in your creative pursuits!

Because of our general gravitation toward the "creatives calling", those who desire to pursue a more traditional route of education and career have reached out to us. We've received emails asking, 

"What about college? What about pursuing vocations that aren't always labeled as 'creative pursuits'? What if I desire to become a doctor, lawyer, or vet? Why don't you write more articles about those things? All this "I didn't go to college" talk, can make a girl feel left out!"   

We hear you. We love reading your emails and truly take every message to heart! 

So today, we're responding to that request! 

This post is for everyone who has a desire to pursue the college route for their career path and are perhaps scratching their heads and asking, "Where do I even begin?"

We're so excited to introduce to you a wonderful woman who has a heart to help turn college dreams, into reality! 

What we love about Gayle's mission at the Savvy Scholar, is she provides practical, step-by-step advice and wise council for achieving your career goals. 

how am I supposed to know what comes next?

CBM: Nearing High School graduation can be a really scary time. There's so much pressure to figure out what we're going to do with our lives, where we're going to go to school, etc.

Before we dive into talking about how you help students with this phase in life, I'd love to hear a bit about what your college experience/application process was like. Did you always know you wanted to go to college?

And if so, were you confident in what you wanted to study, or what did that season of life look like for you?

Gayle: This is a very interesting question for me! I was an excellent student in school and wanted to go to college.

Unfortunately, family circumstances kept me from being a traditional, full-time college student. Instead, I worked full time and attended college in the evenings. Through hard work and determination, I earned my associates, bachelors and eventually masters degree.

This was certainly not an ideal situation and I encouraged our two sons to go directly to college full time after high school and am pleased to say they are both PhD students pursuing their dream careers.

no such thing as cookie cutter

CBM: There's no such thing as a "cookie cutter" destiny for God's children. We are all SO unique and have different callings and gifting's! How do you encourage young people to find what their "thing" is? What advice do you share when it comes to finding an occupation?

Gayle: This is so true! I love using the IMAGE assessment as a first step with my young clients. It is a 91 question online assessment that measures their intrinsic motivations. Intrinsic motivations are inward drives that strongly influence the way a person responds to other people, situations and problems in the world. The motivations that are measured correspond to the spiritual gifts that were identified by Paul in Romans 12:6-8.

The student receives two reports which we analyze together. The first report identifies their unique blend of intrinsic motivations and the second report lists a variety of career options compatible with these motivations. Students really enjoy the assessment and view themselves and college/career options with increased clarity.

is it okay to change my mind?

CBM: Wow, that sounds really helpful! So, it's a well known fact that most college students tend to change their major. For High Schoolers, the pressure to "get it perfect", and pick just the right thing, never leaving any room to pivot and change, can be a little stressful.

How do you help teens and young adults navigate this, as they're approaching collage and are fearful they might end up changing their minds on their major?

Gayle: One of my greatest areas of concern is the unnecessary stress that society (and social media in particular) places on our high school students about going to college.

There are so many myths out there that fuel unnecessary anxiety into our Gen Z students. I help students to focus on the truth and what would best for them. It is normal for students to be at different places in their career search. Some students I work with gain clarity on career goals as we work together and other students gain clarity on themselves but not necessarily which major/career to select as an incoming Freshman student. Either way, that is okay and we set up a plan for them!

For the first two years of college, students are required to take the same general education requirements such as science, math, English, history and more in most programs.

I recommend that they try different areas of potential interest via the elective courses they are allowed to take. That gives them another two years before they have to select a major. There are other unforeseen circumstances that may arise in college and I strongly believe that having clarity, confidence and a plan BEFORE they start college will help them make wise decisions in school.

As a person who was a college professor for many years, I have a lot to share on this topic, but I can’t write it all here today.

clarity

CBM: Wow, yes, I'm sure you have a lot more to share! Something I appreciate about you, is how you've been so successful in helping a lot of young people navigate their way through this crazy time. Do you have any success stories, or testimonies, from someone who has really benefited from your guidance?

Gayle: My website, www.thesavvyscholar.com, has testimonies from some of my former clients. One of my favorites is a client whose parents were positive she should be a “coder” for her career.

After the IMAGE assessment and working with the student, it became clear that she was strongly motivated to comfort, teach and work with people. Her parents listened and she went on to pursue a career that she was very excited about!

one chapter at a time

CBM: I know your service is all about encouraging teens and young adults to find the right college path, but what advice would you give someone who doesn't feel led to go to school? There's a lot of amazing curriculum, training, and education available online these days, how can someone go about navigating through all of that? Is it similar to choosing the right school, or a totally different animal?

Gayle: Great question! Sometimes parents have well-intentioned expectations of college for their student but college just isn’t the right path them. The IMAGE assessment that I use measures intrinsic motivations for everyone, so I have used it with students heading into the military, trade schools, etc. I would like to add I also work with students who decide a two-year community college career program would be their best choice. That is why I offer different “chapters” for my students.

The first “chapter” is career exploration. As part of the career exploration chapter, my students have access to a career database that lists training programs available for a variety of careers.

If we decide a student does not need to attend college to achieve their goals, they would not need to start the next “chapter” which is definitely college focused.

loving what you do

CBM: What's your favorite thing about helping others in this area? What is it about this that brings you so much joy?

Gayle: That’s easy! I love what I do. I have great compassion for young adults and the amount of stress they deal with each day. When I am finished working with a student and they have developed clarity and confidence about their future plans it makes my day! I love getting that email from them that they have started their first semester of college and are excited and happy to be there.

CBM: Lastly, we'd love to know what you do in your free time! Any favorite hobbies or activities? Also, anything unique or quirky about you that we'd never guess upon shaking hands at first meeting? :)

Gayle: I love to play with our puppy Gracie, go walking, biking, healthy cooking, crafting and reading! Something quirky about me: I sneeze so loud that I often make people jump in surprise!

connect with gayle!

CBM: Gayle, thank you again so much for sharing with us today! We want to invite our readers to visit your site and get connected!

The Savvy Scholar has a super fun Facebook group, which is loaded with great resources! This community is a great place to ask questions, learn more, and begin planning your next steps for college!

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