The Right Kind Of Dream

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“I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” President Kennedy said in 1961. At this time, no American had even travelled to space.

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. realized that dream. There were many decisions that led to this landmark achievement, the first, and most important, being we started off with the right kind of dream.

What is the right kind of dream? The right kind of dream

  • is not vague like “be a good student.” It is clear at any point, if you have achieved it or not.
  • has a deadline by when it needs to be achieved.
  • is really hard. There is no formula for success, and even if you do everything you can, there is only a slightly more chance of success than failure.
  • cannot be achieved in a short period of time.
  • will require you to up your game, and get better.

If that sounds a bit like a college admission dreams, it is!

The little known secret of successful people is that they embrace the right kind of dreams, over and over in life. They don’t always succeed, but they know they wouldn’t ever succeed otherwise.

And, they always get better.

Are you ready to embrace your dream? Are you ready to up your game?

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The College Rank Illusion

US News ranking ranks colleges in a context. Contexts (and composite scores) create illusions. To look beyond the illusion, look at the colleges in different contexts:

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  • Forbes ranks are based on outcome or return on investment, and they also rank the individual components that go into their overall ranking.
  • Princeton Review ranks by 62 specific criteria, broadly categorized as academic, campus, town, politics, social, extra curricular, school type, and quality of life.
  • PayScale provides ranking based on pay of graduates who do not go on to do higher studies.

While US News and Princeton rankings are based on “input” criteria (faculty pay/education, student selectivity, peer reputation, etc.), Forbes and PayScale measure the outcome (alumni pay, graduation rate, charity contributions by alumni, student awards, etc).