Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A must-do for before the end of your semester

Most of you are wrapping up your spring semesters in the next few weeks; and like the end to any spring semester, your focus turns to your finals, finishing that last paper, and of course, the what-to-dos of the summer break ahead of you:
  • Should I take summer classes?
  • Is my manager going to give me more hours over the summer?
  • Is setting my alarm clock for two in the afternoon too early for the summer?
And while those questions are all important (I will talk more about them in the next few weeks) and have answers that will depend on the individual (aside from the alarm clock – wake up early even over the summers), you still have a few weeks left to accomplish something important before your spring classes end.

That something is to build continuity with your peer and professorial relationships that will take you into the next school year.

Building relationships takes time and continuous effort, and it's those who make the effort when things are the busiest who will see the greatest results. 

Here are a few ideas you can implement during these final weeks to maintain these vital relationships and even help you succeed on your exams:

For Peers
  • Invite classmates to a study group to review for final exams. 
  • If you have a final paper due in the class, offer to switch papers with someone and do a peer edit of each other’s work. 
  • Hang out with someone from class before the semester ends; the chances of you staying friends over the summer will go way up if you do so. 
  • Simply ask someone about his/her summer plans and use that as a conversation starter.

For Professors
  • I can’t say this enough – use their office hours.
  • If the class has been a pleasant experience, write the professor a genuine thank you email.
  •  If the professor teaches a subject that interests you, make an appointment to ask them if they know any opportunities for internships in that field.
  • Ask any professor you admire for transfer advice.
These ideas aren’t rocket-science (well, I guess they could technically be if you're taking a physics class), but the point is that simple steps can make a big difference in the networks that you build at your college.

Relationships create opportunities.

That simple friendship you form with someone who is an “in-class friend” can end up being one that can last a summer, a semester, a year, or even into your transfer experience.

And that professor who you ask a question to can be the one who gives you advice that changes your life – simple questions that I asked professors led me to my cc’s honors program, PTK, the JKC scholarship, and winning a surprise $3,000 top graduate award at my transfer university. 

Ask anyone about a success in their lives, and consider your own successes - almost every single one can be traced back to a single person, a single conversation.

The opportunities to build connections are always out there – don’t let them pass you by. Build them first, and then we can get back to that summer alarm clock conundrum ;) 

To read more about Isa's personal story how you can build relationships to: make positive friends, be more successful in academics and work, find the right people to connect with, and access the hidden job market,grab a FREE e-copy of the first chapter of Community College Success: How to Finish with Friends, Scholarships, Internships, and the Career of Your Dreams! Claim your free copy on the Facebook page!

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