Mindset Matters: Shifting Perspectives for College Success

Blog title on dark blue "Mindset Matters: Shifting Perspective for College Success" and an image of book cover for "The Transformational College Experience" by Dante DiBattista

How to Leverage Your College Experience to Make Meaningful Change in Your Life

The Transformational College Experience Part 1

Dante DiBattista, Widener University alum and author of the Transformational College Experience
Dante DiBattista ’17
The Transformational College Experience is a three-part blog series of tips and tools based on lectures given by alum Dante DiBattista ’17. In part one, we’ll explore how small mindset adjustments can make a world of difference in your college success.

1. Reframe Failure as a Learning Tool

​Just because you experience failure—DiBattista himself failed out of his engineering major—doesn’t mean your story is over. Those poor grades made DiBattista reconsider what his passions truly were and switch majors to psychology, where he thrived. College is an amazing time to practice how you evaluate and learn from experiences that don’t go as planned.

2. Define and Stick to Your Values

​While academic success is (hopefully!) a common goal of every college student, each and every person on campus has their own unique passions and goals. It’s easy to compare yourself to others, but even within your major or career track, everyone’s on their own path. When you’re able to define your own values and reasons for pursuing your goals, you’ll find more internal motivation to complete schoolwork and keep a positive mindset long after you graduate.

3. Show Up for Yourself

​In DiBattista’s words: “You owe it to yourself to show up for yourself.” That’s easier said than done, but try to treat yourself the way you would a loved one. When you block time off on your calendar for studying, don’t stand up that date. Encourage yourself like you would your best friend. Chances are, you’ll find that a little bit of internal kindness and accountability will empower you.

4. Hack Your Hedonic Treadmill

​You might not have heard of the hedonic treadmill before, but we all experience its effects. This psychological concept refers to the ongoing cycle of wanting something, working on it, getting it, and moving on to the next thing. This leaves little time to celebrate your achievements, but you can pause this cycle by tapping into gratitude. The longer you spend enjoying what you worked for, the longer you can keep yourself off the treadmill.

5. Remember, You’re Just Getting Started!

​Dante DiBattista is a proud Widener alum, but he has no problem saying: “The ultimate myth of college is that it’s the best four years of your life.” College is an amazing time to invest in yourself and set the groundwork to support your dreams and values throughout your life, but there’s no rush to perfect your habits. You don’t need to fix yourself to belong. Everyone hits road bumps along the way but if you’re invested in your positive mindset, there will always be more best days of your life ahead.

Dante DiBattista ’17 is an award-winning leadership coach, consultant, and public speaker who has worked with clients across the globe to empower executives and employees alike to be their best. He is an active Widener alum and has appeared on the Far & Widener podcast. His book, The Transformational College Experience: How to Make the Most of It, is available now. Visit DiBattista’s website to learn more about him, and watch the full video from this masterclass.