The Science of Soil: Overcoming Academic Struggles

-[Michael Jasek] in your career as a student, there’s
going to be courses that challenge you. That’s the point of higher education is
to challenge your intellectual ability. Not in a sense to wean you out and get
you out of the system, but rather to show you how far you can push yourself, how
much you can grow as a student. -[April Ulery] We don’t do any science without a basic understanding of math, algebra, and even some calculus. There are a lot of tools out there that you can use to teach yourself math, you can take classes, you
can go on the internet. You’re going to use it. It’s going to become routine to
you. It’s something surmountable, it’s not an impossible situation. -[Steven Maestas] Even though you
might encounter a class that you find that you’re struggling with, that could
just be one little subject within that scope of that class that semester. And if you power through those few weeks then the class could get easier. And once you learn the material, you’ll do a lot better. -[Ella McKinney] My best advice would be just to take
it one day at a time. And that as you go through these courses, you know more than
you think you do. But it’s a process. You just kind of have to–everything builds
on itself, and you kind of have to just take it one step at a time and not
feel badly if you don’t quite get something at first. -[Joel Brown] Chemistry is always a
tough subject, but it should not keep you from being a soil scientist. Like cooking,
chemistry at the beginning is about recipes. And once you master the recipes,
then you can begin to experiment. And then, you can create things that are
better than the recipes. -[Ella] Science encompasses a lot of different career
fields. If you get started in something and you find that it’s not what you want
or what you thought, chances are you’re going in the right direction but maybe
you need to switch just a little bit. I would say from my own example, I started out in environmental science and it wasn’t quite what I
wanted. But once I switched to soils, it was exactly what I wanted. So, I really think with science, if you’re interested in it, there’s something out there for
everyone. -[Steven] When I struggle with my curriculum, I really utilize the free tutoring that we have here on campus. And another thing that really helped me with
my struggles is my advisor. -[Christina Chavez Kelley] Professors love to hear from students. I have never
met a professor who did not enjoy talking to a student. -[April] Come to my office. Come to my office and talk to me, please. I can’t help you unless you let me know
what’s going on. I can’t teach you unless there’s a connection, somehow. I don’t
even, necessarily, have to have that connection in person. Give me a call. Email me. -[Michael] When you introduce yourself to the professor and it’s in their office
hours, you have set yourself, if you’re in a class of 150, you’re now one person
amongst a class of 149 people. It also allows that relationship to start
building. So if, maybe later down the road you find, if you’re in sciences, your
professor has an interest that’s your interest, can you partner up with that
Professor to do research? Beyond college if you want to go to grad school, it’s a
recommendation letter and it’s the difference between a form letter and a
personal letter when the professor’s truly know who you are. -[April] To succeed in
college, go to class, study, read the textbook, ask questions by meeting with
your professors and faculty advisors, join a club, not a lot of clubs just join
one or two that are related to your major, and build a strong support network
that will help you succeed and do well in your career.

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