I keep a little notepad on my desk to jot down ideas that I want to share through this blog. I have a few there now, but for this week, I was inspired by something we shared in the First Year Experience 101 course at Maria College just this week. Each week, we share a Habit of Mind (expertly organized by our FYE Director, Barbara Ruslander!). These Habits of Mind help students to focus on ways of thinking and behaving that can help them to reach their academic and personal goals. This week, the Habit of Mind focused on persistence.

The idea that no one fails if they persist at whatever they have set their minds to is so powerful! We all get tired, frustrated, overwhelmed, and even bored at times, but we have that power within ourselves to “keep on keeping on” as the saying goes. 

Barbara is a fan of Albert Einstein and the many words of wisdom Mr. Einstein shared including the following about persistence: “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” The founder of the Sisters of Mercy had similar thoughts about persistence. As Catherine McAuley noted: “Let us take one day only in hands, at a time, merely making a resolve for tomorrow, thus we may hope to get on taking short, careful steps, not great strides.”

There are so many real-life stories of persistence that have resulted in great accomplishments for those who “keep on.” One such story is that of a 1992 Olympic runner named Derek Redmond which I share with FYE students. Click here to hear Mr. Redmond’s story of persistence; it is guaranteed to inspire you.

Until next time…



  • Comment:

    Anne Devlin is a treasure to our students in the classroom, and now as our blogger host! Thanks, Anne, for sharing how FYE helps students to realize that persistence is a strong basis for getting things done and going places! As Anne noted, Catherine McAuley, Einstein, and Maria students have that in common! Great things can start with the smallest, careful steps.

    Submitted by Barbara Ruslander on

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