[September 22, 2021] “Resiliency” isn’t a term college students use. Yet they experience adversity and setbacks. How they handle them is a matter of resiliency. Can they bounce back from these? If they can develop resiliency while in college, that strength will serve them well throughout their lives, especially when assuming career leadership roles.
Here are 9 tools that will build resilience while in college.
1. Use Current Support Networks and Find New Ones
You enter college with support back home – family and friends. Keep these connections and identify campus sources as well – counseling centers and even peers. In their careers, leaders must identify sources of advice and support, too.
2. Take Care of Yourself
Proper diet, breaks, physical exercise, enough sleep, and being realistic about what you can accomplish – these support your mental and physical health. Choose yourself first to be happier and more productive. You will later find that caring for yourself provides a good model for those you supervise.
3. Divide Big Tasks into Smaller Chunks
A major research paper due at the end of the semester? Rather than see it as an insurmountable task, divide the process into smaller pieces, and set a calendar to accomplish those over time.
4. Get Outside Academic Help When Needed
Every college student feels overwhelmed with assignments that stack up, especially in coursework that is not in their major. Biology lab report due? Find a lab report writer from an online writing service, so you can focus on your major field coursework. Business leaders understand how to prioritize and delegate less critical tasks to others.
5. Enter College with Life Skills
Cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. If you enter with these skills, you will eliminate stressors. (Rummaging through dirty clothes to find something to wear – not fun).
6. Budgeting – a Major Stressor
There is nothing worse than running out of money. You are reduced to eating Ramen or begging from friends; you can’t go out for beer and pizza; and bills go unpaid. Be proactive by setting up a budget you can stick to. Later on, you may have to manage a department budget.
7. Dealing with Academic Setbacks
Failing an exam is devastating. Don’t deal with it by dropping the course. Rather than allowing that one failure to consume you, make a plan. How will you bring the final course grade up? Tutoring? Extra effort into other course assignments? Joining a study group? Make a plan. This is what good leaders do when they fail – they problem-solve to overcome them.
8. Eliminate Distractions, Especially Negative Ones
As Aristotle said, “Everything in moderation,” and that certainly goes for social media. There’s a lot of negativity out there, and it’s easy to let that seep into your attitude and outlook. If you have “friends” who are consistently negative, block them.
9. Cultivate Relationships with Resilient Others
It’s obvious who these people are. They meet adversity head-on and bounce back. If you associate with them, you will get clues on how to do this yourself.
Test yourself. How many of these 9 are you practicing? And remember this: the resiliency you develop now will do you well for the rest of your life.