(#231) Rookie Mistakes and Life Lessons

The takeaway for me is not that we made errors
but we have taken time to reflect and grow.

We just passed the halfway point of our semester.  It is a natural reflection point to examine where we have been and where we would like to go.  In my student life skills classes this week, I asked my students to consider advice they would give to first semester college students.

In short, I prodded them to pass along lessons they have learned.  Or more poignantly, what do they wish they knew then (when they started college) that they know now? What “rookie mistakes” would they avoid?

Image: tiverylucky/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: tiverylucky/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Not surprisingly, their advice goes beyond the classroom. Here is a shortlist of their suggestions. Beneath each is my takeaway.

  • Understand and practice priority management.
    • This was probably the most repeated lesson.
  • Stay committed. Don’t quit like a child with a new toy.
    • Persistence! 
  • Know your campus. Know your resources.
    • Reach out for assistance. No need to go it alone.
  • Stay organized even when the professors are not organized.
    • You cannot control what others do, but you can control what you do.
  • Focus! Know why you are here [in college].
    • Know your purpose.
  • Sometimes we need to travel one road in order to find the right road.
    • Be open to the possibilities that present themselves.
  • Proofread your work.
    • Don’t be sloppy or in a hurry. Your work reflects you.
  • Don’t fall behind. Have a plan of attack and follow it.
    • Goal setting needs action.

Their collective wisdom above falls into a few categories:

  • Purpose.  Know what you do and why you do what you do.
  • Discipline.  Follow a regimen of consistency.
  • Resources. Seek out mentors, coaches, and resources to help you on your journey.
  • Consistency. Slow and steady may not be “sexy” but it will move you down the road.

My students—just like all of us—have made their share of rookie mistakes. And we will continue to make missteps as we stretch and grow. The takeaway for me is not that we made errors but that we have taken time to reflect and grow.

Video recommendation for the week:

The first step to meaningful change has to be awareness of where we are, what we do, and why we do what we do.

Make it a wonderful week—H.T.R.B. as needed.

Check out my website (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/programs.html) for programming information as well as details about upcoming webinars  (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/webinars).

Information on my newest book, Choices for College Success (3rd ed.), can be found at Pearson Education.

(c) 2014. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.

 

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