I AM somebody!
What Do You Mean You Don't Have Your AVN?
Struggling in a class, but you never needed help before? Get over yourself and get the help that you need. You will be better for it. Nervous about going to your professors' office hours or speaking to a professional in a career that you want to pursue? Acknowledge your sweaty, nervousness and do it anyway. Do not be your own detractor, there are enough applicants for that position. Press on. Just press on.
Check out this article in USA Today:
50 questions to ask if you’re disappointed with your fall grades.
By Billie Streufert December 31, 2015 6:30 pm
Fall grades got you down? Stay calm and persist on. You were admitted to college because your institution believes in you. All students encounter difficulty at some point. Faculty and staff are eager to support you. Consider the first set of questions below to affirm your strengths and assess your values.
- What are three things that you enjoyed or succeed at this semester?
- Where did you take initiative and practice successful habits?
- Who provided encouragement and can continue to help you stay positive?
- What is important to you and motivating you to pursue a degree?
- Are your choices aligned with or different than what you say you want?
- How do you feel when you submit your best work or earn good grades?
Now that you have celebrated these things, take time to identify the choices you made and the action you can take to perform even better in the future.
- If you had a magic wand, what would you change about last semester?
- What would happen if you challenged yourself to become the best you could be? What would you need to do differently?
- Did you take on too many other commitments, such as work or co-curricular activities?
- Were you struggling to cope with interpersonal issues, such as financial problems, family pressures, a break-up, roommate conflict or homesickness?
- Was your credit load too high or unbalanced?
- Did health or medical problems prevent you from focusing?
- Did alcohol or substance use impact your grades?
- Did you spend too much time playing video games, watching NetFlix, napping or socializing with friends?
- Consider the course(s) you wish you had gone differently. Did you attend class regularly?
- Did you have sufficient prior knowledge of the course material?
- Did you complete course work and assignments on time?
- Did you struggle with procrastination or give yourself adequate time for assignments?
- Did you meet with tutors or professors when you had questions?
- Did you review information that you already learned at the beginning of study sessions to warm up?
- Did you test yourself (e.g., flashcards, practice tests, etc.) to assess your understanding during study sessions?
- Did you put information into your own words to check your comprehension?
- Were you engaging in ongoing review or cramming your learning into marathon study sessions?
- Did a disability create barriers and prevent you from assessing your learning?
- Did your interest decrease because you struggled to see the relevancy of the course to your major or career?
- Did you meet with librarians or tutors for assistance with major papers?
- Did the format of the course (e.g., online, accelerated schedule, etc.) create challenges for you?
Next, brainstorm your future strategies and goals in consultation with academic advisors or learning specialists. Ask yourself and these consultants the following questions:
- What grade does the institution and/or your academic program consider passing?
- What grades will you need to secure future employment or admittance into graduate programs?
- Does your current GPA and completed credits satisfy athletic eligibility requirements?
- Do your scholarships require you to maintain a certain GPA or course completion rate?
- If you need to hit a certain GPA to satisfy eligibility requirements, what are your academic goals for the coming semester?
- What are the pros and cons of repeating the course you are disappointed with?
- What academic goals do you need to achieve to graduate on time?
- If you struggled in several courses, does your institution offer academic amnesty and would your extenuating circumstances support this request?
- What is the process for obtaining any necessary disability accommodations?
- What resources exist to help you select a major or career if you lack motivation?
- How can you schedule an appointment with a counselor if you have personal concerns?
- What roadblocks or distractions might you encounter and how can you avoid them?
- Do you believe that learning requires time, effort and effective learning strategies?
- How can you get organized and manage your time?
- How can you create graphic organizers (e.g., Venn diagrams, tables, timelines, etc.) to depict the relationships between concepts?
- What online resources do the publishers of your textbooks provide to help you learn?
- How can you effectively take notes and retain information you read?
- When is tutoring or study groups available?
- How can you apply the information you are learning to make it meaningful, useful and relevant?
- How can you use mnemonic devices and imagery to help you remember?
- How can you best manage any test anxiety or stress?
- What else can you do to pursue academic excellence?
- How can you keep your advisor updated on your progress?
If you feel discouraged, reframe this as a valuable opportunity. Whether you aspire to be a nurse, teacher or counselor, you will have more empathy with your clientele who are also facing difficulty because you coped with setbacks yourself. Plus, you are exerting grit and refining your study strategies, which enhances your ability to be a life-long learner. Stay optimistic and persistent. Another semester and a clean slate is ahead of you!
Billie Streufert serves at Augustana University, S.D., as the director of the Student Success Center. With more than 10 years of experience in career and academic advising, she is eager to help students discover and achieve their goals.
Bringing in the new with my family. Just Sharing!
There is something special about numbers. Any day - really, any moment is a perfect time to refresh, revitalize, reflect, reassess, and redirect. But there is something about that number 1. It is a number that sometimes causes anxiety because we strive to be whatever we think it is or someone is pressuring us to do whatever it takes to be whatever they think it is.
Sometimes “1” is a wake-up call and a relief because, though we may have failed the first time we tried at some task, we know that we can try again and again. There is a “2” available to us.
Track and field sprinter and Olympic gold medalist, Wilma Rudolph says this:
“Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday.”
In the case of January 1, the whole world has given it a special place to commemorate new beginnings. Why fight it? As I said before, anytime is a perfect time to look back, learn, and press ahead. When I think of the new year, I think of the person I am, have been and want to be. This guides my every action. The songs attached to this post truly reflect how I aim to live every day. Any solution or resolution in my life works to make me better fit to be this person. What about you? Who do you aim to be? Do you know why you cling to your goals (if you are clinging)? Are you doing everything you can with what you have to reach your objectives?
Aside from the world celebrating January 1 because it is the beginning of a new year, this date is special to me because it is the anniversary of Haitian Independence from French Colonization in 1804. Most Haitian families, regardless of where they are on this earth, eat Soup Joumou (Pumpkin Soup) to honor this independence day. It is yummy and my family came from NYC with a cauldron of it! The last song, Ti Moune Yo (The Children), sung in Haitian Creole, is begging us to make this world a better place for our current and future children. You may not understand the words, but maybe you can swing to the beat while knowing that the message is powerful.
I wish you much growth and joy in this new year. RM
Keep these concepts in mind: You've failed many times, although you don't remember. You fell down the first time you tried to walk. You almost drowned the first time you tried to swim. ....
Don't worry about failure. My suggestion to each of you: Worry about the chances you miss when you don't even try."
- Sherman Finesilver, Chief Judge, US District Court
Barry is a current staff member and former client of The Fortune Society. The Fortune Society’s mission is to “create a world where all who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated can become positive, contributing members of society.”
Welcome! My name is Rachel Moody. I post weekly announcements and messages to motivate and inspire my UAlbany advisees, and any one else who visits. Comments are welcome! While you are here, have a virtual cup of tea!
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