We touched base with our program graduates from the first semester of 2018 to find out how they feel they are doing.
We wanted to know about their current main goal or goals, and how successful they feel at accomplishing those. For us, success is defined by people’s ability to integrate life lessons, so they are increasingly more effective at problem-solving and meeting their goals. This is why we don’t define success by their grades in college (or even if they are in college at all) or how low their score is on a measure of depression. Those are all important, but we can see better how they are practicing integrative learning when they are improving their capacity to reach their own goals.
The above numbers are in response to the question: to what degree do you feel you were accomplishing your goals before coming to The Bridge, and how do you feel about that now, after The Bridge. Their averages show, as you can see, a perceived 53% improvement in their ability to accomplish their goals.
Since it is their goals that we are talking about, and not an external measure of success, it makes sense to wonder if these are goals that seem overall positive.
Perhaps you’re eager to hear a bit more about these wonderful people? Here are few quotes that stood out to me from speaking with them:
“I was relying on other people to do the learning for me. Unless I was pushed, I would just sit there, stuck; I wasn’t applying myself. It’s drastically different now, worlds apart.”
“Before The Bridge, a lot of the time I’d sit in a ditch when things got hard, because it was comfortable. Now I see that as a waste, I don’t feel comfortable, and soon as I become aware I’m headed toward the ditch, I bounce back. I’d get this fear that I wouldn’t accomplish anything and then get in that cycle, but now I use the fear to motivate me.”
“Work ethic has definitely improved! Also, general life’s knowledge; understanding how life works. I deal with parts of life that I don’t like. I’m better at taking life as it is.”
“I’ve been sober for 19 months, and don’t see myself doing that anytime soon. Things may not go well sometimes but they would not be solved by doing drugs.”
(when things get difficult) “It helps me to do tangible things: doing homework, ride my bike, work out, meditation, yoga. I’ve gotten better at just getting up and doing something. The Bridge taught me that. It might not make you feel good right away, but at least you can say you tried to do something about it.”
What stands out to me from these comments is that life hasn’t necessarily become easier, but that they feel better equipped to deal with it. Through their experience at The Bridge, these young men learned their own unique way of problem-solving and that has drastically impacted their life positively.
What stands out too you?