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You heard from UNL first, folks.
Actually, you may have heard it from your parents. Your school counselor. Countless others. Now you can add “studies show” to the claim that dreaming big is a the first step to achieving big.
A recent UNL study showed that students who dream big and start plans toward their dreams during their high school years tend to reach higher levels of educational attainment. From the news release:
"Adolescents’ expectations about their occupational and educational attainment as adults predict their eventual educational attainment, and these expectations seem to shape and be shaped by extracurricular activities — which, in turn, contribute to young adult educational attainment," said Sarah Beal, a UNL graduate student in psychology and the study’s lead author. "It may be the case that adolescents learn about their abilities and preferences through the extracurricular activities they engage in, resulting in changes to their expectations for the future."
So get busy dreaming. It’s the first step to doing. In the words of Daniel Burnham, a leader in developing master plans for a number of cities, including Chicago and downtown Washington DC:
“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will themselves not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die.”
Go Big Red.
Why do students choose #UNL?
Value. Major. Scholarships. Activities. Clubs. Sports. Campus. City. The variables go on and on when considering the University of Nebraska-Lincoln or any other college. Because the choice of college is such a major life decision, it comes down to fit. Some variables will weigh heavier than others, but overall, your choice should feel right.
I think when Harvey Perlman, Tom Osborne and university leaders made the decision to join the Big Ten Conference ten days ago, fit weighed heavily on their minds.
Along with fit, their decision revealed at least two guiding principles we (and especially students selecting a college) can use when making such a big decision.
Get the right fit.
It’s not about going to the highest-ranked school. It’s about going to the school that will give you the best opportunity to grow.
UNL is just days into its Big Ten membership but already thousands of words have been written by university administrators and pundits alike describing the great fit of the university in the conference. (Here, here, here and here, for example.)
Take the long view.
The Big 12 Conference was asking for a six-year commitment. In the history of a university, six years is short-term. Nebraska was looking for more. You should too.
Yes, the first year of college is important and memorable. Try to look further down the road. What will the school’s experience offer after three years on campus? How about three years after graduation? Ten years?
College is about investing in yourself - creating more options for a lifetime. Take the long view for any decision you’ll be living with for a long time.
Talk to people you trust.
Perlman and Osborne asked the tough questions at the Big 12 Conference meetings. They also talked with key players back in Lincoln - people whose lives would be affected by their decision.
It’s easy to focus on how a decision like choosing a college will affect you. It may be more difficult to consider how the decision will affect the lives of those you love the most.
Those people want the best for you. Whatever you decide, getting their input should give you valuable perspective.
Get the right fit. Take the long view. Talk to people you trust. Oh, and take a look at UNL. It may not be the right fit for every student but I do think UNL is a great fit for students who want a major college experience that comes at a great value.
Go Big Red.
University research is essential to discovery. Discovery is what helps us better understand our world.
Anytime evolution is part of research, it’s bound to get attention.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln stream ecologist Steven Thomas is working collaboratively on a project that "is providing empirical data on how a species and its environment change in tandem." Popular notions that evolution operates too slowly to produce ecological consequences over observable time scales, such as less than 10 years, are not always correct, he said.
Congrats on your groundbreaking work, Dr. Thomas. Go Big Red.