By Monique Rinere, Ph.D.
The other day I was in a clothing store and started talking to the young saleswoman named Rebecca who was helping me with some purchases. It turned out that she was a college student studying international relations, so, of course, I asked her about her college advising experience. She said it was horrible. That's the usual response, so I probed a bit. She said that, yes, she had an adviser, and yes, she knew about all of the sources of information, but she didn't want to "tell her story" to one source of advice after another. She had told it once and felt that that was enough. She viewed college advising as a one-stop shopping experience. And she wanted that one adviser to tell her how to finish college fully prepared for a career in her chosen field. She was looking for a clear formula – just as she felt she had had in high school – to get her to the next step in her life. And she wanted to get all of her advising from one person. I gently suggested that she might want to get used to "telling her story" because we do it all our lives, and it can be both productive and fun. Every time we tell it there is something new to add and we can change not only the perception others have of us, but our self-perception a little bit each time. “Telling your story,” I said, “is an opportunity for creating your story, a moment of growth and change.”