What To Expect When You're Expecting

Written by Scott Schimmel

I remember the night when my wife and I found out that she was pregnant with our first baby—we hustled as fast as we could to get to the bookstore. Our first purchase? The classic, What to Expect When You’re Expecting. I had read it cover to cover by noon the next day. We were nervous, but learning as much as we could about what to expect was comforting and calming. 

When most of us are anxious, confused, and overwhelmed by the future it’s human nature to acquire as much information as possible, as quickly as we can. We call friends who’ve experienced similar situations. We google the situation. We read informative articles and blogs. We ponder, worry and wonder. Clarity is the best antidote to uncertainty.


It’s important, isn’t it? How we choose to live, where we choose to go, and what professional paths and careers we explore. 

YouSchool works with hundreds of high school and college students, and it’s surprising how few young people have any sense of clarity about who they are and where they’re headed in life. Walk into any class of graduating students, and over 90% of them will tell you they have no specific plan for their futures. Students don’t know themselves. They have low emotional intelligence. Most don’t have a clear plan for where they’re going – and those who do, most often have a poor understanding of how to get there. This is why we started YouSchool.

As we continue to address and help young people unlock their true potential, the most common question we are asked by parents is, “What will my child get out of YouSchool?” Here’s our answer:


Our common sense, self-discovery process will help your students understand themselves from a relevant perspective. By looking backwards in their lives they’ll discover where they came from, the circumstances and people who have shaped them the most, and how they came to be the people they are today. By looking inwards they will understand their own unique complexity that comes from having personalized and clarified values, principles, hopes, fears and dreams. 


After gaining a uniquely clear perspective of their real, true selves, looking forward to the future becomes easier. Through YouSchool young people learn how to find the best course for major decisions like which college to attend, what major to declare, evaluating what types of friends and mentors bring out the best (and worst) in themselves, and articulating the dream of their real selves living their best possible lives.  


Learning how to understand themselves, and more importantly, how to talk about themselves, makes it exponentially easier for young people to navigate through the complex decisions in life. Through YouSchool students learn how to explore their best options, how to access a relational network of good advisors and how to set goals and make a plan to achieve them. 


One of the most palpable problems we hear from parents is centered around who owns the responsibility of their students’ lives. Most parents admit they’re responsible for driving their children’s efforts—like doing homework, taking SAT prep courses, selecting which classes to take over the summer and when to apply for colleges. Through YouSchool, the primary message we teach young people is that responsibility for life is personal, it’s up to the individual to carve their own unique and successful path.

Parents expect their children to grow up, become self-sufficient and succeed. They expect their children to make mistakes and learn from them as they grow. The anxiety and uncertainty parents feel is around whether or not their children will thrive in their transition to adulthood. Will they be successful? Will they be happy? Will they embody the values and principles their parents have tried to instill in them? Will they mature into who they’re supposed to be?

YouSchool is a guided program to accelerate learning, bring clarity and be the calming compass that helps navigate young people’s transition into successful adulthood. In the midst of uncertainty, anxiety, and perhaps a little freaking out, we come alongside parents and their children to help launch them into the next phase of life with all of the tools they need to be successful.