Adjusting to the Culture of College

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Chapter 1—Change 

I chose the article “Kate Knutson: Enhancing the College Experience In and Out of the Classroom” because the article shows that adjusting to culture is important, even after school. And it also shows that sometimes “adjusting to culture” means that you have to adjust by changing the culture that exists currently to meet needs that exist and are not being met. This article is particularly relevant because not only does it highlight the importance of college students adjusting to their new environments and working out mindfulness strategies to deal with the challenges they encounter, but it also shows that this principle is applied well into the working world throughout one’s career. Also, very specific goals are mentioned in this article. Problems were identified, goals were set, and then changes were made to address them. This is exactly the example that needs to be set for people looking to incorporate this specific principle into the way they approach school, work, and life in general.

I chose the picture above because it clearly communicates that the world is evolving. I liked the positive “evolving” aspect. Also, the fact that our world is residing “in our hands” is also a very appropriate detail that applies to this principle. There was another picture that showed the world with a ripple effect over it. I liked that picture too because it gave the idea that one person (one drop of water) could change the whole world. But the concept of evolving was not inherent in the picture and the waviness caused by the ripples could be understood to be waves of uncertainty or strife.

By nurturing change and setting goals I will be able to more easily learn new things, move toward positive directions, set an example and thereby gain leadership experience by fostering these tools in others, and be more flexible which will allow me to see things from many different points of view.

Once I wrote an essay and then I discovered that it was totally wrong for the assignment. Being “ok” with the idea of change meant that even though I had to start over, I didn’t fall apart over it. In describing the relevant success themes to other students, I would use exactly the information I mentioned above. The article, the world, the experiences, and the possible gains.

Chapter 2—

I chose the article “America Owed Me Nothing, Gave me Everything” because it told the story of a very motivated person who knew the value of sticking to personal and academic goals, and then the article goes on to show exactly what to expect when a person lives their life in this way. Zeeshan Zaidi found opportunities falling into his lap because he had ensured he was ready for those opportunities through diligence and self-motivation. Here is a success story of personal goals set and made through the correct application of discipline to life.

I chose the picture above because it perfectly illustrates the idea of self-motivation. In order to attain goals, a person has to choose their own carrot and work toward that carrot solely on their own steam. 

Incorporating the development of my own personal and academic motivation would benefit be because by being motivated, I would be more likely to jump into a project that I had set up for myself or upcoming assignments. This jumping in would allow me to have more time to do fun things. Also, the “work” itself would be a “fun thing” because the motivation is there, thus making the activity something I actually wanted to do. Understanding the motivations behind actions make a person understand why they do the things that they do. Identifying my own motivations will allow me to more easily cut damaging things that don’t make sense out of my life, or even avoid them in the first place. And by working to create motivation for actions destined to make a positive change in my life, I will be setting my future self up for success.

I have created the motivation to learn. I tend to get anxious when I am confronted with a test or paper and I don’t know if I can do it. So instead I make sure to set aside time to study. I put on music and make tea. Then I am comfortably learning, and I don’t have the threat of facing future situations of anxiety. This combination is my motivation. 

I would tell other students that in life there will not be people who will provide motivation on a consistent basis—friends can help with this sometimes, but not all the time—you’ve got to do it yourself. It’s hard to recognize this sometimes because parents and school administrators tend to do this for kids in a lot of ways. When students get to college, it can be a bit of a shock how much responsibility is expected. Learning to “jog after your own carrots” can only lead to future success.

Chapter 3—

I chose the article “Transitional Home Offers Redemption” to represent this principle because it tells the tale of Reggie Cain, who never learned the skill of self-management. He explains how he got mixed up in drugs and alcohol and was really at a low point. Luckily he found a transitional home that got him back on track and gave him the tools he needed to learn how to self-manage and to help others do so as well. Reggie used these skills to complete a bachelor’s degree in behavioral health at the age of 61, and he has opened two transitional houses with plans for more in the future. Even though it took Reggie a long time, he found a place that fostered him in learning these skills, just as students must do. Reggie did have to take the first step toward this turnaround, and that step was all him, and this is a similar choice that students must make in college as well—a new school with professors and impressive classmates can be intimidating and confusing. While Reggie’s experiences are much more dramatic than walking down the hall to the academic counselor’s office, the same steps are still there and Reggie serves as an inspirational example for us all. 

I chose the picture above because, to me, self-management is all about juggling. There are always times where things can appear to be too much, which is an inspiration to shirk responsibility and drop out of things. Procrastination is a huge influence in making this happen and that’s why I believe self-management has a lot to do with time management. Going out with friends when a paper is due is a time management issue. Of course there are also issues of personal responsibility, and those have to be confronted as they arrive (Should I cheat? Should I drink? Should I put the extra effort into a project?), but even poor choices in responsibility can, a lot of the time, be avoided with appropriate time management application.

Four self-improvement benefits that I gained from the incorporation of self-management are: more free time, feeling more success generally when it comes to learning because I just sat down and did it, feeling more connected and prepared by ensuring I sought out help when I needed it, and feeling better physically by managing my health options more (sleeping, eating right).

I mentioned in the “motivation” section an example of using the feelings of relief and competence and comfort to motivate me to study long before assignments are due. But studying early also opens up my schedule. With any activity, extra time is built into planning for it in case you need to go over. But if you get things done without putting them off, there is no need to keep adding extra time into your schedule “just in case.” This has been a successful learning experience for me.

To help students understand why applying this particular tool is important, I would make sure that I told students about Reggie’s experiences and about my ideas on procrastination.

Chapter 4—

I chose the article “Recommending ‘Emotional Intelligence’ as PR Tool” to represent this principle because the article specifically covers how important communication is in a business setting—even when one is removed from the “nitty-gritty” side of the business. PR is pretty removed, instead of dealing with the products and other employees of a business, PR professionals have to communicate the importance of the company’s product or service to the customers or public in general. But the article makes a note to remind the reader that communication within a company is just as important. No matter who you are or how removed your job is, you will have to deal with people and that means forging relationships. If a person isn’t emotionally capable of creating and maintaining relationships, they will have a rough time in every aspect of their lives.

I chose the picture above to represent this principle because I felt it fit the idea perfectly. In it, people are working together to bridge a chasm. This can also be viewed as people working together to reach an insurmountable goal. Without forging relationships and trusting each other, none of those people would have been able to bridge that gap alone. 

Four self-improvement benefits to doing this are: having more friends, being on the “same page” with people, having a better understanding of people, being able to quickly handle negative situations through adept use of non-verbal social cues. By learning how to speak comfortably with my professors, I have made learning much easier because there is no intimidation factor when I need help.

In explaining why this tool would be successful to students, I would use what I said about it earlier (regarding the workplace and collaborating as a team).

Works Cited

Kully, Sadef A.. “America Owed Me Nothing, Gave Me Everything.” Dawn Entertainment. 12 Dec. 2012.

Smith, Charlotte Ferrell. “Transitional Home Offers Redemption.” Kanawha County Daily Mail. 12 Dec. 2012.

Malize, Chizor. “Recommending ‘Emotional Intelligence’ as PR Tool.” This Day Live. 12 . 2012.

Sand, Christina. “Kate Knutson: Enhancing the college Experience in and out of the Classroom.” Gustavus Adolphus News. 11 Dec. 2012.