Our assignment was to interview a person who I felt could have a positive impact on me as a student. I decided to interview my aunt Allied Garcia, who is a teacher and attended school at Temple University. I chose to interview her because she had struggles similar to mine. I am a single parent trying to balance effective study habits, with my life as a mother and the interests of my two year old child. I know that by putting some good study habits and strategies to work, I can Improve my learning experiences as well as succeed In providing a brighter future for myself and my son.
So I asked Ladled what advice she would give me as a returning student. She commented on the need to find a quiet and structured time and place to study and told me that I should devote a set number of hours each week for studying. She mentioned that being a student meant changing the way you manage time and schedule social activities because priorities change when you are In school. That made a lot of sense to me because I realized that I had to be focused on studying, while also giving quality time to my son. Those are my two priorities.
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We discussed the qualities of a responsible student. She mentioned that it was important to be true to one’s own goals and to make others understand that your time is valuable and necessary for the priorities we set. Responsible students are those that attend classes regularly. They are punctual. They listen and pay attention. If they are absent, they let the teacher know why they missed the session before class begins. Their excuses are legitimate and reasonable. They attempt to get all missed assignments. Responsible students are accountable for themselves and their actions.
Ms. Garcia explained that activities that are offered by the school can often be very informative and help to provide a network for meeting other students with similar interests. Lecture series, trips and other educational activities provide support for your overall education. I learned that these activities also help to build relationships with other members of the academic community. My instructors, advisors and staff members are vital parts of the academic community in my program of study. Building legislations with them will help me now, and in my professional future.
One of the most Important topics that we discussed was balancing work. School and my personal life. She suggested that I become increasingly organized by keeping all of my school materials in one place and away from small hands. She also suggested making my schedule more flexible and asking my babysitter to watch my son for an extra two hours a day and using that time for studying and completing my assignments. She advised me to let my friends and family know that I would be “working” during those ours that I had set aside for class and study, so that they would not call me or think that I was available to other actively.
She told me to breathe, relax and find time to have pleasant moments with my son and family so that I could dedicate quality time to them and feel that my home life was “on track”. Some other tips that Allied gave me were to keep a record of my progress by having the courses need to graduate on a chart and crossing them off as I progressed. She advised me to keep work and school separate. Not to worry about my home life while I am at school, and vice sequences. It’s about working smarter, not harder.
As we proceeded through the interview, we discussed how going to school will limit my social time. It’s important to keep relationships healthy, even though time for them is limited. I will begin to via e-mail or text messaging on a regular basis with people that are important to me so that they will not feel neglected, since there really isn’t time for long phone calls or visits. We talked about the importance of time management and being pro active in order to avoid those “last minute emergencies” hat destroy our schedules.
During the interview, Ms. Garcia also told me to avoid indulging in guilty pleasures, Such as idle chit-chat with your neighbor, or “hanging out” at a friend’s house watching television, when your deadline is creeping ever closer.. If there’s an activity that get caught up in, but isn’t furthering your goals in life, avoid it like the plague. We discussed how to have the best college experience. I learned from Ms. Garcia, that it is essential for a student to have a positive mind set, be responsible an, present and always do his or her best.
College is major investment in oneself and in order to collect the dividends we must do the work. I learned that it is important for students to take care of themselves, eat right, sleep well, get regular exercise and do what is needed to stay healthy and alert. She also advised me to take full advantage of everything my college had to offer and to dive into the academic role with passion. All of these things, she said would make me the valuable professional that I needed to be in the future. So do I need a mentor, would I like to have a mentor?
Absolutely! After this interview I found myself in a better place for understanding what I need to do to be a better student and to help myself to balance my varied roles. If I have a mentor, I will be able to seek help and be aware of the “best practices” before I enter the classroom. I plan to ask Ms. Garcia to help mentor me. As to any final thoughts, Allied said, “you can do it. Believe in yourself and follow the strategies that are available for you to become an efficient student. Remember to work smart and give it all you’ve got. ”