Conquer Our Fears

Conquer Our Fears

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Opening Ourselves Up to Self Improvement

The time between high school and college is a very volatile and unpredictable period. It is during this time frame that a young adult’s maturity and their readiness for this next stage of life can be determined. Which leads me to describe the effect of an overly swift transition from high school into the unfamiliar territory of college, specifically Marshall University. To be true to my point, two years ago I had a very unprepared, closed off, and immature outlook on school, declining and avoiding the valuable student services available to me. For example, due to me having the condition of Aspergers, my parents had enrolled me in the aspergers program at Marshall. During our meetings with the staff and coordinators of the program, I was resistant and opposed to this outside help, mainly for my insecurities of needing “special” help and lack of initiative towards my condition. At the time, I did all I could to erase the thought of my aspergers from my mind. I loathed this condition, and did not want to dwell on it, much less have such focused help in this area. Therefore, I was resistant and obstinate to the program, and I believe they sensed my dissatisfaction and unwillingness from the start.

In addition, I did not take my school work as seriously as I should have, and my motivation for success was not at the level it needed to be.  This whole college experience was a new thing for me, and without guidance, it was inevitable I would fall into disorder and stray from my priorities and resources. Needless to say, by avoiding the resources available to help me and not taking initiative to develop a mature mindset towards school and priorities, I had set myself up for failure. Sure enough, by the end of the month, my grades had slipped dangerously, and I knew I needed to pull out. If there is any redeeming factor in this past learning experience, I would say it was the fact that I had finally realized my instability and drew it within myself to leave Marshall before the consequences grew greater. I was simply not at a place in time to be able to focus wholeheartedly on my studies, and I began to realize a gap year would have, and still could be a more practical step. Thus began a period of time that would bring me to a new state of being, a new mindset, and a new outlook.

During these last two years, much has changed in a positive way, to a point that my family and I feel and know I am at a place in my life to be able to succeed at Marshall. I have spent these last two years both working a job, and taking classes for credit at Carroll Community College. The outcome for both of these ventures has been successful, and I have held a steady job, as well as passed my credit classes, except for Intermediate Algebra, due to a lack of available help and general struggle with the subject. I feel that the tutoring services, my aspergers program, and additional resources at Marshall will help me meet success wherever I may struggle. I have matured, and developed a new method of study and focus during these past two years at Carroll Community College, successfully passing classes and acquiring credits. When I am not at school, I was, and still am at this point working a part time job, teaching me responsibility and structure. As I will be both taking classes and working at Marshall, I will be entering the semester with years of study methods, initiative, and a new frame of mind to use to my advantage. I know what to expect in this upcoming semester, and am extremely open and anticipating of the resources available to me both through the aspergers program, and great tutoring services at my disposal. There’s a saying that states “Good habits are only learned through experience, time and effort”. I feel this quote can relate to me in the sense that I have improved immensely in experience, time management, and effort towards my priorities.
I look forward to a new semester, a new beginning, and using my newfound mindset gained through these past two years. My academic objectives will be to make any and all academic areas, including class work, tutoring, and program interactions my priorities. I will use my new focus and mindset to succeed in these areas, correcting my past mistakes by attending class, going to both aspergers and tutoring programs, and most importantly to tackle school work and tests with the utmost dedication. With experience, time, and effort at my disposal, I feel that I can now reach my goals and succeed this semester, and those to come. I embrace not only my newfound ambition and motivation, but also the resources available to me as an aspergian, including my school’s program focused specifically on me and other young adults that have the condition as well. How great a feeling it is to know I am not alone in facing my anxieties and potential struggles in the semester to come.

What improvements have you made this year? Let me know in the comments below!
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