How did I get here? may be the question you have asked yourself more times than you care to admit. There may be a variety of reasons that led to this point, or it may have been one glaringly obvious reason. Whatever the case may be for you, we will start this course by not shying away from it, but rather recognizing what those stubbles and missteps may have been so we can correct our actions and behaviors moving forward.

Throughout this module we will cover some of the major areas that can be stumbling blocks for college students, and we will discuss some strategies for overcoming these setbacks.

Rigor

You may not have realized how challenging college was going to be, the rigor of your classes is not what you were expecting. You did well in High School or the prior university you transferred in from. But, then you got here and things were different. It may have been the pace of the classes. The instructors covered a lot more material at a faster pace than you have ever experienced before and you were not ready for that next level experience. It may have been the content. You were comfortable with the material covered before, but now the concepts are much more complex or you do not have as much personal experience or history to rely on with this new material. It may have been a combination of pace and content, and as the days and weeks of the semester went by you were getting more and more behind and never quite felt caught up, let alone ahead.

Time

You may have underestimated the time you needed to spend on your academics now that you are here. You likely set the benchmark on your academic time commitments to what you did in high school or your prior college experience. And again, the time and energy you put in then led to some degree of success because you got in here – so why would that same approach not translate to this next level, right? Time management is a skill we all would benefit from, regardless of where you are in your academic trajectory or in your professional career. Therefore, we will spend some time in this class dedicated to developing effective and efficient time management strategies, which will set us up for success in college and into our future career paths.

Belonging

You want the full college experience, right? You don’t want to miss out on all of the student activities, campus life, off-campus life, social engagements, etc. Now that you are in college, and especially here at UGA, there is so much going on that maybe you stretched yourself too thin. Developing a sense of belonging, of community, is key to your college experience, but through this class we will talk about how to do that in a healthy and productive manner.

Motivation

You may not have taken a moment to address this aspect of what led to you being in this academic standing, but motivation (or lack thereof) can play an extremely large role in how engaged a student is in their academics. You likely worked very hard in high school or the prior college program you transferred in from. Your goal for the last year, two years, maybe several years has been to get here – to this university. But then you got here and didn’t realize that you needed to reassess and set new goals, new aspirations. Through this course we will address goal setting and motivation, working to find what drives you – both academically and personally.

And More

As you read through these – rigor, time, belonging, motivation – you may have begun to recognize one (or possibly several) that contributed to your current academic standing. There may, in fact, be other contributions that led to this point – personal, family, health, finances, and more – I am sure the list could go on. What is important to recognize in all of this is how you will respond now. How you will use this as an opportunity for growth and maturity in your academics and personal life to correct those areas that you stubbled before. It is not always easy to point out the flaws, the disappointments, the “failures” we have had. But, through this course we will work to reimagine those prior shortcomings as opportunities to learn and improve moving forward.

Interview with Dr. Ken Bain

This interview with Dr. Ken Bain will accompany the reading quite nicely. Please watch this video to support your understanding of what is covered in the chapter reading for Module 1.

Dr. Bain on What the Best College Students Do


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