Home » A college failout turned Ph.D. Mindset

A college failout turned Ph.D. Mindset

I was a terror in high school. Teachers would wait with eyes rolled in anticipation of the excuses I would make when work was due. I was horribly inconsistent with attendance, classwork, tests, or any other academic task. I had no motivation to try my best or excel in any area, so I decided to coast.

My family expected me to go to college, even with my low G.P.A. It wasn’t easy, but I managed to get on to a wait-list — and eventually into a four year university. 

I “tried” to make a change in college, but quickly reverted to my old habits of calling in sick, doing the bare minimum, and worrying only about passing. I clung to hope for two years, before dropping out in anticipation of a failing semester. To keep my pride, I transferred to a different four year college. Again, I decided to make a change with no follow through, leading to a short stay. After 1 year, I failed out. 

It took plenty of begging, pleading, and beautifully written personal narratives, but I eventually was accepted to my third college on academic probation. Thankfully, the year it took for me to convince any college to give me a third chance also gave me time to reflect on my mindset. It was clear that I had been taking the wrong approach to academics. This was the beginning of my mindset training.

Mindset Mattered!

The difference between my first two unsuccessful college attempts and my third, very successful attempt, was in the actions! Where previously I had simply said that I wanted to improve, at my third college, I took action to improve.

I learned that mindsets do not change overnight, no matter how much hope or motivation one has. The only way to genuinely improve was to put in the time, energy, and practice! Becoming the student that I always wanted to be meant that I had to dedicate real practice to transforming into that person.

 I decided in my third college to make a determined, practical effort each day in improving myself (not just studying to improve in a content area). Some examples of my “practice” included:

  • Daily journaling to document successes and opportunities for success
  • Setting lengths of time to look up and reflect on motivational quotes
  • Writing and re-writing my priorities and setting up calendars to match the priorities I listed
  • Displaying/reading my goals many times daily to reinforce the big things I was striving for.

The results came because I did not focus on the results. Each day, I focused on the process of improving and noticed, wrote down, and reflected on the progress that I made. Soon enough, I was moved off of academic probation and onto the dean’s list, where I remained until graduation.

Mindset training taught me that it was not okay to settle for average anymore. I demanded the best effort of myself daily and expected to make something special out of my life. That expectation led me to graduate school, where I achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA and graduation in 1 1/2 years, while working full time.

It then led me to a selective Ph.D. program (where old me would probably have been too scared to apply to). Completing that program showed that I had the talent to succeed at the highest level of academics, yet without the proper mindset, I was simply a college failout.

Putting it Together

Moral of the story: Your intelligence does not determine your success in school. Mindset is what makes the difference. If you are struggling in school or even if you are having amazing success, but feel like there’s another level you can get to, mindset training will get you there. 

If you’re ready for mindset training, make the wise move of signing up for our 1 on 1 coaching. It took me years of learning the hard way to develop the tools and resources to train my mind to perform at the highest levels consistently.

The lessons that have taken me a lifetime of energy and effort, can be taught to you much more quickly with a coach who has been there and reached the highest levels of academics. Treat yourself to a FREE 1 on 1 mindset session so you can see what the #Mentaledge can do for you!

Read Next: 5 Tips to Maximize Success as a Teacher

1 thought on “A college failout turned Ph.D. Mindset”

  1. Pingback: Today’s Teacher Mindset - Team Leichtman Consulting

Leave a Reply