My Students’ Blog

A Growth Mindset

By Jillian Cournyer

You’re near the end of your high school career and about to take the next step in your life. This might be getting ready to go to college or going straight into the workforce.

Maybe you are going into the military or have decided to take a gap year. Something you will need to help you be successful in your future is to develop a growth mindset. Maybe you already have one. Great. If not, that’s something you will need to work on to help you strive for success in your future. 

What is a growth mindset, you ask? Maybe you already know, but this will refresh your memory. First, I’m going to give you a more professional definition from 

A growth mindset means that you believe your intelligence and talents can be developed over time.

“A growth mindset means that you believe your intelligence and talents can be developed over time. A fixed mindset means that you believe your intelligence is fixed- so if you are not good at something, you might believe you will never be good at it.” If you click here, you can find out more, and determine whether you have a growth or fixed mindset. Also the infographic embedded in the source is a good reference. For myself, it really made it clear that I have the opposite, a fixed mindset. 

Right now, I know I’m super overwhelmed and to the point where I just don’t want to take anything on. I’ve always been a “go getter” and taken on more than I can handle. Lately I haven’t felt this way at all. Do you feel the same? Every year you hear about “Senioritis,” trust me; it’s a thing. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began it has affected me so greatly that I have developed a fixed mindset. For example, one of my favorite things to do is coach a youth volleyball team each year, and when the opportunity arose this year I found myself desperate for a way out. Not because I couldn’t, but because I simply didn’t feel like it. Writing this, I almost feel ashamed because I have developed habits that are unlike my usual self. I love coaching, and instead I found myself drawn away from something I love.  

Next year, I am going to college out of state in a brand new place. That is scary, but that’s my first step of reestablishing my growth mindset. I have been given the opportunity to go to Centralia College for two years on a full ride scholarship forty minutes down the road, but I have chosen what I think will challenge me and push me to be successful. This is the first step in the right direction. The next thing I must do is register for college classes. I know I’d like to take the easy classes, but, because I need to work on pushing myself, I am going to apply to the honors program and try to get into the higher level courses. (Not to mention, college is expensive, and I should probably get my money’s worth.) 

As you take these next steps in your life after graduation you’re going to have to ask yourself some questions. 

If you’re attending college:

  • What college best suits me?
  • Where do I feel most comfortable?
  • How will I fund it?

Click here for a link on how to be successful in college. 

If you’re going straight into the workforce:

  • What job will provide me with the most opportunities?
  • Does it have benefits?
  • What is the pay like?

Click here for advice if you’re debating going to college or into the workforce.

How about the military. You’ll need to decide:

  • What branch will I go into?
  • What is my plan once I get out? Or will this be my lifetime career?
  • How will I plan a family around this?

Click here if you’re interested in making a career out of the military.

Gap year? You’ll definitely need to think about some specifics:

  • After this gap year where will I go?
  • How will I use this gap year to my advantage?
  • How will this help me create success?

Click here if you think a gap year will benefit you.

A lot of schools have cut out time in their school days for college and career development. At our school we have a half hour time slot each day called “Advisory.” What is not taught in that class is how to maintain a happy functional mindset within your future endeavors. You should have a plan, but you need a plan that is going to work for you in the healthiest way possible. 

Something very important in life and especially growing up is the value of mistakes. If you don’t value your mistakes, then how will you ever improve? With a growth mindset, you use mistakes and failures as a chance to learn and grow and make improvements. With a fixed mindset,you are less likely to push yourself and take risks. This is why a growth mindset will set you up for success. 

I have found some additional resources. Anyone eager to learn more should check these out:

More Info:

Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset: How To Shift To A Path Of Learning And Growth

Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset: How Your Beliefs Change Your Behavior

Interactive Quiz: Fixed vs Growth Mindsets

Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset YouTube · John SpencerMar 26, 2017

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