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Education is the
progressive discovery
of our own ignorance
Will Durant 1885 - 1981
American philosopher/historian

Learning to learn series

Succeeding in continuing and higher education

Text of exercise:

Succeeding in continuing and higher education

A New Environment - Many Opportunities

Higher education can seem like a strange, new world and overwhelming challenge.
We invite you to spend some time thinking about how to get the most out of it.
This exercise assumes that you are exploring studies after secondary education.
If accepted at a school, your first-year orientation will also provide some answers.
You can help yourself work through the "big picture" by using this exercise.

Ready? Let's start with a few basic questions.

Part 1: Personal Goals
In this section, consider your personal educational goals.

Follow the English SMART acronym:
Specific - Measurable - Attainable - Rewarding - Timely

What are your goals?
Scan this list and select the most important to you, or think of your own.
Remember to be "SMART"!

Better earnings | More interesting career options | A liberal arts education | Learn more about the world
Greater critical thinking ability | Improved self confidence and interpersonal skills | Extracurricular activities/sports | Progress toward advanced degrees

Add a personal, specific statement about one of these goals:

Part 2: Your experience in, and preparation for, learning
Let's build in some factors that will lead to your success.

What are three things you have done to prepare yourself for college?
What is one area of study you enjoyed the most?
When studying the most important,
what separated it from your other studies to make it easier?
How can you apply this successful strategy to other areas?

Part 3: Challenges
What will prevent you from succeeding?

Are the circumstances right for you to succeed in higher education?
What are three areas you will find yourself most challenged?
What one circumstance affects your dedication to completing your education?

Part 4: Aids to success
In this section, you will consider what will help you succeed.

Identify three resources or people at the school that could help you.
Identify three resources or people outside the school that could help you
What is one option, if necessary, that you can change if things become too difficult?

Part 5: Your plan
For each item below, enter a summary statement of a sentence or so:

From your experience, list three "steps" you think will help you succeed in school.
What is the first or most important?

What one strategy can you use to allocate time to your studies?
What is one other control or self-discipline practice you can use to succeed?

Name one strategy you will use to deal with stress?
What is one type of reward you can reserve specifically for success in this process?

After you have listed out answers to this list,
print out a summary of your thoughts, ideas, and plans regarding your own higher education.

See also:

Learning to learn | Succeeding in continuing education | Visual/spatial learning |
Learning as a student-athlete | Learning as an adult | Learning with ADHD |
Active learning | Action learning | Language learning strategies |
Exploring your personal learning style | Learning folder

Flash exercise contributed by Steve Kladstrup and Joe Landsberger