Be good to yourself — Joyce’s Career Tip of the Week

Most Fulton Schools students are good at math and enjoy working with numbers. During this time of the year, it is possible to become preoccupied with certain numbers. As the semester gets nearer to the end, many students are watching test scores and grades on final projects, anticipating final course grades and the semester GPA.

In some cases, it can become quite overwhelming, especially if the “what if”s take over. ”What if I don’t get the grade I need on the final?” “What if the professor asks questions I don’t understand?” “What if my GPA turns out to be lower than what I’m expecting?” If this sounds like you, please continue reading.

First, stop imagining negative outcomes! When you catch yourself doing that, change the mental picture to one where you are having success. (There are many articles on “positive visualization” online. Google it and find some techniques that can work for you.) In addition, use your campus resources: tutoring, study groups and talking to your professors during their office hours.

Finally, remember that you are so much more than a bunch of numbers — even more than your GPA! Each of us is unique and has our own strengths and weaknesses. We often dwell on the weaknesses (because they can make things difficult) and overlook our strengths (because they come so naturally, we often do not even consider them).

Are you the group member who can motivate the team to keep going when everyone wants to give up? Are you the person who can inject the appropriate kind and amount of humor to deescalate a stressful situation? Do you have an uncanny way of looking at things, which often results in new ideas and solutions? Are you a good person, a loyal friend and someone who delivers on promises? All of these qualities, and so many others, are extremely valuable.

Take a bit of time to identify and appreciate your strengths, rather than worry about those negative “what if”s. Whenever my father was saying goodbye to friends and family, he would always say, “Be good to yourself!” I would like to take the opportunity to pass along that bit of wisdom to you. Be good to yourself!


Joyce Donahue is a career counselor in the Fulton Schools Career Center. She is a nationally certified career counselor and holds “Master Career Counselor” membership status in the National Career Development Association.