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William is an Assistant Professor at Mount Saint Vincent University in the Department of Business Administration and Tourism and Hospitality Management. He is fascinated by research around how individuals construct and create their social realities, intrigued with the powers of creativity and innovation, and an avid proponent of outstanding service experiences. When not teaching, writing, or researching, he tries to spend time with his family and occasionally paint. He is currently completing his PhD in Management at Saint Mary’s University.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Short time is hard time

An open letter to university / college students:

Final exams begin in six weeks or so. Perhaps it's a great stressor that final exams are coming up. Maybe it's the 'or so' part.

My experience in teaching tells me that this is crunch time for many students; a time to reflect on their performance in the last six weeks and six months. It is a time to pull up socks and engage with material. A time to jump into the game.

The weather is changing - spring is in the air. No wait. Employment is in the air! Jobs and money, work and reward.

Yes, it is time to successfully finish one journey and move on to another. If you are in a position at school that brings your success into question, consider the following:

  1. Time management - Everything you need to know about success in your courses is contained in your course outline. Read it again. Put every single date into your calendar.
  2. A calendar - If you do not maintain a calendar, do this NOW. Not in 5 days, not in 5 hours - NOW. Plan every single thing that you must do over the next 7 weeks, then work backwards so that it gets done. Daunting I know, but it must get done. (If you're not willing to build yourself a calendar, flip over to that blog on self-esteem. At least you'll feel better.)
  3. Working hard - Yes, you'll need to put in some hours reading, writing and studying. Good news is that you still have time to turn things around. Bad news, you'll likely need to sacrifice some of the other activities in your past activity list.
  4. Get help - Every student questioning their status right now should book an appointment with a faculty member to assess performance and get suggestions on improvement. Trying to succeed in school without feedback is like trying to get to the Olympics without a coach. Could happen, but not likely.

Six to seven weeks left. Keep it simple and straight forward.

But that's just my two cents.

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