BCIT is going to challenge you in ways you never imagined, but follow these tips by student Steven Palfrey and take control of your own destiny.
Celebrate success and see yourself as valuable.
As somebody who has worked with over 12 counsellors since the age of 14, I’ve learned that knowing and embracing yourself is one of the keys to being successful in any setting. You’re at BCIT to focus on your education and future, so when challenging relationships, family, depression, and anxiety start chipping away at your emotional wellbeing, it’s going to be hard to stay focused and motivated. When I first entered post-secondary I was depressed, and I was afraid to be seen as that by my peers. I did not do well because of it and since then I’ve always made it a priority to meet with councillors and seek help when needed. Remember: People want to help.
SET HONEST EXPECTATIONS
Are you here to do the best that you can, or to get a diploma/degree as soon as possible? It’s critical that you define your own expectations and be honest about them. Talk to people about what it would take to achieve your goals, and start setting up a plan. Be proactive. If you don’t understand something, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
If there are others who have their own expectations for you, it’s key that you share some of your challenges with them. The sooner you can tell your teacher or groupmates that you’re struggling with something, the sooner you can begin the conversation around next steps. Teachers are there to help you in your learning process, and that includes giving out tools or advice to students that are struggling. Additionally, your peers will be more prepared and can better manage their expectations around group projects.
IDENTIFY YOUR STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES
Understanding what you enjoy doing, your aptitude, and your approach, is really critical, especially when developing your interpersonal relationships. If you’re analytical (like myself) it’s really beneficial to diversify your relationships and meet new people who have excellent communication skills. They’re going to help you put your thoughts into words, and they will challenge you to be better.
SHARE YOUR SKILLS
Think of yourself as part of a bigger community. As you build on your strengths – organization, communication, analysis – share them! Learning through teaching is a tremendous studying tool. As you consider how to explain something to people with different aptitudes, you’ll be able to view the topic from multiple angles. This is probably the one key strategy that has been the most helpful to my grades. It’s also one of the best ways to develop good connections with students who are looking to improve.
GENERATE VALUE THAT EMPOWERS YOU
Learn and embrace how valuable you are! It’s important to look back and see what you’ve achieved and how you’ve grown. Celebrate success and see yourself as valuable. If you help somebody make a new friend, if you helped somebody get organized, if you helped somebody with their resume – that’s value.
NETWORK WITH INTENTION
Connect with other people who have similar goals and/or challenge you. Surround yourself with those who seek personal improvement as well. Join clubs and participate in extracurricular activities. The people you meet at these events are also going to want to grow and be successful.