Adopting a Growth Mindset – Alyshena Case

“I chose to study biology and psychology because I want to make a difference in people’s lives. I also really enjoy learning and being hands-on. In high school, I thought I was just going to study psychology and become a counselor because of my desire to help people. In my senior year, however, I took a biology class and fell in love with the subject, especially genetics. I decided that that was what I wanted to pursue. Then I learned I could combine the two with genetic counseling.

I have had research opportunities as a laboratory teaching assistant and a summer research assistant that have helped me to further develop and apply the skills that I was learning in my classes. Through this, I learned that I really enjoy doing hands-on work in the lab. This experience helped me feel more confident in my abilities and know that I can be successful even after I graduate. It also has helped me become a more effective communicator and get experience with working on a team. This is something that I will need to use in a job. I think a big part of research is being able to handle failure or when things don’t work out and how to deal with that. Being able to handle this type of situation and not get discouraged is something that I will take away from the experience.

The biggest thing I learned in college is the importance of having a growth mindset. Before coming to Meredith College, I was very shy and, honestly, did not have a lot of confidence in myself. While at Meredith, I have been able to learn and grow and that has helped me discover my strengths and be confident in myself. Ultimately, I am happy to say that I adopted that mindset during my time at Meredith. Not only has it made me a happier individual, but it has helped me feel more prepared for the future which I used to be terrified of. I have become a bit of a “social butterfly” as my parents say and am definitely more extroverted.

A challenge that I am proud to have overcome at Meredith is being able to accept when things don’t turn out as you expect them to, both academically and personally. In science courses, there are times when you do experiments and you just get failed result after failed result. The professor discusses with you how this is a natural part of the learning process and helps you think through what you can do to fix it. I can say from experience that when you finally get something to work after struggling with it for a while, it really does boost your confidence! This is because you accomplished and overcame something that you honestly felt was impossible at some point. This is also true personally because, in life, things sometimes happen that are out of your control, that lead to situations that you didn’t prepare for, or that you weren’t expecting. It is important to know you are supported during these times. It is also important to know that you have the skills to do your best and not give up because you will feel so much better once you work your way through it.

When I first heard about Meredith, I had little interest and did not think it was the school for me. However, my mom kept telling me about how she could see me thriving at Meredith so we decided to take a tour. During this tour, I fell in love with Meredith. I could just feel how positive the community was and it felt like they cared about me as an individual. The staff and faculty cared about getting to know students and took the time to answer any questions. This was what inspired me to pursue Meredith. As an Iris Ambassador, I love sharing the story of why I chose to come to Meredith with prospective students visiting the campus.

After three years here, I can promise that the community is what keeps me here. Everyone has each other’s best interests in mind. It is supportive instead of competitive. The faculty has been there for me both professionally and personally. They have encouraged me to pursue my passions and have supported me through classes and hardships. The same is true for my fellow students. I am never scared to start a new class because I know that I’ll get to meet new people who will ultimately become friends. It really feels like a collaboration and it makes it a lot easier to succeed when you feel supported by those around you. It is what keeps me motivated when I feel like giving up.

After I graduate I plan to work in a lab or in healthcare for some time to save money and gain valuable experience. Eventually, I plan to pursue graduate school to earn a master’s in genetic counseling and become a certified genetic counselor. I feel prepared for this next chapter because at Meredith I have learned my strengths and how to apply them to be successful.”

Editor’s Note: After graduation, Alyshena will be working as a Behavior Technician at Mosaic Pediatric Therapies.