For students irrespective of age or academic level, adopting a growth mindset can assist you to overcome challenges, and grow in knowledge and ability as you set out on your new university/college journey. As strange as it may seem, research into fixed versus growth mindsets has shown that if you believe you can learn something new, you greatly improve your ability to learn.

What is growth mindset? It is best described as a way of viewing challenges and setbacks. People who have a growth mindset believe that even if they struggle with certain skills, their abilities aren’t set in stone. They think that with work, their skills can improve over time.

Mindset is everything. The difference between someone who is successful and someone who failed is based on the mindset they have cultivated towards their goals. The way college students think about their college experiences can affect their journey and their success.

Someone with a fixed mindset views abilities as something they either possess or do not. It cannot be changed. In contrast, someone with a growth mindset sees abilities as something that can be learnt and developed

Growth Mindset For Students (Table Examples)

Fixed Mindset The Link Growth Mindset
Everyone is born with certain skills and aptitudes. Beliefs about human potential With effective strategies and time, people can improve their skills and aptitudes.
Believe abilities and knowledge that come easily indicate natural talent, and that if something isn’t easy, it cannot be learned. Effort and Difficulty Value the effort itself as a key element of gaining knowledge and mastery.
Generally, avoid challenges and see obstacles as signs they are in the wrong direction. Challenges and Obstacles Seek out new challenges and see obstacles as problems to solve and ways to grow.
Hides or makes excuses for mistakes; becomes discouraged and frustrated by failure. Mistakes and Failures Takes ownership of mistakes and understands that failure often leads to learning and long-term success.
Rejects negative feedback and can become defensive; likely focuses on positive feedback. Feedback, Criticism, and Suggestions Appreciates the perspectives of others and welcomes candid feedback.
Success is limited to a few specific areas along a firmly defined pathway. Outlook on the future Success is possible in many areas, once individuals create their own learning pathways.

Judging from the table above, something you may have noticed is that a growth mindset would tend to give a learner grit and persistence. If you had learned as your major goal, you would normally keep trying to attain that goal even if it took you multiple attempts.

Not only that, but if you learnt a little bit more with each try you would see each attempt as a success, even if you had not achieved complete mastery of whatever it was you were working to learn. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that those people who believed their abilities could change through learning readily accepted learning challenges and persisted despite early failures

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