Maturity, Work Ethic and Motivation for College Success

There are many college and career readiness courses in Texas. In the fall of 2016 I was teaching one called, “Transition to College Success” for Austin Community College.

One of my best students told me that he had returned to college after dropping out in his freshmen year three years earlier. The first time he came to college, his only interest was partying and he did almost no studying.

He said that he had worked for three years (after dropping out of college) in a physically demanding low-paying job. One day, he told his boss that he no longer wanted to do this type of work. His boss asked him, “What other type of work can you do with so little education?” My student said these words from his supervisor felt like a knife stabbing him in his heart because he knew the words were true.

My student returned to college three years later in 2006 as a more mature and serious student with a strong work ethic. He was now intrinsically motivated to succeed and he made “As” in every course including mine.

My student’s story is not unique. Many other students of mine had similar experiences. This is not to say that many entering freshmen straight from high school do not excel in college because many do. However, the combination of maturity, strong work habits and self-motivation are contributing factors for success in college.

By Raymond Gerson
Raymond Gerson has extensive experience teaching college and career readiness courses to high school students and college and career success courses to college students. He is the author of Achieve College Success (brief and full editions) and Achieve Career Success (brief and full editions). The books are ideal for teaching college and career readiness courses and adopters of books for teaching students get access to extra instructor materials.

For more information go to: