If You Could Go Back in Time...

June 6, 2013

What piece of academic or professional advice would you give to yourself?

We asked: If you could go back in time and give your younger self one piece of academic or professional advice, what would it be? You answered...

Don't spend one ounce of energy on feeling as though you lack anything you need for success. Tutor, Denise L.

If I could go back in time and rework my 'elementary years', and especially high school and college, boy would I have strict confidence in myself. No one will believe in you like you do yourself. Language Tutor Marianne G.
If I would go back in time, to my high school days, and studied my favorite subject, math, I would have paid more attention to creativity. I would have done more independent work instead of merely depending on ability and just doing the teacher assigned work in order to get through. Math tutor, Cris W.
Were I able to do something in my Nursing life over, I'd get the Master's in Nursing Education from University of Virginia, within the 1st 5 years of finishing my BSN, when I had more time and resources. Tutor Susan B.

In my personal and professional experience, I would say that learning effective people skills would be on the top of my list. Even if you are very good at what you do, in your personal or professional life, if you are not able to effectively work together with others, you are likely going to have some difficulty becoming a "success". A close second piece of advice would be to take more risks and not be afraid of making mistakes. Although playing it "safe" has its place, taking prudent risks surprisingly may bring about positive changes in your life. Tutor Joseph W.

DO IT FOR YOURSELF. It sounds like some simple mantra like out of a Nike ad, but it can be extremely difficult to achieve and extremely easy to overlook. You're not in school for your parents. You're not in school to please your teachers. You're not in school simply to get that job you desire. The #1 reason why you should be in school is to discover how you learn best, what subjects interest you most, and what meaning your life will have moving forward.MAth, English and Test Prep tutor, Adam T.

It wasn't until I entered Grad School that I finally knew! It was simple! I worried too much about my grades. The more I worried, the less time I spent actually studying. My books were open, my mind was ready to learn, but my worry got in the way of concentrating. There was a lesson hard learned, but at least I learned it. Tutor Laura Z.

If I could go back in time, I would've continued to go to school right after undergrad. I waited and feel as though I wasted a lot of time. However, I am finding that it is never too late to continue. Physical Sciences tutor Bonnie A.

In elementary school I was the subject of bullying. If I could go back to my Catholic school and tell my self something, I would say that it doesn't last. One day you will be in college as a female pre-engineer and instead of making fun of you people will come to you for help with class and questions about advice on life. -Tutor Ashley E. from Forsyth, GA.

Set time aside everyday for reading and exercising! English and Literature tutor, Peggy B.

Follow your heart and not what you think would be the logical path. I now know that my artistic strengths do not get to manifest themselves in my career of choice. I wish I would have added to my college life design classes. The more diverse you are the better potential you have in marketing your abilities. Elementary and Special Needs tutor, Catherine G.

Take pride in your work! As a kid, I spent some time playing with the idea of image-- being a nerd, versus being a slacker. My advice is, do your best! Your work represents you, so you should always take pride in what you do. Missa S.

If I went back in time to visit a much younger version of myself, I would encourage myself to take full advantage of group work. I could have spent more time embracing the opportunity to see other people's perspectives. If I had been more enthusiastic towards group work, then I might have not taken so long to decide what I wanted to do with my life. It was my final exposure to diversity and developing close study groups in the military and in college in which I discovered that I actually enjoyed some subject areas which I initially shunned. Writing and Art tutor, Lori S.

My greatest piece of advice to my younger self would be to have more courage in following your true passions. For example, I knew very early on that I loved writing but was fearful that my writing "wasn't good enough" and that I couldn't "make a living as a writer". As a result, I spent 26 years doing a corporate job that I hated only to embark on a second career that I finally feel called to do in my 40s. If I had my academic career to do over again, I would have majored in English and creative writing and gone immediately on to graduate school focusing on a university teaching career and engaging in my own writing as a hobby. English and Writing tutor, Robin L.

If I could go back in time I would encourage my younger self not to be afraid of learning and trying, that anything and everything is possible if you work towards it. I’d tell myself not to waste time and energy thinking you can’t and comparing yourself to others. Life is a journey. There is no “perfect,” just a process of learning and development. Writing and Language Arts Carolyn E.
I would tell myself to not strive so much for perfection. Nobody is perfect. If you give your school work a good effort, you will achieve success. I would be more open to speaking to people and not timid. Teachers and Administrators are there for a reason, and from experience I can say, it's not for the money. They are there because they care about students and education. Utilize them. - Sarah B.

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