Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Take it Easy

The Eagles' song "Take It Easy" floated through my brain this morning. Not sure why. Part of the lyric says, "Just find a place to make your stand and take it easy". It's been my experience that many nontrads tend to stress out over the whole experience of returning to school. I did, too (and still do sometimes).

I was listening to my son give my daughter advice yesterday on the "college experience". He told her she will need to "find her niche". I believe that holds true for nontrads, too. Like the Eagles sang, "Just find a place to make your stand and take it easy." Look at the environment you're in. If you're online and have to participate in group discussions, your niche may be to look at the topic from a different angle, or to offer current research on the topic, or to ask probing questions. If you're on campus, your niche may be taking notes for a disabled classmate, or organizing study groups in your class, or encouraging the doctoral student teaching your Whatever 101 class. One former classmate of mine found his niche in baking cookies for his classes, study groups, etc. He made great cookies!

One you've gotten all the basics lined up (schedule, financial aid, books and supplies, advisor), take it easy. The first session of summer school is almost over and the second one will begin soon. That means the fall semester is right around the corner. Now is the time to stop and ask, 'What is my niche? Where is my place to make my stand?' If I go into a situation with some inkling of what to expect, I can handle that situation better. I can relax and take it easy. How about you? Stay tuned . . .

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