As the deadlines to apply for graduate school are rapidly approaching and my undergraduate education is coming to an end, graduate school seems to be at the zenith of the tallest mountain of which I am at the foot. At times, my journey through college has been tempestuous.
I once was the stellar student and then the college dropout, but now I am back.
I am a stronger, more mature young adult, and I know what I want. I enroll in courses not for the easy A, but for the challenge and value of the course for my future aspirations.
In my blogs, I hope to elucidate the misconception that successful college students never make mistakes. In fact, I can proudly say that I am a master at failing. Now…when you read that sentence you may find yourself thinking how can this be true!? How could I be close to graduation expecting to be accepted into prestigious Ph. D. programs with failing grades?
Although my grades are not perfect, I am talking about mastering the journey back from what could have been devastating failures, but turned into periods of growth.
I am also not saying that everyone must experience failure, yet since graduating from high school as a valedictorian, I have pursued my dream job. I have also been fired from that same dream job. I then returned to school. Only to find that I did not have a secondary plan. I felt as though all the passion, I applied to dancing in a professional company had been lost forever. Upon returning to school, I managed to squander a large scholarship, loose best friends, live out of my car, and now somehow I am back at it again with more vigor than ever before. In fact, I am excelling.
In order to be successful, you must begin with the correct mindset.
Carol Dweck is the Author of a wonderful book that helped me reframe my understanding of what failure truly is and begin believing in myself again. In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dweck spoke of two mindsets. The growth mindset and the fixed mindset.
The Growth Mindset:
“The growth mindset lets people—even those who are targets of negative labels—use and develop their minds fully. Their heads are not filled with limiting thoughts, a fragile sense of belonging, and a belief that other people can define them.” (Dweck, 2006, p. 80)
The Fixed Mindset:
“Creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over. If you have only a certain amount of intelligence, a certain personality, and a certain moral character—well, then you’d better prove that you have a healthy dose of them. It simply wouldn’t do to look or feel deficient in these most basic characteristics.” (Dweck, 2006, p. 6)
In the book, Dweck states over and over again that we are shaped by our convictions. Our attributes, intelligence and talents are shaped, strengthened, or weakened by our beliefs. So, I would hope for you to understand that you must embrace a growth mindset. Nothing impedes your ability to succeed. Mastery and intelligence are based on the amount of effort exerted. Never give up. Work the extra minute. Study longer, and turn dreams into clearly defined goals. Also read Dweck’s book, and do not let your doubts turn into the belief that you cannot conquer something you are struggling with.
Psychology | Sociology
University of Central Oklahoma | December 2017
Psi Chi Honors Society | Social Media Officer
NCLR Fellow | Latino Community Development Agency