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After the Cavs did the improbable and made it to the finals, I was watching the post-game analysis with my wife and she asked me if I read what was on LeBron’s hat. I looked again. It said, “There is no magic pill.”

It was interesting because at church earlier that day our guest preacher, Rev. Torin Sanders, used LeBron as an analogy about sometimes you have to be by yourself to focus on your dream. His text was Genesis 37 where Joseph’s brothers ploy to kill him, calling him a dreamer. Joseph’s brothers didn’t even call him by his name at that point; they had disdain for him.

He mentioned after a loss in the series LeBron, for an hour and a half after the game with no shirt, practiced — alone.

There is no magic pill.

Many recent college graduates all across America, after this honeymoon from commencement to Memorial Day, are waking up to the real world. I used to hate when people said college wasn’t the real world, but now I’ve changed my mind. Too often students in college only worry about what I call the Disney theme park aspects of college- the quality of the food, the adequacy of parking, the abundance of security, the star-power of the concerts — and how can I get the best of all of these for the lowest price possible.

Too many students don’t spend enough quiet time alone, focused on doing all of the things needed to ensure that they can start off their careers sprinting. I was reminded of how important this is recently with an article which contains a wake-up call:

Bachelor’s degree graduates whose first job does not require a bachelor’s degree (which is how the study defines the underemployed) are significantly likelier than those whose first job did require such a degree to still be underemployed five years later.

There is no magic pill.

Read. For class. For interest. Do your assignments. Study. Do research with faculty. Complete internships. Build and keep current a LinkedIn profile. Develop your speaking and communications skills. Follow people on social media who are doing what you want and fewer people who offer little substance. Learn how to network. Go to cultural events by yourself. Go to lectures on topics you know nothing about to broaden your horizons.

Do the work. Don’t expect a great career to land in your lap if you have not done the work. Some folks are realizing that right now. I wish they had learned this lesson before…

… there is no magic pill.

The Prez

Written by

7th president of Dillard University

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