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Connecting Learning to Life

Making College Make Sense to Your Life

Regardless of your age and your experience, college is an adjustment. You can help yourself make this adjustment by figuring out how to relate your life to your education. Ask yourself this question, “How can I use my strengths, skills, and aptitude to identify a major or career choice?” Many students come to college knowing exactly what they want to do with their lives while other students struggle for years to decide on a major. Consider the concept of “flow” when you are contemplating different career choices. Flow is the state you are in when your skill level is equal to the challenge level of whatever you may be doing. Watch Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s TedTalk titled “Flow, the Secret to Happiness” to learn more about the flow state. You will be more satisfied in your day-to-day work if you choose a career that puts you in a state of flow.

If you are still struggling to decide on a major or career field, the Focus 2 Self-Assessment may be the right tool for you. FOCUS is a self-paced, online career and education planning tool for use by college students. It will enable you to self-assess your career relevant personal qualities and explore career fields and major areas of study that are most compatible with your assessment results. Students who use FOCUS make better decisions about their goals and plans and learn how to self-manage their careers. Use FOCUS to help you choose or change your major and also to verify your preferences or early choice of a career field.

If you are struggling to make the connection between college and your life outside of college, read through the ideas below to help you make connections. How will your education help you contribute to your family, community, or tribe? How are you using what you have learned in your day-to-day life? Consider how you can apply what you have learned in class to your life outside of class. Look for connections to what you already knew before class. You will have an increased retention of class content if you can relate it to your prior knowledge and experiences. Make connections with instructors and friends on campus. Instructors are the best and most reliable resource when it comes to questions about classwork. Making new friends on campus is an easy way to find a new study partner. Joining a club or an organization will give you the opportunity to further your learning in something you are interested in outside of the classroom. Use your own cultural history to guide your classroom learning. You may be able to rely on what you have learned from cultural and community leaders.

Coping with Stress

If you are a college student, it is highly likely that at some point you are going to feel stressed. You may feel the most stressed during your first semester when you are adjusting to college life or you may feel the most stressed during your last semester when you are searching for a job. Many students feel the most stressed during mid-terms, finals, or when they have a paper due. Regardless of the time, it is important for you to know what resources you have to rely on when you are feeling stressed.

NEO A&M College has a campus counselor on staff available to meet with students during the fall and spring semesters. If you would like to schedule an appointment to meet with Lori Kurtz, NEO’s campus counselor, visit the directory for her contact information.

If you are unable to meet with the campus counselor, please consider the options below.

  • Grand Lake Mental Health Center
    111 S. Treaty Road
    Miami, Oklahoma 74354
    Phone: 918-273-1841
  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Suicide and Crisis Hotline: 1-800-999-9999
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline: 1-800-950-6264

For a complete listing of hotline numbers, please follow this link.

Check out the Ottawa County Resource Directory (PDF) to find the contact information for various resources in the surrounding area.

For a fresh perspective on stress and new ideas on how to cope, view Kelly McGonigal’s TedTalk titled, “How to Make Stress Your Friend.”

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