Regardless how much your student studies, or what you paid for tutoring, your student will never graduate without this skill. Having proficiency in this skill leads to better academic performance. A student who feels fulfilled and ready to take on the world. This skill takes time to develop and can be the wild card in student success.
To begin, when I work with students one of the first things that we focus on is self-motivation. Frequently, students will tell me and their families the symptoms of low self-motivation. Low self-motivation is rarely named initially. This causes everyone to focus on the symptom and not the actual problem.
K-12 provides the opportunity for students to learn a number of co-academic skills. However, it is incredibly easy for self-motivation to fall between the cracks due to the amount of support provided. In many grade schools, teachers are evaluated based on the academic performance of their students. This is not the case in college. Higher education demands self-motivation in order for success to occur, as does life.
Your student needs to know how to motivate themselves when they are in the library at 3 A.M. studying for an exam. Otherwise, they will never be able to graduate college. The reality of it is, no matter how much you can want them to graduate college, or take up the family business, or even just get a job, there is one truth. If your student does not want to do something, it will not get done.
There are ways to figure out what drives your student. There are strategies to teach them how to motivate themselves towards any goal. Working with a student success coach can make this transition a smoother one for families and students. For families who choose to go through this process on their own, here is my one tip- Let your student surprise you. Throw out all of your expectations of who your student should be and what they should be able to do and accept them for where they are. Celebrate the things that they determine are accomplishments, and you will see the student you want to see in them.
“What break?” This is the person who is working (possibly multiple jobs) during all of break. They may not even leave campus for break. They use this time to make more money, or to get ahead on their classwork.
When your child becomes a college student, there are a lot of changes. Maybe they have moved out of the house for the first time, or moved out of state. This could be their first time doing their laundry on their own or sharing a room.
Regardless of what the changes look like, doing the following will help in building a relationship where your student shares their experiences openly with you.
Ask questions to seek understanding
Ask open ended questions
Do not interrupt the speaker
Listen more than you speak
I know, I know… you have supported them their entire lives! How can you support them any more? Well, I encourage you to think about supporting them differently. Think about supporting them as an adult, know that they will need to be supported as your child occasionally.
Remind them of why you will believe they will succeed
Show/Share your affection for them
Send them a care package with reminders from home
First generation students typically feel as though they cannot “fail”. They feel immense pressure to not only graduate, but to become a doctor, or lawyer, or continue the family business. When you are communicating with your student, remember to empathize with them. Remember that you are their parent first, and they need to know that if they are not a lawyer, they can still be successful. Your student needs you to tell them that they are not responsible for bringing your family out of poverty, they are responsible for using this opportunity to make the best life for themselves.
Let them know they are not disappointing you
Verbally recognize the pressure they are under
Remind them to live for themselves
Be flexible with your definition of success
Remember that they are not perfect,they are human like you
Students, are you still navigating being first-generation in college? Parents, are you trying to communicate with your first-generation student but it’s not working? Try coaching!
November 8th is National First Generation day. I want to take a moment to recognize all of the current students and graduates who identify as first-generation. First-generation can mean a variety of things as a college student. You may be the first person in your family to go to college-the traditional definition of first-generation-or you may be the first person in your family to attend school in the U.S. Some people have questions like, “Well if my mom only got her associates am I first gen?” Or “My dad started at a community college but dropped out, am I first gen? And even “My mom is currently working on her degree, am I first gen?” To me the answer to all of these questions is yes!
Hopefully someone on your campus is celebrating First Generation Day, however if not feel free to share with us why you are proud to be a first generationer!
Do you know what season it is? Fall? No! It’s midterm season!
There are open books as far as the eye can see. People who you haven’t seen in class since the first day are starting to show up again. It feels like assignments and deadlines are coming out of nowhere. What is happening? I will tell you my friends it is the midterm season. For some midterms can be scarier than Halloween, but no need to fear, with time, self-care, and motivation you can get through this! Here are some quotes to remind you of your strength when you may be feeling down because of the amount of work and studying you have to do. If you have a quote that is helping you feel free to share it with all of us in the comments. Let’s get started!
1. “Stay positive, work hard, make it happen”
2. “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it” Charles Swindoll
3. “When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.” – Thomas Jefferson
5. “Don’t stop when you are tired. Stop when you are done.”
6.“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” – Gail Devers
7. “Success all depends on the second letter.”
9. “The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.”-Mark Caine
10. “It is our choices, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”-J. K Rowling
11. “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”-Babe Ruth
13. “You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated.”-Maya Angelou
14. “We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”-Aristotle
15. “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”
17. “The person who reads too much and uses his brain too little will fall into lazy habits of thinking.”-Albert Einstein
18. “Self-belief and hard work will always earn you success.” – Virat Kohli
19. “Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall.” – Oliver Goldsmith