Category: Life Skills

Lasting Generational Change – Part 2 ~Babies, Cows, and Diplomas

Just like with college students today, life happened and the road to degree completion was a challenge for my parents. At the end of their fall semester back in December 77 I was born three weeks early right at the start of fall finals week. What can I say I have perfect timing! Nothing like going into labor while the father is across campus taking a final! Somehow, my parents managed to successfully finish their finals that semester, continued on to the next semester, and eventually complete their degrees. Money was tight, maintaining employment with a paycheck was a requirement, and their school assignments still had to be done. I cannot imagine having to physically go to the UCO library to type all of my papers on a typewriter! Or the frustration of having to retype an entire paper because of one small error. Or perhaps when your new infant puked milk on the assignment, I’m thinking it was a good thing I was cute! During their college years, there was a rogue black cow that jumped in front of their car late one night on their way home from the library damaging the main family car, a fully paid ’69 Camaro. Obstacles at times seemed to be in abundance for my parents. In the end, their persistence and adaptability prevailed. My father graduated with a Bachelor in Political Science and my mother with a Bachelor in General Studies. Instilling additional examples of how to persist in the face of challenges.

Troubles in life will come, how you overcome them matters more  than the initial delay toward your goals. Always adapt, adjust, and advance again. Achieving the end goal will be worth the bumps in the road in front of you. Just watch out for the cows!

Lasting Generational Change – Part 1

Lasting Generational Change Part 3 ~ Starting Anew, Conquering Algebra, & Battle Buddies

Lasting Generational Change – Part 4 ~ Final Conclusion and The Plan

Lasting Generational Change – Part 1 The Start

Generational change begins with someone deciding to take the first step on a new possibility. Beingthe first to take those steps into the unknown can have a lasting impact on the generations behind you. For the many first-generation college students, they are creating new pathways and new ways of overcoming challenges to achieve personal growth and create opportunities for future generations.

I am a 2nd generation college student, both my father and mother were first generation college students on the University of Central Oklahoma campus back in 1975 and 1976. Both began their freshman year of college at a statistical disadvantage. My father was raised by a single mother with limited financial resources. He knew the road out of poverty for him would include completing a college education. Upon graduation from high school, he enlisted in the US Navy Reserves, enrolled at UCO, and moved into Thatcher Hall, the men’s student dorm. At the same time, my mother’s high school guidance counselor was discouraging her from pursuing a college education.  My mother had a seizure disorder that made memorization work challenging and school had always taken a little more effort on her part. Thankfully, my mother ignored the opinion of the guidance counselor, applied for vocational rehabilitation benefits, enrolled at UCO, and commuted from Midwest City to the UCO campus. This first step created a lasting generational change for all four of their future children. Setting the example that, it is okay to create a new path in your life even if it is different from the one you grew up knowing. That the most important belief is the one inside of you, not that of the outside world.

Lasting Generational Change – Part 2 ~Babies, Cows, and Diplomas

Lasting Generational Change Part 3 ~ Starting Anew, Conquering Algebra, & Battle Buddies

Lasting Generational Change – Part 4 ~ Final Conclusion and The Plan

Mental Fitness

What is mental fitness and how important is it to success in college? Mental fitness is multidimensional including our emotional, psychological, and social well-being (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (2019). Meaning all three play a role in the stability of a person’s mental fitness like a three-legged stool. If one leg is shorter or lacking in some way the stool is not considered stable. Our mental fitness plays a role in everything we do down to the smallest details. It also affects larger aspects of college life like coping with stress, functioning in a campus society, and our decision patterns (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2019). Now that we have a general understanding of what mental fitness is and how it can affect us as college students; the better questions are what exercises can I do for my mental fitness?  How many set’s and how many repetitions are needed to reach maximum gain? Do I have to do cardio and legs for mental fitness?

The answers to the questions above are different to each person. As you can see our buddy up top needs to stop skipping leg day. A person’s mental fitness is multidimensional in aspect to the roles internal and external factors play and how they contribute collectively. The average student veteran can be hit by a barrage of different past and present stress related factors on any given day. Don’t be discouraged there are personal trainers that specialize in helping you tailor a workout plan that’s right for you. At the bottom of this page are some resources to find the right trainer for you.

Sleep Your Way to Better Grades

Students who get good sleep may have cracked the secret to better grades and some time on the Dean’s list, according to a study by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Sleep is a needed to help us stay alert for threats to our well-being as well as a chance for our bodies to heal after each day. Students want to work hard to stay current in their classes and keep up with the work from a full schedule. That requires a balancing act that goes heavy on activity and usually sleep is sacrificed. The point is that we need good, quality sleep not massive amounts of it.

Researchers at MIT have found that a regular consistent sleep schedule contributed noticeably to not only better grades but lower anxiety levels in class. Quality rest helped with retention of material read before class and understanding of discussions during class. The researchers also found that students who tend to stay up late and go to bed around 2 a.m. tended to perform poorly on tests no matter how much sleep they got. Quality sleep was also connected to how well student scored on quizzes, midterms, and final exams.

When you go to bed matters. If you go to bed at 10 p.m. or midnight, performance was found to be about the same. There was a significant drop off for those who regularly went to bed after 2 a.m. if you get the same amount. Quantity is good but, again, researchers found that quality and consistency make the effort you put into studying more effective. There is nothing worse than staying up all night to study for a test or prepare for a presentation only to “choke” when it is time to demonstrate how much you know.

Are You On Radio Silence?

Remember the days of radio discipline and communications? You may not be carrying around a radio as a student, but are you operating on radio silence as a student?  Are you just receiving? Does the person transmitting know you “copy that”?

J.O.B. Employment as an Adult Student

Returning to school as an adult student often creates unforeseen budget and time management hardships. The first semester of an academic program can be full of obstacles that have nothing to do with your intelligence or academic abilities. To balance your new academic demands and still meet your financial demands, you may find yourself in the J.O.B (Just Over Broke) hunt to get you and your family by.

Where’s My Money Man!


Tips To Make Sure Your GI Bill® Payment Arrives

You’ve run the paperwork gauntlet, completed all the application and enrollment steps for your first semester as a Veteran student using your GI Bill® Benefits. Congratulations! You start the semester attentive at your school desk for every class and just wait for the money to rain down…Right?