Unknown Speaker 0:20
Welcome to another episode of the YouSchool Podcast. I am the host and today the guests Scott Schimmel, president and chief guy the YouSchool. That's my title. And we just celebrated our 10 year anniversary of starting the YouSchool me myself with Sean Parr and Greg Imimoto conjured up this idea, really early, late 2011 2012. And then 2013, is when we launched, I remember, a really important conversation I had with someone, a guy that I looked up to, maybe two or three months before we officially launched, and I was sharing this idea to a group of friends. And said, we want to come along alongside young people, and help them become more self aware, figure out who they are, who they're not, and how to make a series of decisions, that would be good for their lives. And this guy didn't talk to me directly. But he was talking directly at me if you know what I mean. So he was talking to someone else in the room, kind of passively critiquing my idea. And what he said was the fallacy, I remember he used that word, the fallacy of my idea, this idea for YouSchool, was that young people cannot figure themselves out. And it has to require another couple decades- 35,40, 45- you have to go through lots of life, before you really figure out who you are.
Unknown Speaker 1:45
Not the encouraging blessing that I was looking for from mentors in my life. And it gave me pause, really gave me pause easy, right. So I mean, at that point, I think I was, I was like 30-31 years old. I'm like, I feel like I found my thing- a while ago, like a decade ago. But maybe this guy's right. And then what it came back down to was this deep conviction, that that's wrong.
Unknown Speaker 2:11
And really the last 10 years, and the 10 years prior to that my entire professional life is staked on this idea that kids can indeed discover who they are. And that doing it at a young age, when all of the ingredients of who they are, are now becoming awakened.
Unknown Speaker 2:31
And yet at an earliest, the earliest part of their lives before they make a series of choices, not just professionally, but also socially, and what kind of friendships they have, what kind of family they design, what kind of ways in which they interact with media, the news and in their neighborhood, and the worlds, all of that all of that is being formed during the teenage years, there's actually no better time. Do not wait 20 years to do this work. Do it at a young age. In this episode, I want to kind of fly through quickly- What kids need to grow up well.
Unknown Speaker 3:13
If you've tracked with me and tracked with YouSchool at all, you will know that there are a series of questions that we believe every single young person has to answer in their own words, to come up to their own answers to these important questions in life. And there are 30 critical questions I'm trying to figure out. I don't even have a copy of my own book anymore- I gave it away. 30 critical questions, and it's in the book Critical Foundations available on Amazon. 30 critical questions that are normal, everyday common questions that we actually never ask or answer in any given day, if that makes sense. Questions like- What is what does it mean to have a good friendship? How do you resolve conflict with the friend? Questions like- What are you good at? Very simple, but actually, it takes a lot of work to get an answer. What kind of problem you want to solve with your life?
Unknown Speaker 4:06
How do you manage stress and complexity? These are the kinds of questions that we want young people to be able to answer. And the good news is they can and they will if we expect them to.
Unknown Speaker 4:19
And they can if we as the adults in their life, parents, educators, coaches, whoever are modeling and demonstrating what it looks like to think about these things in our life and do it in such a way that it's out loud. So we share stories, we share our thoughts, our thought processes with him and invite them to think them to process and it really works. To find answers to these questions by writing out your thoughts and then talking them out loud, with peers, with people you look up to. That's how life thinking works. So number one, what do kids need? They need to think about life. They need a skill set in life thinking that yields self-awareness and confidence.
Unknown Speaker 5:00
That's, that's not all they need, though. They needed life experiences. My son today this morning went, for the first time on a flight by himself, I dropped him off at the airport. And hopefully my sister and her husband picked him up when he got there. And the last couple days, and especially on the way to the airport, we talked about the step by step, things to do, to check your bags, to get through security, to get on the flights, have your boarding pass, to have your identification, to find baggage claim. All that stuff that you take for granted, if you've never done it before on your own. That sort of like responsibility, paying attention,
Unknown Speaker 5:39
being in charge of your own life. Those are moments and experiences that have a way of growing us up. And helping us figure out who we are what we're made of, helping us figure out how to make decisions on the fly- when you're under stress. They help us figure out what we're good at and not so good at. They help us figure how to navigate in the world we need, kids need to have certain life experiences that our concern, my concern is that we often withhold from them- because we want to protect them.
Unknown Speaker 6:12
Generationally, parenting has shifted. So in such a way that we often withhold our kids from the necessary life experiences, especially the ones that are uncomfortable, maybe a little bit risky, dangerous, or beyond their comfort zone because we don't want them to suffer. We don't want them to get hurt, we don't want them to feel big things. And so we protect them from failure, we protect them from getting their hearts broken, we protect them, and give them a map and we drive them to the interview. And we give them answers to the tests and to the college application essay. This is an overstatement. For sure, I hope. But we need to be thoughtful and intentional to give our kids the experiences that they need to grow up.
Unknown Speaker 6:59
Traveling alone. Learn how to apologize to a friend, learning how to
Unknown Speaker 7:05
have a romantic relationship and see what happens. See what you learn about yourself as you go through it. Get a job and figure out how to show up on time and and take responsibility for things. Get fired. Get in trouble. These kinds of life experiences and I'm making a long list of these I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions about what are the necessary experience as a young person needs to have experiences through someone else's perspective, experiences of being displaced and uncomfortable, experiences in other cultures. Like what, what experiences are the right and best ones, to form a kid to be prepared for life.
Unknown Speaker 7:45
Third, life skills. This is I think, very much so a traditional way of thinking about what kids need today, they need to learn how to shake hands, they need to learn how to write a resume, how to interview. They need to know how to balance their checkbook, which doesn't exist anymore. What are the other ones? They need to be able to cash a check. They need to be able to hail a cab, like those kinds of life skills that you only can gain by doing. And it really helps if someone shows you, how teaches you how, models it for you. Life skills like handling money, your first paycheck, learning what to do with your time. L earning how to navigate with media and your phone like these are time management. These are skills that every young person needs. And they don't get them through school all of them through school. They don't. Some of them they get through family. Do they know how to do laundry? Do they know how to cook? Do they know how to ask somebody out on a date? They know how to resolve conflict with a friend. These are skills that every kid needs. And the final one, we call it I call it Life Support- the relationships. Who are the relationships that a young person needs in order to make the transition to life well? Who are the peers, the mentors, the support, the people that have access to network, people that can be encouragers, mentors, people that can model for them, people that can open up doors for them? It's a mixture of life thinking, life experiences, life skills, and life support that become the ingredients that every kid needs. And in the current system, the current system of education, the current system that attends college applications, the current system of applying for jobs, the current way we do things.
Unknown Speaker 9:36
This stuff is not happening, which is why YouSchool exists. So what we're trying to do in so many ways is redefine what successful transition to adulthood looks like and means. And it's not about doing well in school, per se. It's not about getting into the college. It's not about getting the degree or even getting the job. It's not about being successful from a career standpoint, because people have
Unknown Speaker 10:00
that, you might have that and realize that's not enough. You can have everything in the world but not have relationships and it doesn't matter. You can, you could have all the relationships in the world, but you can't pay your bills, it doesn't matter. So thinking holistically about what success looks like, and I would encourage you when it comes to leading a meaningful life, how would you define that? What what do you hope when you think about your students or your kids, or your players? What are they like in five years, in 10 years, 20 years? What does it look like if they were truly living lives that mattered lives that were meaningful, deeply satisfying? What would what would they say? How would they act? What would they not do? What would they do? And that exercise can help you to find what your version of that is. And most importantly, that we'd be the ones, the people who model this for our kids. So this is a short episode, I would love to hear from you, especially on those life experiences and life skills. What do you think kids need to grow up well?
Unknown Speaker 11:04
Hey, thanks for joining in on the YouSchool podcast, we'd love to share with you the resources available on our website at theyouschool.com Not just articles, ebooks, worksheets and other podcast episodes, but specifically you should know about a free course we have available called The Real Me course. It's digital, it's interactive, and it'll guide you to get clear about who you are in the great story you can tell with your life. So go register for free account and get started on The Real Me course today at theyouschool.com. That's the you school dot com.