Delia came to me struggling with a low GPA and a desire to get into a BSN program. She knew her grades were not competitive for these programs. She said she was trying. (Read Delia’s full story here.)
I leaned toward her and smiled. “You’ve been trying very hard. I can see that. I want you to try one thing. Would you be willing to be paid $40,000 for turning off social media for an hour?”
“Sure, I mean, it can’t hurt, right?” she responded, dubiously.
“Turn your phone and all social media off while you study. Music is fine. Music without words is even better. Just be sure to turn off the social media. How well could you study for your calculus exam if you were at a small party with your friends and every two minutes someone came up to you and poked you in the ribs… and then asked you to rate a selfie she took with her Chihuahua, Trixie?”
“I wouldn’t be able to study like that.”
“Right! Now, you decide how you want to start this.
We call it Study Blocking. I’ve had students start in 15-minute increments. Thirty minutes or an hour-long block is more effective, but start small. Choose a subject, set the timer, and dive in.
At first, you might be dying to check your phone. You might even hear phantom pinging. You’ll survive. So will your friendships. Tell your friends, ‘I’ll be offline to study.’ That’s okay, too.”
Suggest your student evaluate the work he or she would like to complete and to think about what subjects and tasks need to be completed. Have him or her gather materials, a glass of water, snacks; put the phone on airplane mode, and set the timer. Ready? Better grades ahead!
15-minute challenge, 2-minute break
30-minute challenge, 5-minute break
1-hour challenge, 10-minute break
2-hour challenge, 20-minute break
Act. Don’t react.
When Delia applied to college, she had a GPA of a 3.45 and had bumped her overall GPA to above a 3.0. She received offers of admission to two of her top three programs. She also received merit aid of close to $10k annually.
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