What You Need to Do to Thrive, Not Dive

In a study recently published by the University of Toronto, researchers found that students coming into college entered with a set of unreasonably high, and highly optimistic, expectations. Reporting students confidently stated they expected to earn a B+ or A- grade by the end of freshman year. Most came nowhere near those marks. The average grade by the end of the year was only a 2.3, or barely above a C.

But within that ‘average grade’ was a distinct layering of students who were part of the study. Some did much better, others did much worse. This was an unexpected finding, because all the students in the study had fairly similar high school outcomes. They had all earned fairly decent grades and were neither delinquents nor superstars. The researchers gave the more successful students the name of ‘Thrivers’ and the lower performing students were called ‘Divers.’

But when these almost-identical high school graduates arrived at college, the Thrivers earned ‘A’ grades, and the ‘Divers’ received ‘F’ grades.

However, a closer look at the two groups revealed some interesting information. The Divers had a tendency toward rashness and disorder. They were likely to cram for tests at the last minute. They were not organized. They didn’t pay attention to details, and they did not follow a schedule that would ensure they would start projects early and finish on time. They tended to procrastinate and also scored high on measures of impatience.

As you might guess, the Thrivers were ordered, dedicated, and willing to put in the time when required.

Granted, there were external factors that were problems for the Divers. For example, more of them had part-time jobs to support the cost of their educations than the Thrivers did, so they didn’t have as much time to devote to their educations.

But here’s the catch. When these students get a job, they will be under similarly stressful conditions, but will still be expected to deliver whatever product or process they get paid to do. If any of these once students/now workers succumb to what would be their usual tendency for procrastination and disorganization, they will not succeed in the traditional workplace. it is likely they will do far worse in the Gig Economy.

Ultimately, a student’s time in high school, and his or her time in a Rainmakers Internship Preparation Program, can be their time to practice the traits they need to deliver consistent, high-quality performance. Those habits of mind and behavior can be practiced and in doing so, will become more habit than not. GEMESA

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