Passion, Perseverance, Practice

a letter P made out of letter Ps

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So I’m here to give you my newest hint for achieving success. I know that I’m still a junior in City Tech, but I think of myself as very successful. I have discovered so much about myself throughout my schooling, I’ve learned about life, and I’ve come across some of the secrets to success. The best part? This secret is great for achieving higher scores in your classes and getting the most out of your class.

The secret that I want to share with you is that to be successful, remember the three Ps: Passion, Perseverance, and Practice.¬†These three¬†words are the ingredients to being successful in any endeavor.¬†This mantra can be put to use in many situations. Let’s discuss some school examples.

I’m sure we’ve all had the experience of taking a class that we are really excited about, and of course there are those classes we wish we did not have to take. Those are the classes that might get pushed off until the end of our¬†degree if that’s allowed. Often these are classes that we feel are not necessary for our majors. If we look at both type of classes, we will see that this slogan can be used¬†for both.

First we’ll discuss that class to which you were really looking forward. You probably already have the first part, PASSION. Once you have that, you probably have discovered that you are willing to do anything to do well. That’s good because if you’re willing to do anything, PERSEVERANCE should be simple for you. Of course you know that working really hard only helps to a certain extent. But then, you can PRACTICE. We’ve all heard the phrase, “Practice makes Perfect”, and this is the reason why.

The same basic principle goes for that class that you can’t stand thinking about. There’s is just one fundamental difference. In these classes, you need to find a reason to have PASSION. Find a small part of the subject that is just amazing to you. Find a reason to get involved in the class, and you’ll find that the same principle will apply.

Have the PASSION, PERSEVERE, and PRACTICE, and you’ll be Proud!

College Life: All Work and No Play?

Image by JacQuLyne on Flickr

There are many aspects of college life that contribute to varying degrees to a student’s success. Of course, a student’s primary responsibility is to his or her classes, but it is important not to ignore the extracurricular activities available on campus and off. Academic research studies have consistently proven that students who are involved in college life in more ways than just their classroom have proven to be more successful in their time as undergraduate college students. Many students hesitate to participate in these activities because of a fear that their classroom performance will suffer. While this is a valid concern, if a student maintains the proper balance between academic and social activities, they have less of a risk of burnout and greater chances of achievement.¬†

Students who participate in social functions on campus have the added benefit of socializing with other students on a regular basis as well as having the chance to network with students and professionals in their own field and those related to theirs. Many college activities also have a cultural or academic focus, allowing students to learn about their world in a more relaxed atmosphere. These lessons can then be correlated to classroom studies without much effort because the student has “lived” the experience.¬†

Some specific upcoming opportunities for socializing, learning, and enhancing skills outside of the classroom are the following: 

The 32nd annual Literary Arts Festival is scheduled for 5:30 today. This is a unique celebration of literature, students’ work and culture. This event is open to the public. This year, the guest speakers will be the director of Brooklyn Castle as well as a star character of this documentary. This is not an event to miss. In addition, there will be student performances and readings. Leading up to this festival, there was a writing contest with various submission categories. For more information abouty this event see the Literary Arts Festival page¬†

Another opportunity to get involved in your college experience outside of the classroom is the new contest, “What Does Gen Ed Mean to You?” Students are asked to compile an audio/visual, graphic, or other artistic presentation to answer this question. One winner will be selected from each of the three schools in the college. The winner will receive a $250 cash prize. The winning submissions will also be used to promote General Education in the college. This is a great opportunity to start thinking¬†about what general education is, why¬†the college requires it, and how you benefit from it. For mor information and submissions, email the Gen Ed committee¬†at or visit the¬†Gen Ed Contest page¬†¬†¬†

Other upcoming events include an end of semester bash by SGA, “Fun in the Sun”, on May 6 and graduation. Also, you can start attending clubs during the college’s designated club¬†hours: Thursday 12:45-2:15¬†

How will you make the most of your college experience?

Saving the world, One Life at a Time

an illustration of a globe surrounded by hands

So, I usually write about things that are directly related to school, but I had an experience this weekend that made me decide to change my direction this once. The Nursing Department has a requirement of 6 hours of Community Service. The past two semesters, I completed my requirement within the first week of the semester. This semester, I arranged to do it two times already, and both times it got canceled. I finally got a chance to do my community service this Saturday.

Last semester I actually had a chance to volunteer with this agency often. It’s a wonderful community-based agency that provides services for families of children with chronic and terminal illness. This semester, I was actually worried that I would not be able to complete my six hours of volunteering. I was so busy worrying that I wouldn’t make my required hours, that I had forgotten how great it actually feels when I’m doing it.

I got to the hospital on Friday evening, and I realized that I had actually taken care of this child on another occasion. It was so wonderful to see how much this child had improved in the past few weeks. As I settled in to the routine, I started thinking that this would be easy. I thought that since I already knew this kid, and I knew about his condition, I this would be a breeze. And I knew that the next 25 hours would be great.

Then, the kid started crying. I could tell he was in pain, and all I could do was hold his hands. I could try to soothe him, I could advocate for him, and I could pray for him, but I could not fix him. I spent the night hoping that he would be okay. I accompanied him to tests, I freaked out every time the monitor did its little song, and prayed some more. And we got through the night.

When the day shift arrived in the morning, I was tired from being up all night, but we had made it. The little boy was really in a good mood, very friendly, and I like to believe that it wasn’t from the pain medicine. We got to bond the rest of the day. Except of course when he took a little nap, and I got to snooze a little. By the time it was time to leave, I felt like I had just saved the world.. Well I guess they do say that you can save the world one life at a time.

General Education: a Waste of Time or an Essential Part of School

six people standing with arms around each other

Some faculty and students on the General Education Committee

As undergraduate students in a technology college, most of us students have come to City Tech with a specific educational goal in mind. Possibly you want to go for a degree in Hospitality Management. Maybe you’d prefer a career in electrical or mechanical engineering. Or perhaps you choose to get your education in a healthcare field. No matter what field you choose to enter, there are certain core requirements, or general education classes, that you will be required to take as part of your degree.

Many students wonder why they are required to take these classes. Why do engineering students have to take humanities courses? Why should art students have to take sciences? Students may be shocked to find out that there is much research on this matter. In fact, New York City College of Technology has a committee that is focused on improving the quality of the General Education experience at the college. This committee works on the core requirements of all the degrees and is comprised of professors in all of the schools within the college as well as other key administrators and staff of the college.

On Thursday, March 7, this committee had a meeting with representatives from the student body to form a coalition to improve the visibility of the General Education component of the curriculum. This committee is in the process of putting together a contest on this matter.

To prepare for submissions into this contest, let’s start brainstorming, what does General Education mean to you?

Finding a Faculty Mentor; That’s What they Get Paid for

a cartoon character reading an upside-down book "HOW TO BE A PERFECT STUDENT"

So, I know that many students in City Tech are looking to get the most out of their education. I also know that many of those students have difficulty with many of their classes. Students attend tutorials, actually pay tutors the big bucks, and buy study books galore. What many of them don’t know, is that there are actually faculty out there who are waiting for you to knock down their doors.

Did you know that these faculty actually have a mandatory number of student advisement hours? If we don’t go to them during their hours, what are they being paid for? Their really waiting for you to come, and they want to help you with your classes.

They also want to help you with other aspects of college life. Your faculty are the ones who’ve been through college, they’ve been through more life than you, and by the way, they’re the ones who are going to right letters of reccomendation for you. Don’t you think you should do yourself a¬†favor¬†and get yourself a mentor?

It’s actually not very hard to find a mentor. It goes something like this. You find a professor, find out their office hours, and go visit them. Take it from an experienced mentee. It’s a sure way to find a mentor.

Who’s up for the challenge?

image from creative soul prints

Preparing for class, Before, During and After

books and eyeglasses with a pen and paper

(image by¬†by¬†It’s So Sunny!¬†via Creative Commons)

The semester has just begun, and if you’re classes are like mine, you’re already swamped with work. Every professor gives assignments, every professor gives tests, and every professor wants you to prepare before coming to class. So, every semester, I make a resolution that I will not get behind on my work, that I will prepare the material before class instead of after, and that I will not cram before the tests. Rather, I will study in a manner that will allow me to retain the information. Somehow I always end up sticking to the plan for the first two exams, and doing really well, but after mid-semester evaluations, I get that “Spring Fever” slump. I become less disciplined, and it is reflected in my grades.

So, the question is how I’m going to make sure this doesn’t happen again this semester. I have a plan that I have implemented that hopefully will allow me to continue to do well in my classes throughout the semester without getting burnt out in the middle of the semester. My plan has three parts: Before, During, and After

In the Before stage of my plan, I attempt to figure out my schedule BEFORE the semester, allowing me to prioritize school, work, and free time. I bought a planner that has time slots for every day from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. I have made a tentative plan for when I will prepare for the classes, when I will review after the classes, when I will be available to work, and when I will give myself a break from school work. I have done the planning in pencil to allow for necessary changes to the schedule. The schedule allows time for things that come up unexpectedly, as well as taking in to account my personal sleep requirements. Most college students know how much time they need for sleep, preparation and assignments. I challenge you to figure ou your BEFORE schedule.

In the During phase of the plan, I intend to become actively involved in the course material both DURING the class and while studying. I do this by asking questions during class, teaching the material to other students or family and friends, and applying the material from my classes to my every day life. In order to implement the DURING phase of my plan, it is essential that I achieve the proper balance between school, work and free time to allow myself to remain actively involved during school and homework while still maintaining my sanity and not allowing myself to become burnt out. It is essential, at this point to allow myself adequate time for regular living and stress relief as well as sleep and balanced meals. So, how will you balance your DURING?

The last part of my plan, the After stage, involves reflecting on my strengths and weaknesses after an exam and recognizing where I have room for improvement. This is a continuous phase, essential for the success of my plan. AFTER all is said and done, it is only with continuous reflection that I will be able to gauge my progress in achieving my goals.

So I’m interested in knowing, how have you prepared for the semester? What are your New Semester Resolutions? How will you ensure your success?