Congratulations to all of you who successfully completed another semester of college. With the stress of “finals” behind you and, for most of you, a bit of a break before the Spring semester begins, this is the PERFECT time to reflect on your college journey so far. We know that each of you began college with some specific personal, academic and career goals in mind, and we know that these goals may change over time. We also understand that it is easy to get caught up in just following your “degree plan” and chipping away at the mandatory classes you need in order to graduate. While this is certainly an important part of the process, we encourage you all to carve out some time over the winter break to reflect on your goals and ask yourself if they still ring true for you.
We realize that the word “reflect” is a bit vague, so here are a few specific questions for you to ponder as you lie in your bed back home, take your dog for a walk, or just sit quietly in your favorite chair:
What have I learned about myself that I did not realize when I first started college?
Does my current academic path honor what matters most to me, and does it reflect who I am and who I want to become? In other words, “Is what I am doing now helping me become the person I want to be in future?”
What have I done to make sure that I am getting all that I can from my college experience? What opportunities or experiences do I want to make sure I have before graduating? And what am I doing to make this happen?
Am I facing any struggles (personal,social,academic) that I need to work through with the help of Simon and/or college advisors and staff?
If you are an upperclassmen, I encourage you to also reflect on a couple of additional questions:
Which faculty at my college truly know me and could write a letter of recommendation for me when I apply for an internship, job or graduate school? What am I doing to build these key relationships?
What am I doing to make myself stand out among a pile of resumes when I apply for my first “real” job out of college or when I apply for graduate school?
We know this is a lot to ponder and that some of you just want to “check out” completely over break and not think about school. But once the new semester begins, there will likely be little time to sit and reflect. We believe that you will find a great deal of satisfaction and renewed motivation if you truly reflect on all that you have accomplished so far as well as your priorities for the future.
On behalf of everyone at the Simon Charitable Foundation, we wish you all a joyful, peaceful and safe holiday season. We hope that you are able to relax and spend time with family and friends, and that you begin the new year feeling rested and ready!