As I write this post the end of February is just around the corner and we’re well into the entrance test season here in Japan.
Here test season is no joke. Parents spend thousands of dollars to prepare their children for such tests in the hopes of their children getting accepted into a good school.
I still find it amazing to see children studying late at night at cram schools on my bike ride home from my office each day.
What’s even more amazing is that children have entrance tests for practically all schools.
Elementary school – sometimes.
Middle school – yes.
High school – yes.
College – of course.
Sometimes even cram schools.
Wow, that’s a lot of tests and a lot of pressure for kids. Just thinking about all that they have to go through makes me stressed.
Personally I’m a big believer in letting kids be kids.
Sure we need to offer guidance and teach them the do’s and don’ts of life but life isn’t just all about studying, especially for kids.
But that’s how things work here.
Having some high school students as clients, one question I am commonly asked is which university I think they should attend and why.
For most students, name recognition is nearly always the key decider.
But they are overlooking one key aspect – their involvement.
A Harvard or a Cambridge looks mighty fine on your resume but even those schools do not guarantee you success.
Some of the most successful businessmen in the world never even went to college.
Universities and colleges offer us experiences but it is up to us to supply the rest.
Will, desire, effort, communication, hands-on experience and many other things are what amplify our experience at school.
As I’ve always loved math I’d like to share with you my simple formula for success in college and in life for that matter.
10% (quality of school/idea/business) x 90% (what you do with it) = your chance of success.
Growing up I always thought that where we went to school determined much of our future, but as I’ve grown up I’ve found that in the end, it is the person we are inside that determines our own future.
If you are able to get into a good school – give yourself a pat on the back and take full advantage of it.
If not, no big deal.
Success is not decided in the classroom but in life.