Life @ U of T

Introduction

Strength Series – Part 3: Academic Success

I may not have graduated and received my degree yet, but that doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate along the way. It’s been a long three years, and as I go into my fourth, I’ve learned that celebrating even the little things, like finishing an assignment and starting another semester, makes the journey more enjoyable. Maybe I don’t need an entire cake to celebrate finishing an exam, but acknowledging my hard work and perhaps, even a cupcake, will suffice.

Strength Series – Part 3: Academic Success

Last week, the focus was career. This week, continuing from the “Building Your Strengths” trio, the focus is “Strengths and Academic Success”.

Here are 4 things I learned from this week’s workshop:

Celebrate ALL achievements, big and small
I may not have graduated and received my degree yet, but that doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate along the way. It’s been a long three years, and as I go into my fourth, I’ve learned that celebrating even the little things, like finishing an assignment and starting another semester, makes the journey more enjoyable. Maybe I don’t need an entire cake to celebrate finishing an exam, but acknowledging my hard work and perhaps, even a cupcake, will suffice.

Draw on the potential
Even in my fourth year, I still have yet to master the art of studying. Certain tasks like, participating in class, and keeping up with weekly readings I could always improve. And through this workshop, I learned that with the help of my strengths and the practice of some skills, I can accomplish any task. So now, when I have to sit down and do my weekly readings, I will drawn on my strengths for help and remind myself that as I do so, I’m also developing skills such as discipline and organization.

Do the least that can be done
I often feel bad when I don’t get everything I set out to do during a period. But perhaps, it’s because I set the bar too high for myself, expecting the most, without considering the least. Hypothetically, I could write 800 words in 2 hours, but realistically I can probably write a good 500. So maybe I should plan to write 400 words, and then maybe, I’ll even reach 600 words without all the added pressure. Knowing what is the least that I can do, helps me to get the most done. And then maybe, I can get my cupcake.

“Word Vomit – Puke it out on paper”
As you may have guessed in my past blogs, I’m a fan of analogies. During this workshop, I found the reference of “word vomit” to be very helpful. Simply put, just write down whatever is on your mind. It’s particularly useful when there’s multiple things get done, and deadlines to meet, but I think it can also apply to anything that clouds my mind. That’s why I keep a notebook or a pad of sticky notes on me, so that I can clear some head space and see what needs to be done on paper.

If you’d like to learn more about ways to improve your studying habits, or need academic advice, check out what Academic Success has to offer, and book an appointment with a learning strategist.

Got a question about Academic Success? Tune in to the Academic Success Facebook Live on Tuesday, August 7 at 2-3 PM EDT.

Sign up for academic success workshops and leadership workshops.

See you next week for the fourth and last installment of Strength Series – Part 4: Lead!

Strength Series Part 4: Lead banner with group of penguins in the background

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