College students have arrived on campus, and are just settling in. Classes are about to start. They have received their syllabus and have a sense of the academic demands ahead.
At this early point in the semester, one conversation point remains constant - the experience of a class, lecture, or professor they are less than enthusiastic about, especially facing the next 16 weeks.
Thoughts like, “This class is not what I expected," “This course has no relevance for my life or career,” “The professor is horrible,” “Dude, I’m totally dropping this course,” or “This is impossible” can create a negative perspective and lead students to sabotage themselves from maximizing their potential.
Consider the parallel: If we have a bad coach or undesirable boss, over time it becomes a personal challenge to maintain a positive perspective and perform our best and work hard for them. The alternative is to feel uninspired, frustrated, and resentful....which never leads to good outcomes.
Now the big question: Given any of these circumstances, how do you stay inspired, motivated and perform your best for the next 16 weeks?
1. Go beyond the course! If you find the readings boring and uninspiring, be proactive and read material outside of the syllabus. (Yes, you are allowed to do this, and may discover some cool stuff!)
2. Commit to attending class and participating in every discussion! This is valuable in demonstrating a proactive approach and a positive impression from your professor (especially if you follow the first suggestion and read outside the class).
3. Recognize the long term benefits of this challenge on your personal character! Consider the potential benefits of staying in the class, making it work, and maximizing your effort. Personal development, perseverance, resiliency, leadership, and opportunities to connect with new students are experiences that will resonate long after you graduate.
If you find yourself struggling and losing focus during the semester, Dr. Joel offers virtual appointments you can easily schedule online, when you need them, convenient to your calendar. Simply click here to sign up.