The Freshman Transition Network

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Believe it or not September 1, 2010 is almost here. So how are you mapping your plan for a successful 2010? Have you written down at least 10 goals you want to accomplish? What are the top three goals on your list? September is a great time to write down your goals. You can develop a road map that helps you to strategize the actions you will take right away. Don’t stick with the same old plan that did not work before. It’s better to forget the things that are behind and to pursue a higher target.

It’s true that there is nothing you can do to change the past but there is plenty you can do to prepare for a bright future. You may need some reminders to push you further toward your goal. Surround yourself with experts who will push you to a greater level of enthusiasm. It’s time to take inventory of all the things you’ve accomplished during the first nine months of the year. The challenges you’ve faced and overcame during the beginning of 2010 can be good feedback and a reminder of the things you’ve overcome. Enter the rest of 2010 with a sense of excitement about new adventures and get started on projects that need your attention.

You can use this same approach to obtain better grades during 2010. First make a list of all of the things you did well in each of your courses. For example, you were on time for every class, projects were submitted on time and you did not fail a course. Write down some of the new things that you would like to learn next semester. Also, talk to someone about your career goals and it will help you to stay committed to your graduation goal.

You can be certain that the rest of 2010 will present new challenges for you to overcome. Identify a mentor who knows your goals and he/she can help you to maintain your motivation. During the remainder of 2010, keep a daily journal of all of your accomplishments. What a wonderful feeling you will have at the end of the year when you read all of the things you’ve achieved.

p.s. Why not buy the Seven Secrets of How to Study for a son, daughter, niece, nephew or an adult student who is going back to school. Visit

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Comment by Dr. Ronald G. Shapiro on August 25, 2010 at 5:33pm
Stephen provides many excellent pointers in this brief article. I would suggest that all teachers and students follow the recommendations in the body of his article (I have not read his book, so I have no comment on the p.s.)

I totally agree that students and faculty should start the school year by making a list of their goals and then prioritizing them to be sure the most important ones don't get overlooked.

I also agree with Stephen that students (and faculty also) should surround themselves with experts who can guide them as they make important decisions. A few years ago I heard a highly successful executive referring to this as "forming your board of directors." I liked the use of the terminology and have adopted it. I would suggest making a list of those individuals whom you highly respect who could be of help to you in guiding you through school and into college (or whatever the next step is for you) and informally think about utilizing these people much as a major corporation utilizes its Board of Directors.

Dr. Ronald G. Shapiro

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