I recently had the pleasure of helping out with Jumpstart Day, an annual Galipatia event sponsored by CEED staff who serve as Galileo and Hypatia instructors. For those who don’t know what this event is, it takes place before the second semester, and is tailored to individuals in the community who received a GPA of less than 3.00 in their first semester in General Engineering at Virginia Tech.
I volunteered to help with this event, because I was in that position when I had finished my first semester freshman year. I had been a straight A student for all of high school, so when I didn’t do as well as I had expected to do in my first semester at college, it was excruciatingly disappointing. Part of the reason for my lower grades was the big leap from living at home to independence and personal responsibility. I went through a lot of adjusting, and in the process of getting settled and figuring everything out with new, more challenging engineering courses, my grades suffered and I did not do as well as I had hoped. I was upset, but I knew that second semester was my chance to redeem myself.
That’s what Jumpstart Day is all about! Galileo and Hypatia instructors conducted activities related to goal-setting and working on how to achieve those goals and bring those grades up. The students who participated got to hear the amazing success story of a alumni who managed to bring his GPA back up during his undergraduate time at Tech and is now employed by an aerospace engineering company. Upper-class leaders in the community, including myself, got to share their stories of struggles, and how to best utilize study time and other tips to succeed in the classroom in order to achieve their goals.