Welcome to a time to grow!
We are moving quickly toward the beginning of the 2017-18 academic year. It is an exciting time, and at BCTC, we can feel the energy and anticipation of new students starting their college life. We are excited to have them join the BCTC Family. Our 420+ full-time faculty and staff and some 500+ adjunct instructors and part-time staff, are hard at work figuring out how to get everything ready to kick-off the new year. There have been orientations for first-year students all summer, and the student development staff and others have shepherded students and parents and served lots of pizza lunches.
When I get to speak to new students, I tell them, this is a time to GROW. GROW is a mnemonic device for student success! They are being offered a time to stretch, experiment, learn, and become more of the person each wishes to be. And, while everyone at the college is here to create the environment in which they can succeed, the student has a responsibility too. If they are going to GROW and thrive, I tell them, there are four things they need to do:
1- Go to class, whether on-campus or online. The student has to be responsible for the course material, discussions, and exams. A rich college experience often means processing new information and this happens better in thoughtful, guided discussion. Sometimes what is needed is to practice a skill with a teacher or guide.
2- Reach-out if you run into trouble. No matter whether the issue is academic or services, there is someone at BCTC to help. Don’t wonder, wander, or flounder. Ask someone to explain or to advise.
3- Open-up to new experiences. There are other students and faculty who are very different from you, with other cultural and life experiences. There is course material you would never have chosen on your own. You don’t have to like it. At least be exposed to new ideas, thoughts, literature, or skills. You or someone else is paying for this experience, embrace it.
4- Work-out a way to deal with stress. Maybe a physical work-out is what you need. We know exercise is good for most of us, even if we don’t want to do it! Maybe spending time with your family, your kids, or your friends is how you de-stress. You probably need more sleep. Research tells us most of us should sleep more. Maybe your church or community group is the way you get away from pressures. If partying is your thing, please do it responsibly. Being a good student takes time and energy. It is mentally taxing. Find a way to relax and get away from it on occasion.
So, GROW into your student experience. Make the most of it while retaining your good humor and sanity with these four tips. And good luck; you can make your way just fine!