Understanding your mind

A recent report from the US World & News Report stated that, “As many as one in three first-year students don’t make it back for sophomore year. The reasons run the gamut from family problems and loneliness to academic struggles and a lack of money.”

They then offered some sound advice: “If schools you’re considering have a low freshman retention rate, you’ll want to ask the admissions office why. Some Colleges do a great job of taking care of their freshman; some don’t.”

How does a student avoid becoming one of these statistics?

At The College Confidence Coach, we believe that one of the most crucial reasons students struggle through the college and career planning process is that they don’t know how to utilize all three sections of their mind. In fact, we believe that half the battle is making them aware that there is more than just one part of the brain.

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The educational system does a great job of training students to only use the cognitive part of their mind. As seen in the image above, the cognitive section is the area of the brain that deals directly with thinking and intelligence. Though this area is vital to understanding where a student stands on the IQ spectrum, the cognitive section of the mind is the least important for a student’s journey towards self-discovery.

“Conative” is a word that not too many people use in their daily life.  However, we believe that not only should people be using it every day, they should be striving to understand their personal conative abilities as much as possible – especially students. Conative very simply put, is how we do things instinctively. For example, the way a student does their best work. We are all wired to effectively work differently. If given the assignment of a research paper, how would you prepare to get it done?

Some students will research the topic as much as possible. This may give them a level of confidence that they have the proper information to write the paper.

Some students will write out an agenda, or schedule, for when and where they are going to research and write the paper.

Other students will cram the night before, researching and writing the entire paper that night. While others may even finish it the hours before they have to turn it in.

The point is that there is no correct way of getting the research paper done. Knowing and understanding your conative strength will allow you to be patient with your instincts and trust them to achieve the highest cognitive grade possible. This may drive parents and teachers crazy, but you can’t change the wiring of your brain. Understanding the conative section of your brain will allow you to plan out how and when to write the paper. The student cramming to finish the paper on the bus to school may achieve the same grade as the student who plans weeks in advance. Ultimately, this is because both of them understand when and how they do their best work.

Though we fully understand the importance of achieving high grades, we firmly believe that if a student understands the conative area of their mind, and are able to link that to their affective motivators (the motivational and emotional area of the mind), the cognitive ability comes naturally.

DiscoveringTraining, and Trusting the conative area of the student’s mind is our passion at The College Confidence Coach. The sooner students begin to understand their entire mind, the sooner we can begin to build their personal roads to success.