Lessons and resources to make the best out of your undergraduate degree.
I originally wrote this guide for a friend who was starting college in Chicago. This is an adapted version of what I wrote to her.
Dear Future College Student,
You are about to embark on a journey that will shape your future and career. Sadly, this journey is an expensive one (especially in the United States), and the common wisdom surrounding it is false more often than it’s true. During your college journey, you’ll hear a variety of things, most of which you should ignore.
Let’s start with some facts. Yes, college is expensive; no, it does not guarantee you a job. Is it still worth it? Absolutely. Well, it depends on what you make out of it. College is no different than your life and career: your success relies on your mindset, attitudes, and actions — and far too many people fail to realize this. …
The answer lies in what the Greeks have taught us.
Do you feel like your communication isn’t effective enough?
I challenge you to consider and master the Classical Trivium, which is what I use to teach my clients how to write books compellingly.
The Classical Trivium is made of three intertwined disciples: grammar, logic, and rhetoric.
Grammar, logic, and rhetoric are all equally important. If you only master grammar, but not logic and rhetoric, your communication is nonsensical. You say or write things that are grammatically correct but that don’t add up.
If you have a strong grasp of logic, but you don’t master rhetoric and grammar, you come off as mechanical and difficult to understand. There is no style, no structure. …
We need to get back to writing to save the world from the anxious moment we live in.
We have a problem in the English-speaking world. We no longer care about nor teach writing with love, simplicity, and sophistication.
We no longer instill the desire to educate, persuade, and motivate through the art of the written word.
We live in an era of public speaking. We live in an area of social media and shortened communications. We see writing as a chore.
Why? The answer is simple:
The self-interested technocrats, bureaucrats, and business people do not care about language, but use it for their purposes. …
You may have been sold a rotten idea about book writing.
If you’re someone with ideas and a desire to stand out, you must be familiar with this mantra:
Publish a book and it will propel your career or business.
The business of writing is a lucrative one in our knowledge economy. Written content is everywhere. From Facebook to LinkedIn to blogs to online magazines, everyone reads and writes text to be consumed by the masses every day. But because social media content is everywhere, it is unimportant. You cannot distinguish yourself with it.
What’s the solution, then?
According to many—including myself, to a certain extent—the solution is to have a book to your name. Not only is it an impressive achievement that only a few can boast, but it also shows you are serious and rigorous about your subject matter. …
Writing a book comes with 2 ROIs and there are 4 dimensions to it. Unfortunately, many people focus on the wrong ROI and the wrong dimension, which sabotages their endeavor.
What we first need to consider, when thinking of the ROIs of writing a book, is that there are two resources we need to invest.
So these are the resources you invest and get back. You’ll get back your money and time — and you can even recoup them exponentially — if you follow the right process. A book generates passive income, and it allows you to buy back your time by shifting your career or by charging your clients more. In short, it gives you more freedom. …
The most common myth about writing a book is that it takes too long and that you don’t have the time.
Now, before I say anything, I want to make it very clear that I understand how busy you are. I have a tendency myself to get involved in multiple projects at once, and the people I work with and talk to are incredibly busy as well.
So, rest assured, my goal here is not to dismiss what you are currently doing — nor is it to convince you that you are not busy. My goal, rather, is to show you that CAN make the time to write a book if you are committed to your long-term success, and that the time spent on it is a worthwhile investment in the grand scheme of things. …
After moving there in August 2019, I often thought there might have never been a better time for me to live in the United States. American politics fascinate me. Trump’s impeachment by the House made me feel like I had a front seat before the stage of American history. Now, even though it saddened me to watch a country I admire tear itself apart, I couldn’t help but feel an uncanny sense of intrigue and excitement. While the politics of drama unfolded at the White House, the politics of stopping Trump continued throughout the democratic primaries. …
On Monday, April 15, 2019, I submitted my last assignment as one of your undergraduate students. Though I was ecstatic to click on Moodle’s submit button, I didn’t feel indifferent. I was aware that submitting my report meant the end of an important period in my life, that things would never be the same moving forward. I had been anticipating this moment for several weeks, of course, but it never felt as real as when I clicked on the daunting black button. Now everything’s over.
The days following my last submission were, to say the least, bizarre. Not so because I felt anxiety as to what would happen next — I am lucky enough to be employed right after graduation — but because I can hardly express how important my time with you was. As I walked down Berri St. on my way to have lunch with a friend, I became deeply emotional. I shed tears. I felt a mixture of joy and sadness, nostalgia and relief. While it didn’t come as a surprise, for I am highly conscious of my university experience, it was no longer rational. Several reasons explain why I felt this way, some of which I wanted to share with you in this letter. …
Dear La Baie,
Never in my life have I been so far away from you. Yet I feel like I got things to tell you — an overdue talk, I suppose. I am in Nottingham, England, on a university exchange which has been changing my life and character for the best. Yet I think of you and you alone.
First, I should apologize for writing to you in a language other than the one you raised me with. French is a beautiful language, one I will always hold dear, but English is one of these forces I can’t control. However silly this may sound, I feel compelled to write in this language; I do so for reasons beyond my comprehension. I’ve said it and repeated it, more often than not my heart speaks to me in Shakespeare’s tongue. …