I visited In-N-Out Burger not once, but twice during the recent Collegewise holiday. And I was struck by two things. First, their grilled cheese is just delicious. Second, every single employee at every In-N-Out Burger that I have ever visited seems so happy to be working there. I don’t know if it’s the type of people they hire, the training they do, or the way they pump that delightful burger smell throughout the restaurant. But those In-N-Out workers are some of the most friendly, effusive, engaged employees I’ve come across in just about any business. And I think their pleasant disposition is a sincere one. They like where they work and they like what they do. They always make my In-N-Out experience that much more enjoyable.
So what does this have to do with college?
It’s important for high school students to think about what they really like to do while they’re thinking about getting in to college. Work hard in all of your classes. But if you have a favorite teacher, do whatever you have to do to take her class. If you have a favorite subject, throw yourself into it by doing extra reading or taking a more advanced course in the subject during the summer.
If you’re not enjoying your time the marching band and would much rather be working at a day care center, put your flute away and go work at a day care center. Don’t join a club or play a sport or volunteer at a hospital if you’re just doing it to get in to college. Find a club you’re excited about. Play the sport you love. Volunteer someplace where you really believe in the mission of the organization.
And while you’re looking for colleges, don’t just look at the schools with the best names. Look for the places where you think you would enjoy your college life in the classroom, on the campus and around the town.
So there’s your first New Year’s resolution–make getting in to college more enjoyable by doing what you enjoy. Simple.
Start today by telling your favorite teacher how much you enjoy her class. Be enthusiastic and engaged, just like the In-N-Out crews. Your teacher will appreciate it, and you’ll probably love the class as much as I love those grilled cheeses.