From Struggling Student to a Masters in Counseling Education

Do you know this student: Content to get C’s, earned a few F’s, not motivated,  unorganized, and not sure what purpose school has?

This was me in middle, high school, and part of college. I was a struggling student.

I have come to define a struggling student as one who has most of the pieces of the academic puzzle (the brains, the supportive household, great teachers, etc.) but still becomes frustrated with school.

I attended a college prep school that prided itself on its Ivy League record. Students who were “average” or, heaven forbid, “below average” were not highlighted in marketing materials.  I grew up believing I was less than my peers who graduated with high GPAs and went to fancy colleges. I was unmotivated, didn’t want to achieve, and easily distracted. I would “study” the night before the test and feign shock at my bad grades. Summer school and warnings about not graduating with my class were as consistent as my inability to turn anything in on time.

I carried those habits to college; and in retrospect, should not have been shocked that my grades were the same as in high school. I’m fairly certain academic probation was brought up at some point.

So what changed?  More than can be written here, but the condensed version is that a career assessment said I should look into becoming a school counselor. We didn’t have one at my school, so I had to research it. I realized that having a school counselor may have changed my academic story, so I applied for a masters program. Due to my undergrad GPA and GRE score, I was denied. However, I did ace the interview. I took classes as a non-degree student and earned straight A’s, hired a tutor, and managed to raise my GRE score the 3 points I needed and reapplied; I was accepted.

I taught myself how to schedule my time, conquer my procrastination, and I discovered test techniques to finally succeed at multiple choice tests!  I was driven by my desire to help struggling students like myself. I became a perfectionist (which is another form of struggling student), and I graduated with almost a 4.0 (sorry..I earned the right to brag about that one!).

During my internship, I found I connected easily with the students who were gifted perfectionists and those that were at risk for retention. What they had in common was whether they had straight A’s or D’s- they did not have all the pieces to make them successful students.

So welcome to Team Pasch Academic Coaching! One of my favorite sayings is “stay on point.” This is because the first thing a struggling student needs to start a happier relationship with their education is a pencil. A good student isn’t always about the grade. It’s what you bring to the class. Even a failing student can start to turn around by bringing their materials to class.

I look forward to working with your child. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions!

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