Utilizing the ACE Pillars
During my first year at Simmons University, I found myself struggling to adjust to the change in course load, the faster pace nature of college courses, and time management. During my first semester, my grades were not as high as I hoped, and I didn’t know exactly what to do differently to improve. My ACE coach, Sherryann, encouraged me to use the four ACE pillars and apply them to my courses to improve my grades.
I utilized self-advocate by speaking with my professors and asking for additional help with certain topics, study tips, and how to best improve my grades. I used the ACE pillars self-direct and self-correct by trying out new study techniques, finding what works for me, seeking tutoring services, and adjusting how much time I spent studying. I continued to alter my study habits until I saw the grades that I was looking for. Additionally, no matter what the grade was, I always analyzed my exams so I could continue to improve. Additionally, I used self-management strategies by strengthening my ability to manage my classes, schedule, study habits, and time.
The four ACE pillars influenced my ability to succeed in college. That first year, my ACE Coach helped me draw conclusions, talk through the next steps, and guide me in utilizing the four ACE pillars. I became self-sufficient in using the ACE pillars and could analyze my exams and independently think through the next steps. I am now in physical therapy school to obtain my doctorate, and I still utilize these pillars and continue to ask myself the same questions my ACE Coach would ask me while guiding me through the ACE pillars.
Despite always utilizing these strategies, I had one exam last year that did not go well. I put in a lot of effort and time and felt I knew the material well. Despite my preparations, I still failed the exam. I was shocked and panicked when I received my grade, and my first instinct was to talk to my ACE Coach. At this point, I had the skills to self-direct and self-correct; however, I needed to talk through the score and my thoughts on what to do moving forward. Sherryann provided me with all the skills necessary to navigate this poor grade; however, what I needed at that moment was support, which is exactly what she provided. It is so important to seek out mentors and a strong support system as college can be stressful at times, and despite your best efforts, you may at some point need some extra support and guidance to manage events that occur – and that’s okay.
ACE coaches and the four ACE pillars are amazing resources when navigating any situation involving financial aid, academics, work, etc. When transitioning into my graduate program, my scholarship, and financial aid were unexpectedly changed. My ACE Coach guided me to advocate for myself and take steps to manage the situation. It is so important to advocate for yourself in an academic environment, as well as in work and everyday life. These four ACE pillars are ones you will use in your life to navigate situations that arise in work, school, and beyond. Your ACE coach is also a resource who will always be someone you can turn to if you need help, advice, or extra support. The experiences you get through the MGH-ACE program will remain with you forever, and the skills you learn will always be utilized in your life, no matter what you do.