College Basics

Knowing Thyself

Students often have blind spots in knowing their strengths and weaknesses, and many do not know what they want to pursue as a career. Knowing thyself is one of the most important skills a student can have in college and in life. Knowing thyself is an attitude that drives action to become better.

College pushes students out of their comfort zones. It forces them to face challenges that help identify strengths, weaknesses, and develop coping skills for future jobs.

Metacognition, or reflecting on one’s learning, can be a powerful tool in improving self-knowledge. Metacognition allows students to reflect on success and failure. Students are notoriously bad at identifying their capabilities. Through class success, students prove to themselves what they can accomplish. After certain difficult courses, students may find themselves thinking, “If I can do that, I can do anything!”

Also, no matter what, you are not defined by your success or failure. Whatever happens at school, it is not life or death.

Mindfulness Can Improve Self-Knowledge

Mindfulness is thinking about one’s current feelings and experiences, without judgment, which helps one learn about one’s personality.  Research shows that we often are not good at judging our patterns and that mindfulness helps to overcome barriers to knowing yourself (Dane and Brummel, 2013). Through self-reflection, students can start to form goals, complete courses, and earn degrees that lead to their careers and future.  By paying close attention to patterns in action, thinking, feeling, and progress, mindfulness can give insight on one’s strengths and weaknesses. Often times a greatest strength can also be a greatest weakness.  Also, seeking out mentors and instructor feedback can help identify shortcomings.