We’re now into our second week of classes. In Week 1 of our HHS125 class, students have an opportunity to learn about me (as the lead facilitator/coach) and about each other. It’s been interesting to hear them share their answers to our introduction worksheet. The two most pertinent to me are:
- One a scale from 1 (my life completely sucks and I don’t want to be here) to 10 (my life is awesome 24/7), how would you rate your life? Then, describe the state of your life RIGHT NOW in one word.
- Now that you know a little bit about this course, complete the following sentence: By the end of the semester, I want to __________________________. (Note: Your answer doesn’t have to be related to educational goals or this course).
The most common answers to the Scale score is either a 7 or 8, which has been consistent for the past three years. There are a few scattered 9’s and 10’s, as well as the occasional 5’s and 6’s. I’ve reached out to any students that rated their lives under a 5, just to see how they are doing – and if there’s anything I can do and that I’m available to help. Two reached out already and we’ve been able to have a chat about their situations (via e-mail).
There are many, many words that they use for the ONE WORD to describe their life – we’ll get responses like New, Different, and Exciting to Growing and Changing, to Crazy, Busy, Challenging, and Chaotic. Remember, this is the first week of class! Regardless, it’s always great to hear them share a few things about themselves and their lives in such an interesting way.
My favorite part is their answer to the second bullet point, where they do the sentence completion. I would bet that most people, knowing that about half our students are looking to pursuing professional programs (undergraduate or graduate) that require a high GPA, would guess that these students would be focused on “getting high grades.” Interestingly enough, only about 10% are focused on the grades; most (about 75%) talk about making sure they are in the right major, coming up with a Plan B in case they don’t get into their first choice of major, and being confident that they are moving in the right direction. Which is why we spend much of our time in the HHS125 class helping them with their plan for college – and for life.
One of the things that I emphasize in the class is that this class won’t teach you study skills, time management, and note-taking strategies. Although these skills are important, we’re finding – year after year – that students want to feel confident and happy about their choice of a major. For most, it’s not about the money, it’s not about the prestige, it’s not about the grades; they just want to be happy in doing something that matters. And helping in that process brings me joy! What about you?