Of the skills you teach now, which do you think are going to be most applicable to college students in five to ten years from now?
Well, I’m all about time management and planner, so I think that’s never going to go away. And it’s not just for college, it’s for your whole life. And I do think that’s something that middle schools and high schools could be doing more with. They may hand their kids planners at the beginning of the year, but they’re not teaching them how to use it and recommending that they use it and checking on them. But if they did, imagine how good that would be when they got to college. Whole new thing for college students to try to schedule their own day. So that definitely and then probably all the stress management that I help kids with, because that’s just something you need for life. If you’re always feeling stressed and you’re at that high level, that’s what turns into anxiety and depression, and you need to know how to bring it back down so that you can function well.
Sure. How do you think the college experience will shift five years from now? Do you have any speculation about that?
Yeah, there have been a lot of articles about hybrid learning and how that can save money for colleges. A lot of smaller colleges in particular are struggling, and I’ve actually read an article recently about Unity College in Maine, and because of their structure, they’ve been able to increase their student body from something like 500 students to 1600 students this year because they offer a lot of different options and they’re saving money. Their tuition went down. I mean a lot of factors come into play. So I think there will be more hybrid learning, but I guess it remains to be seen. I mean, there could be a percentage of the population that doesn’t care about the residential experience. Maybe it’s a population that wants to get a job after high school but still wants to go to college. You know, I could imagine that. Or they could do both because they don’t have to be on the campus. And so I think that there’s going to be just more awareness of there could be different versions of college. It doesn’t have to be like this one thing, the residential format.
So yes. I just wanted to say thank you very much for coming on the show today.
Oh, thanks for having me. I really enjoyed speaking with you. This is a lot of fun. Thank you.
Here are my key takeaways from my conversation with Dale Troy. Number one is how critical these skills are that we are talking about. If we’re going to talk about it in terms of stress management. Absolutely. Your ability to get good sleep, to eat well, to conduct some sort of mindfulness for yourself, to be able to manage your life socially, extracurricularly, absolutely critical. You can be a genius, right? I mean, you can be a twice exceptional Einsteinian genius, and you’re not going to get anywhere if you don’t have those other skills developed, at least to some degree.
And I guess time management does stick out. If you’re chaotic and disorganized, you’re going to be late, you’re not going to show up in the right places, you’re not going to bring
the right things, and 90% of success is showing up, right? So that is absolutely critical. So
the key really is A, how to teach these things, and B, probably far more important getting them
to actually buy into it. Because when you’re talking about a kid who is 19 or 20, it’s not like
they don’t know that sleep is good for you. Very infrequently, you encounter someone who suspects that not sleeping is not a big deal. They know it’s a matter of developing the self discipline and defeating this notion that they’re invulnerable to these weaknesses, which is difficult.
It sounds easy on the surface, but anyone who’s interacted with a teenager knows that if you want to teach them something, it’s got to come with their own free will, attach to it. Like they have to discover it themselves. You have to present it in a way where they’re maintaining their sort of autonomy and dignity in the process. We want it to be something where their personality sort of proliferates as a byproduct of them picking up something and being a part of them. You really don’t want to feed it to them because then their identity becomes about you and that’s like the opposite of what you want, right? So that is the key, though. The buy in. I certainly look for tactics to continue to focus on ways to produce buy in.
Another thing that we kept on circling back around to is the support in developing a planning system, how critical it is to have a teacher or some sort of educational personnel doing that. I would say, and this is something we didn’t really bring up in our conversation too much, but it is very difficult for teachers or any sort of educational personnel to provide a planner and then oversee the student using that planner. It’s not practical. I mean, even if you have an advisory system like that as well.
When I worked at Taft, my classes were tiny. I had a class of six one time, anywhere through 15, and an advisory of about ten. But there’s no incentive for me to track their planners and make sure that they’re taking care of their responsibilities and writing them down and managing their lives. I mean, it’s a very comprehensive sort of skill. I couldn’t possibly track that for teen students. In my class or the ten in my advisory. I’m busy managing my own life at the same time, which can be a challenge in and of itself.
So I think it’s very important you have the means to utilize some sort of extracurricular personnel to help with this really fundamental and critical skill in a few areas and a few applications, right? Not just getting the assignments in, but feeling in control of their life. And it’s also, it’s a skill that doesn’t just apply to school. I mean, it’s something that applies for the rest of their lives, no matter what they get into.