Feeling Like a Tumbleweed? 3 Tips to Help You Reengage
What’s up first-gen scholar! So, now that you are a few weeks into the spring semester, how are you feeling? Are you as excited and confident as you were when the semester started? Maybe you are experiencing some personal or academic challenges and may feel discouraged at times, but you are finding ways to persevere and make the best of your situation.
Or are you feeling a little . . . tumbleweedish? Maybe you have failed a few exams and don’t see the point of attending classes anymore. Or you may be dealing with some life challenges impacting your success in the classroom, and your commitment or passion toward your education is not as strong as it once was. You have to juggle multiple responsibilities with family and work, and you’re starting to feel overwhelmed . . . by E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G!
In my experience as an educator, I have seen many students become tumbleweeds – and not by choice. Sometimes life gets the upper hand, and students may not know how to respond to certain challenges. They may alienate themselves but didn’t intend to do so. They may have wanted to persevere through a particular challenge but didn’t have the capacity to deal with one . . . more . . . thing.
You may be able to relate. No one chooses to become a tumbleweed. Students often have every intention to do well, but stuff happens, and before they know it, weeks or a month has passed, and they do not see a way to catch up or get back on track. They’re just bouncing and floating in the air like a tumbleweed.
If that’s you, you still have time to right the ship. Here are three tips to help you get back on track:
- Reflect. Take a moment to step back and reflect on where you are right now. It’s difficult to chart a path forward if you do not have an accurate sense of where you currently are. What’s going well for you this semester? Where do you need to improve? Be honest. If you do not like where you are right now, you have the power to change it. Reflection can be a life-changing tool.
- Recommit. Recommit to your purpose for being in college, your goals, and overall success. The semester can be a long 14-16 weeks, and sometimes we can lose focus and motivation. Despite how rough the semester has been, you can decide how it will end. How will you make the most of the next seven or eight weeks? You still have time to turn things around, but it will require a renewed commitment. Missed the mark yesterday? That’s okay. New day, new opportunity. Let’s recommit and try again.
- Reconnect. A tumbleweed becomes a tumbleweed because it’s no longer connected to a source where it can draw nutrients or support. Take a moment to think about the areas of your academic and/or personal life in which you feel disconnected and need support. It’s not too late for you to reconnect with the resources, faculty, and support professionals on your campus. Do not allow shame to prevent you from accessing the assistance you need. We are here to help you.
If you’re a tumbleweed, you have been bouncing around long enough – it’s time to reconnect, reengage, and finish strong.