Spirital vs Secular Recovery
Submitted By cbates130
Reflection & Response
College Study Skills PS1100
June 5, 2014
Since beginning my college journey this year, I have attempted to examine my choices and actions on a daily basis. My goal is to live a life and make decisions that are consistent with the word of God, and to stay true to that goal, it has been important for me to engage in daily prayer and self-reflection. When comparing my self-assessment scores from the beginning and end of this course, my most significant increases were demonstrated in the areas of “believing in myself” and “employing interdependence”.1 In this self-assessment, I will reflect on what I think has contributed to these improvements, discuss areas I’d like to continue to develop, and share what I have learned about myself along the way.
The most significant increase in scores was in the area of believing in myself. The last time I was in a classroom setting was in 1997. During that time, I can remember telling my aunt, “I could never do college”. Growing up in a broken home, the lasting effects of drugs, alcohol, and child abandonment destroyed my confidence in all my educational activities. Through elementary and middle school, I struggled every year and with every class. From a very young age, I decided college was out of my reach. The only thing that got me through to graduation was my love for athletics. My circumstances forced me to mature quickly, but still, I always doubted myself and depended on others to be successful.
Sixteen years later, I finally started to reflect on my failures and short-comings, and asked myself what I could do to reverse this self-doubting trend and have more belief in myself. Facing my fear of success from an educational standpoint would help me begin to build that foundation. As I began my journey, I would utilize my mental endurance to help me maintain a mindset of perseverance and faith through God. The more I applied God and concepts of perseverance to my life, the more I believed in me. Once I was accepted into a university, I promised myself I would overachieve at everything; after all, I had a lot to make up for. I started with turning in complete, well-thought assignments, attending every class with excitement, and incorporating the Skip Downing On Course lessons to my everyday life. The most effective strategy I have learned from the Downing text is C.O.R.E. system (collect, organize, rehearse, evaluate).2 I believe this has had the most impact on my view of believing in myself outside of my faith. Another area that I improved significantly on is employ interdependence, and I think this area goes hand-in-hand with belief in myself. Since I have started college coursework, I have gained great confidence by seeing myself differently through meaningful relationships with other people of faith. We often talk about what God is doing in our lives, and how grateful we are for the many opportunities He has blessed us with. Encouragement from other brothers and sisters in Christ is one of the greatest support mechanisms I have ever experienced. Going into ministry will require me to be selfless and willing to help others by letting them know they can be victorious in all they do through faith. Recognizing and striving based on this interdependence has become increasingly evident through my relationships with my family and coworkers. Before, I would shrink away from actively engaging with others. Not because I am reserved, but because I didn’t believe I shared a common belief or understanding with most people. The area I am focused to continually improve on is mastering self-management. I easily get caught up in forgetting about the task at hand, and sometimes get distracted by helping others complete their own. I will have to make sure I remain conscious that I am equipped before I can assure someone else they are. With the C.O.R.E. system being a part of my self-evaluation, inventory is automatically programmed for me to reassure I do not forget about my own strengths to stay effective and current for my own selflessness to others.3 By maintaining this mindset, I believe the essential areas will continue to grow. The most important discoveries I made when reflecting back through my course journals are that I have kept my promise to myself about putting effort into my work, and I have maintained an honest, positive perspective about my weaknesses and what I need to improve on to better myself as a student. Reading about areas in my life that can make me a better student makes me recognize I am still growing and have a long way to go. Knowing I am on a continuous path forward encourages me to pursue my education and to move ahead with a positive outlook. We sometimes can get impatient and become discouraged due to the reality and struggles with finances, work, children, and selfishness. With these worries, education can easily be pushed aside as secondary, and we as human beings neglect the importance of focus, self-management, time-management, and education due to living in the now. I know maintaining my patience, and making the best of every moment until the next opportunity God puts in front of me will lead me beyond my greatest expectations. The insight I have gained in just a short time will impact my educational journey tremendously; I am encouraged to keep moving forward. I have become a better student, and more importantly, a better person. I may not know exactly what lies ahead, but I take comfort and encouragement in what I have accomplished so far. Most importantly, I rely on this: “And so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”4
Notes 1. Skip Downing, On Course: Strategies for Creating Success in College and in Life, Second Edition (Wadsworth: Cengage Learning, 2014): 8, 372, 373. 2. Ibid., 25-26. 3. Ibid. 4. Proverbs. 3: 4-6 (New King James Version).
Downing, Skip. On Course: Strategies for Creating Success in College and in Life, Second Edition. Wadsworth: Cengage Learning, 2014.