For college women leaders
How Entrepreneurship Empowers Students to Stress-Out Less
By: Maria Pascucci, Founder & President, Campus Calm®
In a New York Times article, Brian Van Brunt, director of counseling at Western Kentucky University and president of the American College Counseling Association, was quoted as saying, "More students are arriving on campus with problems, needing support, and today's economic factors are putting a lot of extra stress on college students, as they look at their loans and wonder if there will be a career waiting for them on the other side."
"Wondering if a career will be waiting for them on the other side" is part of the problem because that mentality can lead to students feeling powerless to meet the transition into the workforce. Teaching entrepreneurship in the classrooms will go a long way toward reducing stress of college freshmen, and all college students. Why?
1. Teaching entrepreneurship gives students a sense of empowerment and ownership over their strengths, passions and career explorations, alleviating the recession-caused fears of whether or not someone else will hire them;
2. Instead of feeling pressured to compete with friends/classmates for existing jobs, students can be encouraged to collaborate and leverage each otherís strengths to create jobs of the future;
3. Entrepreneurship is about experiential learning and growing comfortable with taking risks, making mistakes and learning from them quickly as you move forward. Thatís the best lesson in resiliency I can think of!
4. Entrepreneurship teaches young people that success is about passion, persistence and relationship building. When far too many students wonder whether success is all about test scores, letters of recommendation and GPAs, this will go a long way toward reducing stress.
I speak from experience as a former summa cum laude college grad. Launching my own business while in my twenties empowered me to realize that I could chart my own future and be directly responsible for the success of my company. Yes, itís scary but itís also a great confidence booster. Recession-proofing myself means that I take complete responsibility for my success or failure and learn new skills every day, leveraging the strengths and talents of others in the process instead of worrying about what Iím not ďgood enoughĒ in. How many students are taught to zero in on their deficits instead of celebrating their strengths? Example: You get your report card. You have four Aís and one B-. What do you focus your attention on first?
Grades are important, but so many of us were taught that if we donít get an A, weíre doomed to failure. This all-or-nothing thinking is propelling many students to stress, overextend, overachieve and sometimes even cheat.
Whether you launch a businesses, gain experience in corporate America for a few years like I did or move toward establishing a career in corporate America, it will serve you well to develop entrepreneurial skills and mindsets. Fortunately, many colleges and universities are now offering Entrepreneurship minors or majors. Check your school's website to see what's available to you!
Story Callout: Are you a college student or young professional who believes in the power of entrepreneurship? Do you have an idea for the next great business to create a job for yourself, and possibly your friends? Share your story with us! We may feature it on our website, or in an upcoming Campus Calm Connections newsletter issue.
Do you resonate with Maria's story? If so, you're the person Maria's speaking to in her book Campus Calm University. It's designed to empower you to give up the exhausting pursuit of perfection (whether it's grades or body), and instead embrace the real steps to success, health, happiness and leadership. Chapters teach you how to be a lifelong learner, infuse your career search with some PG passion, love yourself, embrace risk, focus inward and surround yourself with a network of positive people who can help you reach your goals. And much more too!