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Just Keep Swimming- How to Avoid Sinking into Despair Defeat is an endless cycle that college students are persistently and relentlessly swept away in. Massive waves of books that need to be studied, classwork due-dates, and impending tests frequently make them feel as though they are drowning. These students become paralyzed, sinking into the despairing belief that they cannot possibly get everything done. Others find a way to accomplish all of their requirements, but even these “go-getter” students are not immune to defeat: their drive to succeed may be so strong that a bad grade on an assignment will make them question their potential for success. Whatever the case, college students are prone to wonder whether or not they can truly handle …show more content…
American culture places a great deal of emphasis upon attaining goals and “reaching for the stars”, and while this attitude can inspire greatness, it can also cripple it. Students tend to worry too much about the expectations that they have set for themselves and have had placed upon them by others. Fear and worry cause these young adults to internalize their failures (however few or abundant) and conclude that they must not be capable of the greatness that is expected of them. They assume that their every action is being judged for worthiness, and will thus impact their future. While this is true to a certain extent, (there are some things that can earn a person a permanently bad track record), a bad grade or two does not define a student’s success- or their ability as a person to succeed in general. “In life, typically, the only one keeping a scorecard of your successes and failures is you, and there are ample opportunities to learn the lessons you need to learn, even if you didn’t get it right the first- or fifth- time.” (Roth, 21). Bernard Roth, author of The Achievement Habit and professor at Stanford University said this in the middle of a story about his own failures. Failure does not mean that success cannot be attained, but is rather a normal and fundamental part of the journey to …show more content…
“Research has long stressed the need for…disempowered groups to have role models...as exemplars of achievement.” (Crosby, 115). Young adults have a deep-seated need for mentors, and college students are no exception to this- in fact, they are an age group that particularly benefits from a having a guiding hand as they navigate this tumultuous phase of life. Upperclassmen who are focused and do well in class (as well as grad students who are teaching or studying nearby) can be a great asset to struggling college students; these older mentors have already been through the same experiences and found their own methods of building and maintaining self-esteem. Other potential mentors can include teachers and other school faculty, or anyone else that a student can rely upon for respected behavior and reliable advice. These mentor friendships also give college students a stable person to bond with, which can be vital to the students’ ability to thrive and feel at home in their college environment. In order to gain sound advice and learn how to succeed, college students should seek out strong role models in their surroundings and emulate these role models’ habits and

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