For current students and faculty/staff

Adult Learners: The Power of Identity at NHTI

Adult learner at NHTI smiles as he discovers his academic interest.
Adult learner at NHTI smiles as he discovers his academic interest.

Darren Gold writes, “Conscious or not, everyone has an identity. And it is our identity that drives much of our behavior and, ultimately the results we get in life. Human beings will do everything in their power to act in ways consistent with their identities.”

Ever hear of imposter syndrome? This relates to our identity. Sometimes we feel like an imposter or actor in our own lives when we doubt our abilities.

Do you see yourself as a successful student? Is this part of your identity?  It should be.

Shakespeare wrote, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”

No offense to the bard, but Shakespeare is wrong. Men and women are the determiners of their own lives, not just pretending to act in the many roles they live.  Are you pretending to be a student? I don’t think so. Despite that, do you identify yourself as a student?

How do you create an identity?

“Once you’ve identified a powerful identity that resonates with you, you must embody it. To do so, you have to say it repeatedly with massive physical and emotional intensity. This is the only way to build the kind of certainty needed for your identity to manifest,” says Gold.

It’s time to tell yourself over and over again that you are a great college student, a scholar, someone who identifies as a student.

BE the college student. Identify as a college student. You need to tell yourself that you are a college student when you open Canvas, when you attend class, when you interact with others, when you study the material.  You need to tell others that you are a college student. You need to do whatever it takes to convince yourself that you are a scholar.

You can do it.  First you need to see yourself as a college student and then others will see you as a college student.  Only then will you and others finally see you as a college student who graduated. You belong here!

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This post was written by Sue Diener, faculty advisor and professor of English at NHTI.

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