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College is different this year for most, for both undergraduate and graduate students.
Part of the experience includes additional decision-making and learning more about personal interests.
It’s reminding me of what I experienced at moments in my life related to selecting colleges. I had made a plan to move forward based upon my experiences, my comfort level, and information available to me at those moments.
But, my plans were interrupted by what I call spiritual nudges (an idea introduced din Episode 52).
These are important, whether they come from the heavens or from a person. They can provide further clarity for your current plan or may even take you in a new direction.
Entertain these nudges, pursue them, and be open to them. They often arrive just as you least expect them, but are exactly necessary for your next step.
Episode 65 Show Notes
- Shout out to Tonya Barnett – who nudged me about the George Mason University Instructional Technology Immersion program back in 2002.
Episode 65 Transcript
This is Rebecca Clark. Episode 65 – Spiritual Nudges – The College Decisions
This podcast is for anyone that knows they haven’t yet found offered up their best work but are compelled to seek it out and do it. Are you ready to move your desk?
This spring, I spoke to a couple of high school students who were deciding where they wanted to go to college, and I also talked to some parents that were telling me about their Children going through this decision making process about where to go to college and then in the midst of all that, we had a virus that changed up college experiences for everyone everywhere. And so that kind of threw another factor into the decision making. And so was interesting Teoh here about what they were going through and to reflect on some experiences I had related to college in the past. Both when I went to undergrad and before I went to graduate school, and I thought I would share today to specific experiences that I had that were what I would consider spiritually nudges. And I already had an episode about spiritual nudges, kind of to introduce the idea back at Episode 52 and so I wanted to take this opportunity to share two stories. When I turned 17 years old, my parents gifted me a one week experience at something called Girls Academy, and this was super cool, right? I was in Michigan at the time. I got to fly out to Utah and stay on the college campus of Brigham Young University with girls from all around the country that were teenagers, and we got to hear inspirational speakers. We got to put on skits. We got to go toe water parks. We went up in the mountains. We went to Sundance to some kind of play. We went up to the city. We did all kinds of amazing things when even though I was a bit shy and hesitant to interact at times, I was really excited to be there and realized that part of the reason my parents had provided this experience was that they were hopeful that I would get excited for college and perhaps even choose that college because that’s where they went and it was all part of a master scheme, right, But no is really fun. And the only hard part about it was it was a girls academy, right? When there are some other academies going on that were the guys and the gals and they had dances and at all this extra funds stuff. But it was a really pivotal experience for me. We’ll one day toward the end of the experience, I decided I wanted to go get some souvenirs and some treats by myself. And I walked over to this bookstore that they have, and it’s an amazing book store. Everyone tries to make sure they go toe it while they’re on campus. And I went and got all the necessary things I wanted to buy, and I started to walk back to the dorms, and I chose a different route. And this is a route where you go over the roads on this very large cement sidewalk. You know what these look like? But this is a very well designed architectural structure that you could walk over. It could handle very large crowds, right? So it’s probably 20 people across or something if I’m remembering correctly. So I’m walking on this walkway and I’m over the road at this point and I just stop toe look up at the mountains because if you’ve lived in the Midwest for a long time or the East Coast like, there’s nothing the compares, in my opinion, to the mountains in the West. And so there’s thes Rocky Mountains. I’m looking up at Mt. Tipping Nagase, Squaw Peak. You can look it up on the Internet if you don’t know what those are, but they’re massive. I just thought they were amazing. I just stood in awe and just kind of basked in the sun of the summer and the fund and was so happy to be there. And as I stood there for that moment, I had a very clear voice. Come to my head and say, You won’t be here next year and it shocked me. It’s like, Wait a second. What? I was getting ready to go into my senior year of high school. I had planned on going to this college my whole life, even though my parents said we could go wherever we wanted to go and do whatever you wanted to do. But on all the vacations that we took to the East Coast, into the West Coast and wherever else we went, we stopped at colleges, but we stopped at this college the most. And I’m assuming there is a reason and it kind of jolted. Makes like What do you mean? I’m not gonna be here like that’s crazy. And I didn’t know what to do with that information in my 17 year old mind and so fast forward to that fall. I had that in the back of my mind. But it takes a lot to shift you if you’ve had a dream for your entire life, right? So I got all of those brochures in the mail from all over the place, and some of them were tempting cause it’s this. They just had great marketing campaigns. But in the end, I chose to apply to colleges when one was Brigham Young University, and one was a small junior college in Idaho. Ricks College, which is now called BYU Idaho. And a lot of people apply there because they think OK, maybe I’ll go there instead of the one in Utah, the larger university. Or if I don’t get into one, I can go in together. And so I figured I’ve been jolted, but not that much, I guess because I decided to just apply to to colleges, and I got in to both. And then the decision making had to start because I had had those promptings as a 17 year old very clearly. And yet I couldn’t imagine going up to this little town in Idaho with less than 6000 students at the time. I think, and spending my time in that isolated area where there’s fields and cows and mountains in the distance and not knowing a lot of people there. Why I had this other option available with, like 30,000 students. There’s high energy. It’s just like and more of a city setting, huge stadium, different mountains, a lot more people, more possibilities. But in the end, I decided on Idaho on I thought, You know what? I’m gonna try it out for a semester. I went, had a great time, stayed two semesters in that second semester. I applied to be a resident assistant, and I went back for a second year and graduated with my associate’s degree before ultimately transferring down to Brigham Young University and Utah. That was a pivotal experience for me because that smaller setting actually ended up being a very good place to be for me, with my current feelings about myself, with my current abilities to communicate at that time and allowed me the space to grow and take on some leadership opportunities and really start to find myself more before I went into that larger university experience, which I happened to not enjoy that first year, and that’s a different story. But fast forward. Later in life, I graduated from college. I had worked for a few years in the Washington D. C area, and a friend nudge me to look into a master’s program, and I had never really wanted to get a master’s degree. And I thought if I did ever get one, it would be an M B A. And for some reason that nudge Help me take a step. And I did get accepted into an online program at the University of Maryland Online college or whatever was called at the time. And I started an MBA program and I worked on the prerequisite courses, and in the middle of those courses I got an email from one of my college friends who had been a trainer in the same training center that I worked in were both trainers facilitators and she simply said This degree is for you and she explained that she had started it. She needed to go the part time programme. But there was this full time program and it just seemed like it was for me. She wanted me to look into it and it was one of those moments where you act before you know what you’re doing. And when I read the email, I saw keywords like instructional design, technology, Learning Internet and this was back in the year 2002 and for some reason the key words resonated with me and I filled out an application, got references applied and everything before I read anything Mawr really like I read her email, I went on the website, got the application, downloaded it and applied. I didn’t even read very much more about the program, which sounds crazy to most people, but it was such a strong impression. So I applied. I got in and then started the prerequisites for that program at the same time, and that was in person, and I still remember the first night sitting in the first class on instructional systems design. And I said, What is this? Because it’s most simply stated. It’s an engineering process for creating learning products, right? So is being presented in an engineering way, which I half relate to and half do not. And I was like, Wait a second. I need to go read and see what I’m getting myself into because now I’m in two programs. I’ve been an online program part time, and I’m now in a full time program that I think I can still do my virtual job while I’m doing. But maybe not. And it quickly became apparent to me that I was not to go the MBA route. I supposed to follow this route my friend had showed me and I got into an HTML class along with that instructional design class and really enjoyed it. And then that fall realized that I was going to be Merced day and night with a team working through riel projects for a real clients, and that was what I needed. I am not academically driven unless there’s a real product, the end of it, not a fake product. I want a real product for a real person that has really meaning that I’m very motivated, and I was surprised at the end of that program to see that I had straight A’s. I didn’t even know that because I liked what I was doing so much. And I did not have Straight A’s an undergrad. So showed I’d grown up a little, had a little more focused and was pursuing the right thing at that time. And I’m thankful that Tanya Barnett sent me that email because it switched me from another decision I had made into exactly what I needed. I just wanted to share this today because it has a few spiritually nudges. It shows that some nudges come from the heavens and some come from another person and that we need to pay attention when these things happened. I’m a planner, and I think you should always plan your future because it’s important to have a focus going forward. Ah, purpose, something to move toward. But as you’re on that journey, planning and hoping and dreaming, this is a reminder to be open because a plan is based upon primarily what you’re aware of right now, and perhaps there’s actually more in store for you. and what’s in store for you may not be evidence until you get an insight that may come from a spiritual nudge from the heavens or from a person. And it’s important to be flexible, to understand where to stick to the plan and where to follow these kinds of nudges that come out of nowhere. It seems another point I’d like to make enclosing is that it was important to make decisions to move forward when you get a nudge to move forward, even when you’re not sure, because until we move forward, we don’t get more clarity and we don’t get more direction. And I’m so glad that I move forward on the M B A. Even though I have to tell you, I really didn’t like those 1st 2 classes. It really was starting to turn me off, auditing and writing or something. But I took that action and it was a good action, right? I was supposed to go forward with schooling at that time, but the nudge coming in from my friend gave me clarity and mawr direction. After I was willing to take my step, the further clarity came in and I accepted that clarity and went forward with it. And I actually had to quit my job and focus on school and get it done. But that graduate degree for ever changed the last 18 or 17 years of my life. It got me more into what I wanted to do. It brought past experiences together and made them useful. And I hope that’s what I’m doing now. Bring it all together, making all the mistakes and successes and lessons from the past. Come together toward taking this next step forward, sharing it with you, sharing it with others, learning, growing and succeeding. And right now, as I struggle to take next steps on some things I think are very important. I’m trying to remember this to take steps forward, make decisions and plan, but also opened my mind and heart up to those spiritual nudges that come my way. Okay, keep offering up your best work, My friends, I will talk to you next week. Thanks for listening to the show today. If you enjoyed it, I’d love if you’d write a review and share the show with your friends, sign up for a weekly nudge at move your desk dot com. See you next Monday