Two sides of the same coin. Two sides to every story.
Our strengths are often our weaknesses. When we are determined and stubborn and committed to follow through on a task, it is a strength. We rock! We can do it! When we continue on a path that is tearing us apart, wreaking havoc on our sleep or psyche, this may be a strength overplayed into a weakness – of not being able to stop, let go or find a new path.
(Note: *This advising tale is not an exact story, more an amalgamation of several recent student stories. Details have been changed to protect their identity.)
I was talking with a student (*Ann) yesterday who was struggling with Biology, and she was also really committed to pursuing a career in a health occupation. Ann and I have talked a few times and she was dedicated to good study habits – meeting with a tutor, doing academic coaching, using flashcards and participating in a study group. This last visit she was just bummed. She was less stressed this visit, and more resigned to the fact that this Bio course would not work out well.
Amidst the discussion of disappointment and “what now?” was her sheepish question of “can I change my major?” (As an advisor, I’m here to support you in meeting your goals, though yes, I’d like to see you graduate with a degree.) My reply was, “yes, you can, what are you thinking of…”
This is when the conversation shifted away from the mindset of wondering how to not fail this specific class, and what if that does happen, what would that mean for this application and can this class be retaken, and started focusing on other thoughts; what about if I did ____? Are there any courses in _____ next term? I’ve always wanted to learn more about ___ !
The air, the hope, the look in her eyes — it all changed.
This was all visible within 30 minutes, though likely she had had days and weeks of thought and worry. From disappointment in not achieving the first goal, to excitement in a new future possibility. Two sides of change.
Image by storyset on Freepik