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The Effective Experiment: Part 1 College Students

My favorite non-fiction writers are Stephen Covey and Malcolm Gladwell. Covey wrote the best-selling work The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey list seven behaviors that set apart mundane and extraordinary people. Since the novel's inception, many renditions of the work are now available for different life stages, including The 7 Habits for Happy Kids and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. Gladwell distinguishes himself from other authors correlates historical events to current events. Besides being on the New York Times Best Selling list five times, he also hosts the Revisionist History podcast. Revisionist History allows its listener to be transported across time and space to get a global perspective of societal issues.

Inspired by both men, I decided to conduct a Gladwell-esqe experiment asking people at different life stages the ultimate Covey question, " What makes a person effective?" To do this experiment to the best of my ability, I went on my LinkedIn, where I scoured my connections to determine who would be the best fit for this project. I realized that the answer to this question changes as one grows and evolves. So, I decided to divide people into life stages and ask them for their answers.

Stage 1: College Students

Some call these students the lost class (and as of May 2021, there will be the lost classes). The students who did not have the typical college experience. Instead of tailgates and homecomings, college students were at home due to COVID-19. As they return to a semblance of their former lives, they are aware of every decision they make and how it impacts their physical and mental health. They recognized that they did not realize how great the past was. A time when Corona only referred to a beer. A time when social distancing and PPE were not apart of daily vocabulary. They cautiously look to the future as Gatsby looked to the Green-light. They are hopeful.

Here are their answers.

Stephanie Blanco: (21, Senior, Political Science Major, University of Central Florida, Orlando,FL): Family. They have done everything in their power to make sure a loved one succeeds and helps achieve all of their goals. Because of my family's hard work and sacrifice, it is my ultimate goal to give back to them, just how they did to me. Everything I do is for and because of my family.

Yasmin Kishun (19, freshman, psychology major, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA.) : Its when someone tries their best to reach their goal or be the best person they can be and doing the most they can to do that, whether by planning or setting short-term goals. I also feel you have to make you take a step back and look at things you need to work on and accept your flaws to grow as a person. It goes along with trying to be the best person you can be. I think there are many aspects, mentally, physically emotionally, we all should keep in mind to preserve because we have all things we need to work on, and you need the right balance to work on yourself.

Ben Remabum (21,junior, economics major,University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL.): Work ethic. It how you go about tackling assignments and work. It about making sure you are prepared enough for whatever life throughs at you.

Sami Ronik (22, Senior, Psychology Major, University of Central Florida, Orlando,FL.): Passion. A deeply rooted passion for things that make you do something. It’s the ability to focus on what you truly are passionate about and discover your purpose. I’m still figuring out myself. Since birth to now, this is what I think makes a person effective. Ronik's goal is to work with people with intellectual and development disabilities.

Stay tune for this weekly series as I interview people at different life stages!

*Work edited for clarity and grammar


Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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