“People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it,” espouses leadership guru and Columbia University Professor Simon Sinek. While Sinek studies, consults, and writes about what constitutes success in the 21st century business arena, Cultivate Academics believes the same concept is true in education. You may know what career or major you want to pursue, how you want to spend your extracurricular time while at college, and where you want to study, however, it is extremely important to also understand your WHY. There is a tremendous amount of power behind knowing what your why is, and keeping it at the forefront of the decisions you are making regarding your educational future and beyond. Let’s dive into the importance of this question, as well as some specific whys you should be considering.
Why is knowing your why so important? At times throughout your academic career, the how may be difficult and the what may change, but the reason behind you putting effort into furthering your education will remain the same. Your why should be your driving force, the momentum behind the energy you dedicate to your what, where, and how. Your why is the reason that you continue on when the going gets hard.
While it is important to know what you are doing and how you are doing it, figuring out the underlying reasons that determine the decisions you make along your path is essential to ensuring your success in getting where you want to go. Asking yourself why encourages self-reflection and self-examination. This leads to you having a deeper understanding of your own motivations and may even result in a more rewarding college experience in the long run.
Defining your why can also help direct you on which path is most closely aligned with the reason you are pursuing a particular degree or career. If you have a long term goal you hope to accomplish for any particular reason, the way you go about achieving this and the motivation behind doing so is equally as important as the goal itself.
What are the Whys?
Now that we’ve reached an understanding on just why asking yourself why is important, let’s take a look at some particular whys you may want to consider.
One of the most important whys you should define for your educational future is why you would like to pursue college in the first place. Understanding your motivations behind seeking a college degree will help you choose an appropriate university for your goals. Answering this question can also assist you with your college application and help you present yourself as a passionate student who is dedicated to furthering their education.
Why That College?
Once you have determined why you want to attend college at all, you can begin to narrow down what specific colleges match up with your goals. This not only makes you more sure in your decision to apply for certain universities, but also allows you to appeal to these colleges directly. You can accomplish this because you have determined your why for choosing them, which gives you the ability to tailor your applications and essays to explain why you are a good fit for their program.
Why That Degree?
While the specifics of your journey through furthered education may change over the years, your reasoning behind wanting to pursue the degree you have chosen is likely to stay the same. Examine not only what you would like to accomplish, but why you want to do so. Often keeping this in sight while you advance through academia will help you to maintain motivation.
Understanding your why requires a lot of self-reflection. Looking within to determine what you would like to do and why you have set these goals can be extremely beneficial to the future of your education. At Cultivate, we believe that knowing your why leads you to know yourself. If you are wanting to learn more about defining your why and best preparing yourself for your college admissions journey, reach out to the Cultivate team today!