Encountering and Overcoming Princeton’s Academic Challenges: Stories From Learning Consultants

Monday, Oct 21, 2019

Princeton is hard academically. Some students encounter that difficulty in their first semester. For others they encounter it later when they take more courses, or classes on unfamiliar topics with little foundation, or for other reasons. But, for all students Princeton is hard. Even Princeton students awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, like Nicolette D’Angelo will need to embrace and adapt to Princeton’s academic challenges. She recalls calling her mother “during my first year of college, in tears, to say that I was finding my courses too difficult, that I feared I would never be able to succeed at a school like Princeton.” By doing so students build the learning skills, strategies, and mindsets that contribute to their academic success in future courses and independent work and in their endeavors beyond Princeton.

That fear is understandable and at times can be paralyzing. Sometimes we know something is wrong or isn’t working, but don’t know how to fix it. Reflecting upon what’s working, what isn’t, talking with others, and brainstorming solutions can be difficult and time-consuming—and requires courage. But, usually that’s what’s needed to meet a challenge and overcome it. How do students learn HOW to respond to and overcome these challenges? By using McGraw and other resources on campus and learning from the students who have preceded them. You can learn from learning consultant who faced challenges like the ones you are encountering. 

McGraw’s learning consultants responded to the following prompt: What is an academic challenge you faced at some point in your career at Princeton, and how did you respond to it? Visit our webpage to read the Stories from Learning Consultants. Look at the titles for essays relevant to you.