Helping your student think their way to success


When your student starts college, they’ll likely find a few areas where they need to improve. It could be a new subject they’re learning, like statistics, or a soft skill like improving their study habits or developing their networking pitch.

Identifying these challenge areas is an important part of your student’s personal growth. Knowing that they can improve is key to success.

Flip the mindset

Some people believe that you’re either a math person or an English person, but the reality is, while many people feel that way, thinking they’re not a “math person” can prevent your student from doing as well as they could in math because of their low expectations. Part of succeeding comes from your student’s mindset. It affects how hard they try and ultimately how much they grow.

Don’t let your student stay stuck in that mindset with everyone else — you know better. Maybe they haven’t focused on math previously, or writing essays has always given them major writer’s block. None of those things mean they’re fundamentally bad at them. They just have hurdles to overcome and mental blocks to get past. Make sure they understand that.

Growth mindset

Encourage your student to start thinking about things they’re struggling with by telling themselves they just don’t understand it yet. This growth mindset will help them remember that just because they don’t know something yet, it doesn’t mean they’re incapable of knowing it. It means it’s something for them to work on.

Your student can apply a growth mindset to anything, even things they’re already doing well at. Watch Emmy-, Grammy-, Academy- and Tony-award winner John Legend explain how having a growth mindset helped him push past his expectations and allowed him to become a successful artist.

Put your mind to it

With your student’s new way of thinking, they can do anything — if they put their mind to it. Having a growth mindset doesn’t mean that it won’t take work to master a new task, but it does mean believing that they can have the future they want if they don’t give up.