The holidays are notoriously fraught with difficult
conversations. Conversations about next semester, conversations about progress,
choices, direction, expectations – the list goes on. Many of these conversations
are bound to take place at the holiday dinner table.
We believe that these difficult conversations do not happen in isolation; students struggle to assert their new independence just as parents struggle to define their new role. While there are no standard protocols or rules of engagement applicable to every family,
You may not have received your grade yet, but you do have a sinking suspicion that is growing into a panic. You have failed a midterm—or two. You are stressed, your self-esteem just took a huge hit, you didn’t meet expectations… And now you wonder what comes next.
Breathe. Take a little time to regain your perspective. And know that you are not alone. Far from it. According to ‘First-Year College Experience,’ a survey conducted by the JED Foundation:
50% of college students reported feeling stressed most or all of the time and 36% did not feel as if they were in control of managing the stress of day-to-day college life.
Simply put, our approach works. We use Appreciative Inquiry to facilitate lasting positive change in our students.
“Appreciative Inquiry is the cooperative search for the best in people, their organizations, and the world around them. It involves systematic discovery of what gives a system ‘life’ when it is most effective and capable in economic, ecological, and human terms. AI involves the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a system’s capacity to heighten positive potential.
Psychologists Keith Stanovich and Richard West refer to two
systems in the mind, System 1 and System 2.
• System 1 operates automatically and quickly, with little
or no effort and no sense of voluntary control. • System 2 allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that demand
it, including complex computations. The operations of System 2 are often
associated with the subjective experience of agency, choice, and concentration.
When our College Life Coordinators talk to students about
following their dreams, they are not referring to rainbows and unicorns but to real,
heart-felt student aspirations.
The charge to pursue your dreams (i.e. do what you love) is certainly
not a new recommendation. Confucius told us to “Choose a job you love, and you
will never have to work a day in your life.” Modern business leaders reiterate
the advice: Steve Jobs tells us,
This is not something you will find on Spotify. Your Midterm survival playlist is more like the old Boy Scouts motto, “Be Prepared,” in which the scout is ready, willing, and able to do what is necessary in any situation that comes along. Your first brush with Midterms demands scout-level preparation – and determination.
Here are eight considerations that will help you do your
So many First Years in college feel like everything is
happening all at once. This is what the internal dialogue might be like as you drag
yourself out of bed to face a new day in a new school year in a new
“Will this jacket be warm enough today? Where’s my
toothpaste? What day it is anyway? Tuesday. Right. Where did I leave that
assignment? My favorite shirt smells terrible. Is my phone charged?
“These are the best days of your life.” How many times have you heard this statement in reference to your college days? If you are like most new students (and even of you aren’t!) you have heard it too many times. Adjusting to college life can be a serious challenge that doesn’t exactly feel like the “best days…” In fact, most first-year students struggle adjusting to new friends, a new environment, and a new workload.
We are happy to announce that we have partnered with the International Guest House to provide an alternative housing option for Focus Collegiate students. The International Guest House is an independent dorm conveniently located in the middle of Boston in the Back Bay on Beacon Street.
It’s not too late to explore college attendance in Boston without committing to full-time enrollment. Students who choose IGH housing will have the opportunity to test the college waters as a non-matriculating student.
G.I. Joe was an action figure who, to placate parents, ended
each of his 1980s cartoons with the PSA, “Now you know. And knowing is half the
battle…” The PSA was given within the context of something dangerous kids did
unintentionally – like running out into traffic. Each cartoon would end with
G.I. Joe encircled by a group of kids gleefully shouting, “Now we know!” And
presumedly, those smart kids will never make that same mistake again.