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Emotional Intelligence and Transition From High School To College

Updated on August 26, 2011

Attention Freshman Entering College

Now that you have made the transition from High School to College, you will encounter a whole new experience. There will be times when you want to give up; maybe, even drop-out of college. Please don't be discourage because you are not alone. I understand your situation since I went through the same thing. I want to warn you in advance. It is not going to be easy, that is why I want to share with you something that is pivotal to your success in college and beyond. This means that you should stand your ground no matter what obstacles get in your way, until you've overcome them.

Taking the easy way out, giving in to failure, and making excuses should not be options you want to consider. Someone once said that "success is measured by the obstacles that one encounters before reaching his or her goals." I can attest to that since I had my share of failures; yet, I did not give in to these setbacks. I used my failures as learning experiences. In life everyone goes through trials and testings and how these trials and testings are handled stems from one's Emotional Intelligences.

Author and Psychologist Hendrie Weisinger, Ph.D. states, " emotional intelligence is the intelligent use of emotions: you intentionally make your emotions work for you by using them to help guide your behavior and thinking in ways that enhance your results" (xvi). In a nutshell, being in tune with your emotions, and engaging them in your problem solving will prove beneficial. Emotional Intelligence is vital to success in school as well as the work place. It is a contributory factor in conflict resolutions situations, and as Goleman puts it, "emotional intelligence determines our potential for learning the practical skills that are based on its five elements: self-awareness, motivation, self-regulation, empathy, and adeptness in relationships" (24).

These abilities can be learned any time , but it is better when an individual develops these skills at a very early age. Emotionally Intelligence is a positive influence because it increases self-esteem; thereby, working on one's self-awareness. People who have high self-esteem become successful in every area of their lives. Children who know how to handle themselves, get along with their peers, respect themselves, others, work independently, as well as in teams, and accept themselves for who they are. They tend to excel in school and in life and grow up to become emotionally stable individuals.

Today, I want to share with you, three significant areas of Emotional Intelligence, which will be of great benefit to you. These areas are motivation, empathy and self-awareness. According to Goleman, motivation is "using our deepest preferences to move and guide us toward our goals, to help us take initiative and strive to improve, and to persevere in the face of setbacks and frustrations" (318). You will not always have someone around to cheer you on. This is why you should always stay on top of your game and finish what you start. You will have to become your own self-motivator and look for ways to improve and build yourself up. You will have to push yourself even when you don't feel like it.

For example, when you have a paper to write, you should not wait until the last minute. Your success in college depends solely on you. You should always go an extra mile to achieve your goals; whether , it is getting tutored , preparing for test by doing advance studying, turning completed assignments in on time, and preparing for the next lesson by reading your textbook and notes. Wei singer says it best , when he says "behavioral patterns are tendencies, or actions that we do over and over. By monitoring them and then examining how they affect your motivation, you can decide which ones to continue doing and which ones to discard" (80). If you are in tune with your emotional intelligences you will succeed. If you don't make the effort you are setting up yourself for failure.

Another component of emotional intelligence, I would like to touch on is empathy. Empathy as stated by Goleman, is "sensing what people are feeling, being able to take their perspective, and cultivating rapport and atonement with a broad diversity of people" (318).

Empathy has to do with showing interest in others. It's sort of like being interested in what they do, say, and understanding how they feel. You see, we all want to be treated with respect. Therefore, in your quest for success, it is really essential for you to treat others the way you would like to be treated. With respect, I hope. This is so crucial, as you will most likely find yourself working in a group where group members having different personalities, point of views, and opinions will be required to participate and perform. Your interaction with these individuals will be an opportune time for learning something new.

Self-awareness is another aspect of emotional intelligence that you need to concern your self with. I hope that you will apply the components of emotional intelligence - self-awareness, motivation, self-regulation, empathy, and adeptness in relationships to your life to ensure success in college and beyond.

May your transition from high school to college be a smooth one. Bear in mind that the components of emotional intelligence will help make you a much better individual.


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