Annual Student Interviews - Advice for Current Students
By Ms. PJ Nuzman
It’s that time of year again. Every new year, I ask around to find out what advice people have for current students. The reason I ask the same question every year is to see what things are constant/reliable and which are new/emerging. Obviously, this year was a little different. I had a much smaller circle of people to ask, though I still tried to get a variety of unbiased sources. As such, this year’s advice is a little short. It is important to know that each of these items can look different for everyone. I tried to match by theme to help narrow it down to four main points: mental and physical health, mental and physical abilities. There is cross over between them as well. I tried to not use “don’t” unless it was in a positive statement.
- Be diligent
- Don’t stop believing in yourself
- Keep moving forward
- Don't get behind
- Manage time
- Manage stress
- Don’t sweat the small stuff
- Don’t be petty
- Be kind
- Use resources
- Ask for help
- Know how to ask for help
- Be useful
- Have some solid skill sets
- Decide your major as soon as you can
Stress management and mental health seem to really be constants. For 5 years I have gotten answers about believing in yourself and not worrying about everything. There is so much and yet so little that we can control, I think this idea of managing your mind is really important. The new thing that really goes along with that, that people are finally not afraid to talk about, is kindness. Kindness for yourself and others can really improve your mental health and stamina against negative thoughts.
I also see advice about communication skills every year. There is always some answer about being able to ask for and receive help. I think I see this every year because it is something people still struggle with, no matter how much practice they have had. It is a skill that needs to be kept up and adapted to different situations. I am thinking about my emergency response training that has to be renewed on a regular basis. WHY? Because things change over time and we need reminders. My biggest take away right now, the skill I have really relied on this last year, is that it is not enough to just ask for help; You have to tell people what to do. Delegate! Don’t can’t just say “help,” point out who should do what, be specific and concise. This idea can be applied to many scenarios, like getting tutoring.
My challenge to you: try at least one of these skills for the next month. Make it a SMART goal. Figure out how to measure the outcome you want and what you will get out of it. Ask for help if you need to ;)