Monday, April 2, 2012

Strengthening your core (classes)

Study Tipping Tuesday
Strengthening your core (classes) 

Raise your hand if you’ve ever asked yourself (or someone else) this question:

Why do I have to take this class if my major is [insert your major here]?

Quite a few of you I see. ;)

The “what is the point of gen eds” question is something I hear all the time. 

I am not a curriculum specialist, but I do know that within every gen-ed (and yes, sometimes buried way deep) are the skills that will be required of you to reach your dream career.  And if those skills aren't where they need to be now, it is time to sharpen them at this early stage.  

So there is a way to check yourself right now and see how you are matching up. Below is a screen shot of a really basic chart I created for you to help you think about how you are doing right now in preparing for your major and future career based on your core classes (you can download the chart by clicking the down arrow in the box at the bottom of the post). 

It is vital to examine your strengths and weaknesses every semester so that you can reassess your major and your goals, and then plan your future schedule accordingly. 

The first step is to think about your major and your dream job. If you could do anything in the world with the major you're pursuing - what would it be? (If you're still undecided, I recommend starting with a simple find a major test). 

Then, open up your unofficial transcript on your student center and start assessing yourself. What skills used in each gen-ed are required in your dream job? The most common skills gen-eds develop are: critical thinking, analytical thinking, problem-solving, communication, social awareness, writing, speaking, etc. 

For example, if you plan on pursuing a career in law or political science, but are struggling in English or speech, you need to address those issues immediately, because those subjects are vital to that career path. 

The same goes for engineering or a STEM-field job – if you are struggling in math or science, you need to get help now or adjust accordingly. 

If you're not sure - start researching by looking up the job online and (the best) talking to someone in that job. 

Unfortunately too many people wait to assess themselves until they're feeling lost and overwhelmed and directionless. Do not wait until you have finished 60 credits to realize you don’t enjoy or excel in the classes required of your desired degree.

And flex your core - if you want to excel in a career that expects you to use communication skills to thrive, expect yourself to excel in those courses right now and accept nothing less. 

The same is true for any subject - you can't expect success if you don't expect yourself to work in pursuit of that goaly, always evaluating and adjusting to your strengths and sharpening your weaknesses.

And of course always remember that a class not playing a vital role in your future job is no excuse for futility - you will carry your GPA with you into your transfer process and any scholarship or leadership opportunity you apply for; expect excellence from yourself and fulfill that expectation every day, with joy. 

You deserve the opportunity to chase your dreams - make sure you use that opportunity to the fullest. Even, or rather, especially in the early stages.

Happy flexing ;)

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! Or if you're just amazing - you can buy your paperback or Kindle copy on right now :) 

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