Last week, the program in which I work, University Honors, 1500+ first year students were sent an invitation to apply to program. That list of 1500 are all students who have a GPA of 3.5 or higher, after their first term at the university. Congrats to these students for having great first-term grades as during that time they were handling the transition to college life and college academics.
On Tuesday, I hosted an information session regarding the invitation. After the session was over, there was a student who asked for a few minutes of my time. She was concerned that although she received the invitation, she was not confident she was really Honors ready as she is struggling with one of he classes this term. What would you do if you were in her situation?
Invitations. How many invitations do you receive on a weekly basis? Think about your email inbox. Do you receive invitations to go to events, to shop with a discount, to join an organization, to make a contribution to a charity, to apply for a credit card? The list of invitations is lengthy. What decision making skills do you employ when deciding which action to take? Some decisions are simple: “I do not have a $100 for that concert ticket.” so that email can be immediately deleted. Others decisions are not as swift. “Do I have time to join this club? I really like the activities they do, and it would look good on my resume.”
When making the ‘big’ decisions, take your time. Make a list of pros and cons, ask your friends, ask people you trust, talk to people in the organization about their experiences, talk to people outside the organization about their opinions. In the case of the student in this story, she was concerned about asking for a letter of recommendation, her upcoming grades, time management and recent family struggles. I reiterated to her, that receiving the invitation was an honor in itself, and for her to be considering those other things also meant she is a proactive thinker! Moving forward with the application process might not be in her best interest, and that is okay. College is one of the best times to engage with your decision making skills.
The next time you look at your inbox, give a brief thought to how you are making decisions: quickly, slowly, thoughtfully, knowingly… and, do delete that credit card application without even opening it!