Our sister blog, Institute for Learning and Development (ILD), posted an interview with Dr. Ilan Goldberg of Semester Off, a comprehensive program designed specifically for struggling college students. Semester Off aims to empower students to return to college, if they so choose, or to define another, alternative path that is in line with their goals.
From the interview:
“The idea for Semester Off emerged organically from sessions with struggling college-aged students in my private practice. It became clear that these students lacked the resources to navigate through this challenging time and that time away from school was filled with loneliness and stagnation. I believed that the creation of an academically rigorous and comprehensive group experience would teach the skills needed to succeed, while reducing the feelings of shame and isolation many of these students experience. I also wanted to destigmatize the experience of taking time away from college and bring fun and joy into these students’ lives during an otherwise dark period. Our goal at Semester Off became to help students taking a break from college to get back on track and regain self-confidence.”
Too often, students struggle in college because they do not have the self-awareness or the executive function strategies to juggle an increasingly heavy workload. Students with ADHD or dyslexia are at increased risk, as they often hope that they have “outgrown” their learning differences and may reject accommodations and supports that worked for them in high school.
While it would be better if every student learned executive function strategies before they reached college, it is never too late. College students, and even professional adults, can always develop a strategic and self-aware outlook to tackling the challenges they face.
If you have any tips for students struggling to navigate college, let us know in the comments!
—Elizabeth Ross, MA, SMARTS Media Manager