BETAA Students,

I don’t know if you are fully aware of this, but it has been said, “the only reason people fail is broken focus”. Frustration, confusion and procrastination will break your focus and cause you to derail your dream of obtaining your degree. Don’t let a negative attitude dominate you. Do not allow yourself to get bogged down in the day-to-day small stuff. You have to keep your eyes on the “big prize” at the “end of the rainbow”.

If you are serious about this educational journey, you need to shed all unneeded distractions. You need to look at your education like a professional athlete looks at winning a championship. The best professionals athletes and teams diligently plan to capture the championship in their respective sport. You need to plan how  you are going to obtain your degree.

There will always be distractions, but you have to prioritize the distractions. Is it a life or death issue? If yes, then you need to deal with it. Now! If it is not a life or death issue then you need to schedule the distraction around your school work. A distraction is something important, i.e. Jury Duty, Medical appointment, Job responsibility, etc. A distraction is not drama with the boy/girl friend, hanging out at the gym/mall/student center, playing video games or getting your car washed/repaired/gassed up.  I like to refer to these as temptations. These things can be dealt with as long as your school responsibilities are complete. It is tempting to deal with these things while school work looms, but if you try to do that your focus will be broken.

As I mentioned earlier, the only reason people fail is broken focus.

Webster defines focus as I am describing it here as:  Close or narrow attention; concentration.

Attention to detail and concentration on your final goal is the path to success.  Focus in on your studies. Make sure you are completing your assignments. Team up with your fellow students and work together. Visit your professors during their available office hours. Get involved in class discussions, if there are any. Ask questions in class and make sure you are clear on the answers given. Don’t be intimidated by the professor of teaching assistant, remember they are providing a service that you are paying for.

Remember, you are in school to focus on getting a college degree. So do just that. Focus. Get your work done and have fun after the assignments are complete. Don’t get caught up in the “I can’t focus” or “It’s to hard to concentrate” traps. Apply yourself and get organized. The more organized your are the easier it will be to get things done.

An organized mind goes hand in hand with an organized environment. If you live on campus, keep your room clean. Keep your workspace clean. Make it easy to get your hands on your notes and texts. Enlist your roommate in your organizational plan. If your roommate is does not buy in, just keep your area clean an move on. No use in worrying about  insensitive people, as they are overly common in today’s society. If you live at home, it may be easier to be lax, but don’t fall into that trap. keep your area clean and organized an you will find it easier to tackle your school responsibilities if your work area is organized and your family is not riding you to “clean up your room”.

So what is the big deal? Why do you want to stay focused?

Well, as I am sure you have noticed, the economic situation in the United States is a mess. There may not be many employment opportunities available to your graduating class 3 or 4 years from now. That means that there will be more competition for each job opening that is available. Your future employer will be looking for candidates who are team players, organized, easy to communicate with and intelligent. By developing you ability to stay focused now, you will also develop these other skills employers are looking for. So stay focused and achieve your dream.

Thanks for your attention.

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About The BETAA at NJIT Mentor

Long Distance Mentor

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