words to live by…

The “Make College Matter” Manifesto
My Declaration to Present and Future College Students
by Bill Johnson, The Dream Dean

Let go of the past – use it as a life lesson.

Seek to find what motivates, drives, and inspires you.

Discover your purpose in life – find your “why.”

Identify your most heartfelt dreams and pursue them with passion.

Create a vision for what YOU want the future to look like.

Take at least 5 minutes each day…to do nothing.

Associate with people who will support you, encourage you, and kick you in the butt every once in a while.

Define what success means to YOU.

Lose the fear…and embrace failure.

Ask for help when needed; you don’t have to do this alone.

Get out of your comfort zone – it’s the only way you’ll grow.

Find a way to be better – a little bit every day.

Radiate kindness – smile and be nice to people.

Find ways to serve others and make this world a better place.

Be authentic in everything you say and do.


It’s your future…Make College Matter!

22 thoughts on “words to live by…

  1. I love this, Bill! I think it would be inspiring to state at orientation and perhaps have students discuss what will be their manifesto……to start and finish strong.

    • Hey Marianne! Great to hear from you! Actually, my plan is to have students review it at the beginning of the semester, then, over the course of the semester, create their own manifesto (along with their life motto and meaningful work statement) as part of a personal charter! Great minds think alike! Hope all is well; look forward to seeing you at the On Course Conference in April!

  2. Relationships matter. Connect fully with the ‘real’ people around you – other students, faculty, and offices that are there to help you – and less with social media.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Lucy. My oldest daughter is thinking about college right now – and I hope that she can find some usefulness in these words! Hope all is well with you; look forward to connecting soon! And good luck on the college visits!

  3. This is a great idea and can relate to faculty as well as students. It is very inspirational and can be added to a checklist of “Things to Do and Remember”

    • Hello Sylvia! Thanks for taking the time to share! I had several suggestions to share this with incoming students – which was its original intent. As I was reading it this morning, I realized that it could apply to anyone in life, don’t you think?

  4. Follow your passion, the money will come!

    When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us. –
    Helen Keller

  5. I love it and the suggested additions from the comments. It, as well as all of On Course’s stuff, applies to every person and every aspect of life. Right on!

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