Yesterday, we attended my son David’s college graduation . David graduated from Kettering University (formerly GMI ), one of the top engineering schools in the country. As the family sat waiting for the commencement ceremonies to begin, I remembered how my son ended up attending Kettering.

David, my wife Mary Ann and I attended an all day orientation about this time of year his senior year of high school. Many session were held telling us all about Kettering University. The only consistent message was that they would tough on the student, they would expect a bunch and they promised to kick your butt. We all heard this over and over again.

We also found out that one of the unique attributes of the school was that students went to classes for 11 weeks and than worked on an on the job paid internship for the next 11 weeks and then alternated these two for 4 1/2 to 5 years.

We also learned that school started July 10th right smack in the middle of the summer.

When I heard the message of butt kicking and the need to give up the summer fun right after high school, I expected my son to RUN off campus. Instead of running, my 17 year son announced this was the school for him. I knew Dad at age 17 would have ran (sorry guys) because I was too wrap up on the next sports season, next Friday’s date, or what big name band was coming to town.

Now I know that Kettering had a hockey program and that was one of the things that attracted him to Kettering but Dad wanted more reasons as to why this was the school for him. I asked for just two good reasons. And….. I got them.

Reason one went like this . Dad, When looking into engineering schools I found out Kettering graduates make on average 17 % more money that graduates form other engineering schools (hmmm, have to admit not a bad reason).

Reason two _ I like the co-op internship program every 11 weeks. I’ll have real world work experience so I can make sure I don’t devoted 4 1/2 years of my life only to find out engineering isn’t for me. ( he had me on that one too !)

Soooo—here is the question. Would you have given up a fun summer vacation, go to learn somewhere when they promise to kick your butt to help you build a solid foundation and invest in your future ?? Or would you take the easy way out ??

We all are faced with these tough decisions day in day out. The choices we make are what helps us or hurts us as we chase our dreams.

Take time this week to see what decisions you are making and discover the changes you need to make to excel you on your path of excellence.

We are very proud of David. Mom and I hope we did a few things right to help him on his journey !

Doug Evans

PS Before I hear all about it. I’m very proud of my other 3 children BUT I didn’t write about their graduation because — I didn’t have a blog back then !!!