So, here are some growth mindset highlights from Weeks 11-15 of the class:
Find Your Own Way. Thoughts from a college senior looking back on school: "I chose this meme for this week's Growth Mindset assignment because it relates to my time here at OU. During the first couple of semesters, I was often found myself placing more importance on "fitting in" and living up the "college experience" than on my studies. As a result, I had two semesters were my grades suffered badly. Once I realized what was happening, I prioritized and starting focusing more on my school work. Looking back on it, jeopardizing my classes by constantly worrying about fitting in was stupid. In fact, if everyone was on the exact same path, life would be extremely boring. It is amazing what opportunities life gives you when you start walking down your own path. This is something that I try to think about from time to time to make sure that I'm still on the right path."
Feedback. For many students, this is the first time they have ever received (or given) detailed writing feedback. I was really glad for what this student said: "In the past, I had a knee-jerk reaction to take any critique personally. Instead of seeing constructive criticism as a learning tool and as help from a trusted source, I harbored on my own imperfections. At times, this attitude prevented me from doing something just because I didn't think that I could do it perfectly! This class has begun to change that mindset. By keeping Growth Mindset strategies in mind, I have endeavored to take each suggestion and compliment as a learning tool. Laura's emails with story revisions have especially helped me! I have found that, by acknowledging both my strengths and weaknesses, I can continually grow and learn. Then, by implementing those lessons, I can produce things that I am even more proud of!"
Friends. This is one of my favorite memes, so I was glad a student could connect with it in such a positive way: "This week one my best friends, Justin, who is also in this class go into his first medical school! I couldn't help but be so happy! We have a really good group of friends and when we found out we were all so happy for him! This is a great achievement for our group of friends."
Hard, not Easy. Likewise, embracing what is hard is a big part of growing! "I really love this meme! I hear very often that the best things in life are the ones that you worked the hardest for. The same thing with college. I am always complaining about how hard it is but even if I did have the choice to go back in time I would still come to college because I know that in the end it will be worth it."
Looking forward. Another meme reflection: "For this week I looked at memes again. Last week's meme really got me thinking and so I wanted to do some more exploring. This one really stuck out.I've been doing a lot of thinking recently about where I'd like to go post-graduation. I'm not exactly sure of what I want to do and I've been struggling with that. With the growth mindset I know that I just need to learn from what I'm doing and how I'm feeling and set up goals and a path to understand where I want to be in a few months. I need to think about the big picture and how I'm going to get there. This helps me in school and in life. I'd like to have a successful semester and I will do so by learning from my mistakes of this past semester and keep growing from there."
Steps. Lots of students picked this meme during the semester; it definitely resonates. Here's what one student remarked: "To start anything meaningful in life is hard work and it all starts from somewhere. That’s why I think it’s important to decide where you want to go and start today on getting there even if it’s not much. The “waiting around” is what kills people, which is why I plan on starting with my “small steps” straight out of college while I have the drive and the freedom to do so."
And more memes made by / shared by students! (The cats above are the ones I include in the announcements, different cat each day.)
This is a meme a student made back in the early weeks of the semester is still making the rounds as a student favorite, showing up in blogs at the end of the semester too! (This student has a bulldog of his own too!)
And it is comments like this that convinced me to expand growth mindset into other kinds of success strategies! "Side note...this class is awesome and has helped me so much in many other areas in life other than just mythology. Doing assignments for this class actually helps me to de-stress."