The Gift of Early Self-Discovery


Written by Scott Schimmel

There’s a theory that adults, especially parents, like to tell high school students, and it goes a little something like this: “You don’t need to know what you’re going to do for the rest of your life, just go to a great college, try taking a bunch of different classes, and then you can narrow it down.” It sounds very similar to the theory that those same parents tell the same kids a few years later: “You don’t need to know what you’re going to do for the rest of your life, just get a good job out of college, try a few things, and then  you can narrow it down.” 

What’s wrong with these theories? I’ll tell you:

1.    College is a very, very expensive place to experiment with your likes and dislikes.

2.    How you invest your time is very significant–wasting time on irrelevant college majors, jobs and career paths that don’t suit you are tragic wastes of time. And days turn into weeks, which turn into months, which turn into years, which turn into mid-life crises.

3.    There is a way to get to know who you are, what makes you tick, what you’re good at and passionate about, at a young age.

At YouSchool we’ve spent the better part of the past three years hacking into the transition between high school to college, and college to career—and dissecting the broken theories behind our outdated systems. Coming together in 2012, our team was fed up with seeing young people go to college with no clear sense of who they were, where they were headed or how to get there. We’ve seen hundreds of college students graduate with no plans, no confidence, and very little tools to succeed through the stressful transition. We’ve worked alongside executives decades down the road who found a way to be successful in their careers, but readily admit they have very little passion in their professional roles and personal lives, and are mired by disillusion.

The transition of high school to college, and college to career is a broken system. It doesn’t make sense for students to go to a four-year college without an informed sense of who they are, why they’re going, and what they’re going to do while there. It doesn’t make sense to use college rankings, geography, or parental recommendations to choose a campus and a major if there’s no clarity on what resonates with the very core of who the student is.   

It doesn’t make sense to assume that going to college will result in rapid self-discovery, clarity of values and principles, conviction about a personalized career path and development of young people into responsible adults. And it certainly doesn’t make sense to invest tens of thousands of dollars on an education experience that has less and less of a chance to set-up young people for a successful and fulfilling life.

So what other option is there for your student?

Send them to YouSchool.

      We have a customized 1-1 program for high school and college students to walk through a deep process of rapid self-discovery, guided through a 360 degree view of their personal lives, and conversations with a team of trusted advisors, facilitated by an expert YouSchool Guide.

      We have a series of relevant workshops on topics that matter for students, designed to give them the space and time they need for thoughtful self-reflection and directed coaching.

      We have a group-based program, using the same, smart curriculum, where a set of peers goes through the guided self-reflection process together. Classes can be organized and promoted by parents, or integrated into school programs.

      We have an online, video-based self-study program, for students to go through a thoughtful process on their own schedules, and develop the self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-direction they need to make their dreams a reality.


We help students discover who they are, develop a plan, and learn a new way to approach life. We are ready to help your student make tremendous use of the important time they have to make more informed decisions that resonate with who they are and who they want to become.

There’s always time to figure out yourself. But doesn’t it make more sense to figure out yourself early in life?