College and Self-directed Life

Do you want to succeed in college? Parents, do you want your student to succeed in college? There is one skill above many others that will determine success or failure. It is the skill of self-direction. What does that mean? Simply, the ability to be independent and intrinsically motivated.
It is not uncommon for freshmen to struggle with this; and, it is the cause of many students no matter their class rank, g.p.a. and/or test scores to fail (
New students often are overwhelmed by the ability to make decisions for themselves ( With no parents around and no immediate accountability, they can stay up and out as long as they want. They can go to class or not. They can eat all of the junk food their stomachs can hold and the extra bucks on their meal plan will pay for.
Unless however, students are able to take charge of their opportunities, they will not be successful. They need to be able to make themselves do what they might not want to do when it needs to be done. Studying for example: a successful student will need to study at least 2-3 hours per week, per class. So, if a student is taking 15 credit hours, they should be studying 30+ hours a week. What is video games are calling or friends are encouraging them to go out? The self-directed student will choose to study. What if it snowed the night before and the student has an 8:00 a.m. class across campus and classes haven’t been cancelled? No one on campus really cares if they skip it, do they? Parents won’t know, right? The self-motivated student will make their way through the snow to class because they understand that the way to pass a class is to be there.
Are these self-directed, self-motivated people just born that way? Some are. Most others have to be trained. They’ve learned by the example of parents and other people important to them. They’ve internalized the desire and importance of setting and achieving their goals. Most importantly, they’ve been given instructions and opportunities along the way to develop these skills. Situation by situation, circumstance by circumstance. They have not been robbed by parents of the opportunity to make decisions, keep their own schedules, resolve conflicts and in many cases to fail (
Being self-directed is an integral part of being a successful college students. Give your student the opportunity early to learn and develop this skill. Navigation Academy of Va., LLC ( is an Educational Consulting company that can help students develop study, time management and organizational skills that can be used not only in college but high school as well.