modern stoicism, self help, mortality, freedom, strength, intentional, authenticity
with Danny & Randy

Life is short. When we make choices, we are choosing how to use our time. If we don’t choose, how we spend our time is decided for us.

In this episode, Danny and Randy discuss the importance of time, the shortness of life, and why it is crucial to say No.

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Want to discover more? Please check out my related articles: Reducing Friction, How to Fail Forward, To Feel Differently, Boundaries, Creating a New Narrative, Within Our Control, Meditation & Balance, The Only Proof of Strength, A Formula for Happiness, and Comparisons & Mistakes We Make.

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Learning, Education

“The percentage of students enrolling in college in the fall immediately following high school completion was 69.8 percent in 2016.”


Almost 70 percent of all students will enroll in college immediately after completing high school. The decision is understandable. We expect students to progress from high school to college, and we expect them to do so immediately.

I went to college right after completing high school—most of my friends did as well—that was almost twenty years ago.

High school students face a lot of pressure to go to college. It’s expected of them. We drill it into their heads that they must attend college to be successful, and they must do so immediately.

Public and private schools alike offer guidance to students on how to select and apply to colleges. For many high school students, college will seem like the only viable option, the only viable path to a successful life.

Student loan debt in 2020 is now about $1.56 trillion.


Outstanding student loan debt is only expected to rise. The question we need to ask is whether the expectation we place on high school students to immediately enroll in college is reasonable or smart.

“The latest student loan debt statistics for 2020 show how serious the student loan debt crisis has become for borrowers across all demographics and age groups.”


With student loan debt on the rise, with the cost of college increasing, and with the marketplace changing, would it be smarter to encourage students to take time to figure things out before enrolling in college?

When should students enroll in college?

I’ve taught at the university level for over a decade. In total, I’ve taught at five universities in three states. I’ve seen all sorts of students in my classroom.

On average, I’d estimate that about 10 – 15 percent of students are engaged in their studies, focused, and have a clear idea of what they want to get out of their college experience. Another 10 percent or so are struggling significantly. For the rest, the experience is most likely beneficial and they get something out of it, but they haven’t planned and don’t have a clear goal. To be clear, these are only estimates based on my own personal experience.

about 10 – 15 percent of students are engaged in their studies

I personally don’t think my estimates are surprising. Not only do we expect high school students to make an informed decision about attending college and the associated debt they will no doubt take on, but we expect them to decide what area or profession they will pursue. Most high school students lack the personal development and experience needed to make these decisions.

College is expensive. College debt is something you will carry with you for a long time. Wouldn’t it make more sense to tone down the expectations we place on high school students to attend college immediately so that they can gain some real-world experience first?

It seems commonsense, but a decision to spend upwards of $200,000 should be an informed decision, and most high school students simply lack the relevant information to make such a decision.

What do you think? Are our expectations for high school students unrealistic and problematic?

Thanks for reading!

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Please check out my related posts and articles: Philosophy Teaches Us, How to Succeed in College – 7 Things You Should Do, and How to Zoom – 5 Things You Should Do When Using Zoom in College, Are You Distracted? – How to limit smartphone use, Money and Happiness – Can money actually buy happiness?, Are Hobbies Important?, Belief as a Noble Risk, Imagination, and The Importance of Exploration and Experimentation.

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