Steadfast Self-Leadership: Necessary for Academic Success!

Enrique Molinares shows his leadership skills guiding Sebastian Sanchez, one of his students in the ELI Program. [Photo: For AL DIA TODAY]

By Lt. Col. Ralph Gracia USAF Ret. 
Guest Columnist

In this edition, I will share information about how self-leadership is important to achieving college success. College can be an intimidating adjustment for any person. Classes are much more challenging, and they require more effort than in previous years. Also, due to the pandemic, students face new and unique challenges. These challenges, along with the combination of old bad habits, can hinder new college students’ academic success. We must have steadfast leadership to deal with the nuances in today’s academics. Therefore, the most important attitude, behavior, and beliefs necessary to ensure academic success are accepting personal responsibility and utilizing self-management tools. 

Accepting personal responsibility is one of the most crucial attitudes that students must learn to achieve success in college and life. Oprah Winfrey said, “I do think that the greatest lesson of life is that you are responsible for your own life.” Students must realize that no one is responsible for their success other than themselves. Blaming others for bad grades or bad experiences will not accomplish any successful solutions and will result in the issue repeating itself. Implementing wise choices to create logical solutions allows students to fix issues and have productive outcomes. Accepting personal responsibility is one of the most pivotal attitudes that will help students earn academic success in college. 

Students who develop a self-management system can create a concrete schedule and organize time more efficiently. These systems will allow students to organize and prioritize tasks by creating efficient plans. Some of these systems can include weekly or monthly calendars, a next action list, and a tracking form. Having students implement a weekly calendar into their academic life will get them organized and on the right track. I make notes of any duties I must complete, creating a sense of organization and control over my week. Implementing this self-management system has proved beneficial in making students feel more organized and an effective life management method. Mastering self-management ensures that a student will limit procrastination and finish tasks, leading to a more structured and dedicated academic life.

In recent turbulence, students face and adapt to many new challenges that college has to offer. Students can carry self-sabotaging habits that hurt their chances of academic success. Acknowledging these habits and making a conscious effort to change will lead to a successful future in college and beyond. For that reason, students must accept personal responsibility for their education. The academic journey can be rigorous, but students can secure a successful academic future with discipline and hard work.