I have come to realize the older you get, the more you are aware of what happens around you. When i started my freshman year in high school, I wanted to know what highly successful high school girls did to achieve great success. After high school, paths to success are drawn and a select few are granted a golden path, while some are given a rocky path. 오우야 I read “The Millionaire Mind”, by Thomas J. Stanley, and thought I would take a similar approach to search for commonalities between highly successful girls who are currently attending elite colleges in the united states.
This is, by its nature, a scientific study, but more a quest of curiosity. Are there, in fact, commonalities that are tied to successful high school girls, in particular? I devised a questionnaire and ended up interviewing 460 elite college students to find out what decisions, activities and academic prowess they had during high school. My initial approach was to only talk to about 20 students, but once I conversed with one student, she quickly put her suite-mates on the phone with me. They, consequently, referred me to other friends in the highest ranked colleges in the united states; hence the 460 interviews. I received and narrowed responses from students in the following notable colleges: Harvard Law School, Washington University in St. Louis, Princeton, Yale, Harvard College, Columbia, Penn, NYU, Duke, Dartmouth, Stanford, MIT, Cal Tech and the University of Chicago. The results are fascinating, yet somewhat predictable. After six months of interviewing and compilation, I have found the following commonalities:
- A strong Support System while Growing Up – 98% of respondents told me that they had a very supportive family or parent that was involved in their education and their school. An effective learning environment was integral and the support network was always there to pick up the slack when schoolwork became overwhelming, allowing them to achieve.
- Expectations Were Clearly Defined – Most respondents told me they knew what was acceptable and what was not in their homes. Education was stressed in their households but crazy behavior, heavy partying, drinking, being suspended and the like, were not tolerated. They knew they had to have self-sacrifice and the bigger picture was well worth it.
- Felt the need to Achieve More than their Classmates – Every single respondent mentioned this in the interview. When they achieved success, it drove them to greater achievements. They also mentioned a feeling of “superiority”; not that they were better than their classmates, but indoctrinated by their families to achieve more and achieve successes greater than their counter-parts. The fact that they all felt that they still had many more hoops to jump through to realize their goals, was mentioned by the majority of respondents.
- None were Tutored to Compete with their Classmates – They all conveyed to me that the cream quickly rises to the top in these colleges. They all noticed their friends in high school that were tutored just to compete with them, were able to get into great colleges by doctoring their resumes, but ended up in the middle-bottom or bottom of their classes. The respondents were self-driven and told me stories of sitting in their rooms working out a problem for hours, but eventually figuring it out themselves. They all got grades higher than their classmates. The successful student can look at a problem and figure out a solution, the tutored child needs to be told the first step before she can solve it. Independent critical thinking skills as the key to high achievement, was greatly stressed. Many of their classmates continued to use their tutors throughout college, as well, and elite graduate schools were not an option for them. The respondents were grateful that the educational system filtered out the students who were independent learners from those that were using tutoring as a crutch to succeed.