8 Tips for Success
Professor Klosko, department chairperson of Physical Sciences and professor of Geoscience, addressed our new students at Convocation on September 5.
See Photos from the event
Her eight tips for college success are:
1. Knowledge is Power
You can use your education to better your life. The late and former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” No matter what the subject, by learning things you will be better for it. Pick your course and learn. You’ll be better for it. You’ll be more empowered to succeed in life.
2. You Don’t Have to Be a Genius
Often people think you have to be exceptionally intelligent to succeed in college – and I am going to tell you that this is entirely wrong. Organization and attitude are the two things that I think that matter most. Today you get a fresh start. You get to become who you want to be as an adult student; not what people have told you that you are. Don’t worry about solving all of the world’s problems in one day. Worry about addressing the work in front of you today, one day at a time.
3. Perseverance and Grit are Required
Half of the battle is showing up. In college attendance is largely up to you. Show grit by showing up every day, not just physically but mentally. Keep in mind – this is your education – Nobody is going to do the learning for you. You need to own your learning. Show up prepared. Ask questions. Give this experience your time and energy and you will be amazed at the outcomes.
4. Don’t Give Up
At some point in your time here, you’ll be confronted with challenges. Push ahead and don’t give up. That is what learning really is. When you’re faced with that problem that seems out of your reach, pause, reflect, and keep at it!
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Go Outside of Your Comfort Zone.
As a person that teaches in the sciences, too often I hear that students feel they are not ‘good’ at science; that they are not ‘good’ at math… Don’t be afraid to try something new. You have very little to lose and so much to gain. Try something different. Be courageous and take a class in something you’ve always wanted to learn.
6. Somewhere, Something Incredible is Waiting to be Known.
Education is a chance to think about the world around you – new things, crazy things. The meaning of a poem, the motivation of an artist, evidence used to come up with a scientific theory. As you learn new things, you will also change. Once you open yourself up to learning and thinking about new things – you will never look at the world again the same way.
7. Find Something That You Can Be Passionate About.
Explore your interests through studies and awaken a passion that can lead to joy. It has been said, “Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.” Try to find something that will excite you to wake up in the morning every day!
8. Attitude is Everything
“[Attitude] is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react.” – Charles R. Swindoll
Professor Klosko closed with some words about herself and encouragement to our new class:
“I was not a serious student in high school. I just didn’t give school the attention it deserved. I went off to college, initially as a French major. From there, as my education progressed I took things more seriously and I kept at it. I found a true passion for science, in particular geology. Yes, rocks… I really liked learning about rocks. I was lucky enough to earn a B.S., then a master’s degree and eventually a PhD from Northwestern University. When I showed up on my first day of college, if you had told me that I’d end up with a PhD from Northwestern I would have laughed in your face. But somehow here I am. And I’m grateful for it because taking my education seriously rewarded me in ways I can’t begin to describe.
So this morning I congratulate you on starting this auspicious, and amazing, first step as a college student. You’ve got this. Good luck and have fun!”