When you reflect on your life at 25, you understand that your personal chronology largely breaks down into two distinct periods: “with direction” (WD) and “without direction” (WOD).
In your WD era, people of all ranks and relationships tell you what, when, and how to do everything. Studying, competing, producing, building, enjoying … you name it, chances are you spent WD operating out of someone else’s playbook.
In your post-WD life, the opposite is true. No one is available by design to guide you towards the right career, or apartment, or group of friends, or professional certification, or location, or anything.
One way to navigate the transition between WD and WOD is to go to college. It’s your time to test-drive the things you alone want to study, compete for, and enjoy, perhaps for the very first time in your life. It’s a risk-free period where you can try something new and either stick with it or move on to the next experiment with very little consequence.
We recently kicked off our hockey season with a message to our new players: “The clock on your college experience is already ticking. Time to plug in and leave your mark.” As coaches, we look forward to assisting them in this effort, to facilitating exploration rather than replacing direction. If we can help make the transition from WD to WOD easier, we will have succeeded in one of our most important responsibilities.