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How I Might Achieve Greater Success In Higher Education, Next Academic Year
Most, if not all, students develop their aspirations at secondary and pre-secondary levels of education. These aspirations relate to what shape the students wish their life to look like. At the secondary level, the aspirations become more real and at this point the student aims higher for the higher education. At the college and university level, every student knows that success is of critical importance in attaining the postsecondary aspirations developed at this level and the previous levels. Educational success at the higher education level stands as one of the greatest achievements that any student wishes to achieve. Acquisition of marketable skills is not something that is achieved on an instantaneous basis yet it is one big part of the success that defines the larger success. Having the plans for success written can be very instrumental in ensuring that the set goals are achieved. The motivation for writing this personal reflection is anchored on a careful search for information that touches on student success in terms of bringing together individual’s cultural, technical and intellectual resources to ensure that at the end of the course the skills acquired stand to the test of competitive forces in the job market.
After thorough deliberation and personal meditation about the subject, this author consulted many other external sources in order to come up with a conclusive roadmap to success in the next academic year. Out of all the external sources consulted, one thing was common denominator for the recommendations and observations made by various authors. To map for success, one must understand current strengths and weaknesses and be able to come up with ways of strengthening the strong areas further while brushing the areas of weaknesses. As a student, the foremost thought of success brings with it the thought of academic success or to be more plain, success in studies. While there are many challenges expected on the way, the following is a reflection of how the author of this piece intends to overcome challenges and make the next academic year a success.
Most counsellors and psychologists agree that a step to increasing chances of success includes creating many friendships and making lecturers one’s best friends. The author has organized the entire plan in terms of sections to cover all the areas that encompass success. These areas that mark student success include the social aspect, the academic aspect, extracurricular aspect and skill development among other salient issues. In addition, those who have passed through college life agree that college and real life may not be the distinct worlds they may often seem to look like especially for those who are still students. Therefore, with the appropriate skills, knowledge, and attitudes one can effectively deal with college work and cope successfully with issues they are likely to encounter for the rest of their adult life. These issues, which any student is likely to encounter later or sooner in life include learning in the most useful and competent way, properly comprehending the social scene, delineating personal goals and working to effectively accomplish them, inventive adoption to the dynamic world and developing a balanced approach to social life.
Plan for success in the social scene
This academic year has had it fair share of challenges, which may not have very favorable for many students to deeply get involved in clubs and traditional events. This most probably came as a result of the fact that most students were caught by surprise and for those who had only had their first taste of the college events; there had been no prior planning. Foss (2013) supports this observation by arguing that college experiences are not similar to the compulsory nature that characterizes the high school experiences and therefore when students first join college they may not be able to cope with that sudden change in expectations. Another article in the Time Magazine also supported this view arguing that most college students shed off their preconceptions acquired at the high school level only when they are headed to the second year study (Murphy 2013). Murphy (2013) adds that aiming for grades alone is irrelevant as grades alone are less important if the student does not develop passion for curiosity and fascination with all things of interest. Whatever these authors are touching on is planning to succeed in the social scene by developing curiosity that is able to propel individual student to further develop a fascination with everything of interest that comes by during the college events. These events not only help one in developing mechanisms of self-expression but also help a student to be an all-rounded individual. Still in line with the social scene, Murphy (2013) advises that it is important for students to establish many friends at college. The author feels this is a good and relevant point because the sheer number of students at college can be quite intimidating hence students must also plan to develop many friendships that will not just be important when later reminiscing about college life and experience but also helps in creating shared memories. Developing friendships is also instrumental in helping students measure how they can get along as part of a larger team or how they are good at establishing relationships that are lasting and sustainable.
It is without any doubt that the main agenda for being at school, specifically in college, is to attain academic accolade that commensurate with one’s aspirations. A student that wishes to have this academic success must plan to succeed since it cannot come by accident. A student’s success in academic endeavor starts with development of an achievable goal. For next year’s academic plan for success, what Murphy (2013) admonitions can provide immense guidance for any student. Murphy advises that students do not necessarily need to have same academic goals. Rather, since different students have different capabilities, it is important to realize that being realistic when setting the academic goal is essential in ensuring that there is a balance between the academic goals and other goals. This approach is also important in putting the right psychological pressure on a student and prevents any psychological breakdowns due to unrealistic goals. Murphy (2013) further advises that the goals set for academic success must match available resources that are at the disposal of the student. In this case, resources such as reading materials are not a big problem since there is the college library and the community library, where many students are members.
The coming academic year will be driven by proper time planning. The Center for ADHD Awareness Canada (2012) advises students to get up early enough and get started early enough observing that waking up and getting out of the door too late can impede proper achievement of a day’s goals and when these failures over a period of time such as a semester, the student will be behind on a greater scale. The Center for ADHD Canada further advises that students should start each day on time to make sure they do not fall behind their personal schedules. For this reason aiming to succeed on this matter entails knowing how long each morning task will take to be accomplished and this include tasks like conducting personal hygiene, getting dressed, taking breakfast and time that would be needed to maneuver from one point to another. Besides having a record of how the day’s activities will consume the allotted time, a set of two alarms will be a significant tool in making sure that when one alarm goes off, there is no going back to slumber. For this reason, one alarm will be close to the bed while the other will be situated across and the two alarms will be set to go off in sequence. Since keeping time log automatically is always a challenge for many people unless there is some experience that enhances good estimation, there will be runs that will basically work as a way of increasing ability to properly estimate time use, which together with contingency time allocated will be compared to the actual time register.
Developing an inclination to a particular study mode is a good way to go. As Bain details, there are three categories of learners. The first category comprises those Bain calls surface learners, who do as little as doable to get by. Then there are the strategic types, who aim for top grades as opposed to aiming for true understanding. Lastly, there are the deep learners, who come out of college with a real, resonant and productive education.
There is a common pattern in the success stories of various figures and putting these patterns together it is easier to learn from them and increase the chances of success. One of the approaches to success that many successful people used in the past in this present age is the pursuance of passion as opposed to hunting for high grades. This strategy, as Murphy (2013) observes, helps individuals in boosting their ambition and innovation and ultimately become more valuable than just hunting for A’s. Then we have individuals who succeeded as students because they developed comfort with failure. The comedian Stephen Colbert provides a good example of such individuals who succeeded because they got comfort with failure and therefore devised a way out of it. Colbert began working with an improvisational theater and he once quipped that improvisation was one sure way of getting comfortable with failure because there is no way one can get it right. By not getting it right every time a student gets used to trying until the right thing comes out.
Besides developing the habit of trying over and over for the right thing and getting comfortable with failure, personally connecting to studies will be the launch pad of the greater interest to succeed using personal experiences as a way to catapult interest in asking more questions and develop want to pursue particular concepts of interest. Eliza Noh, professor of Asian-American studies at California State University at Fullerton, encourages students to connect to their own experiences as a way of getting more from what they study at college and goes ahead to relate to her own experience when she was taking a class on power in society: who has it, how it’s used (Murphy 2013). She states “I realized that learning could be about me and my interests, about who I was. I didn’t just listen to lectures, but began to use my own experiences as a jumping-off point for asking questions and wanting to pursue certain concepts” (Murphy 2013:4).
Reading and thinking actively will form a major part of next year’s academic plan. Dean Baker, one of the few economists to forecast the economic downturn of 2008, became enthralled in college by the way economic forces mold people’s lives (Murphy 2013). His studies led him to reflect on “what he believed and why, integrating and questioning,” Murphy quotes. Baker always looked for arguments in anything he read, and then tried to pinpoint the evidence to establish how it was us.............
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