How universities can teach you resilience

Resilience defined as ‘the ability of a substance to return to its original shape after it has been bent, stretched or pressed’. (Oxford Dictionary)

Over 100 years ago, the great African American educator Booker T. Washington spoke about resilience:

“I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles overcome while trying to succeed”

Research since has proven the importance of being resilient and an ability necessary for human development. It’s what enables young adults to snap back into action after facing challenging situations with positivity. Individuals who develop resilience are better able to face disappointment, failure and loss. It is the capacity to rebuild and grow to from adversity.

Now the question that might come to mind is, how can one determine whether are resilient. Resilience is something that is honed within a person overtime, it is not genetic and can neither be instilled within a person. It is derived from many ways that individuals learn to think and act when faced with obstacles large and small. Here, are a few methods/procedures maybe used by your teacher or guardian to help you build resilience:

The road to resilience comes first and foremost from a Childs supportive relationships with parents, teachers, and other caring adults. These relationships become sources of strength when children work through stressful situations and painful emotions. This is achieved by helping young people cultivate an approach to life that views obstacles as a critical part of success, we help them develop resilience


Telling students ‘to believe in themselves!’ this mere phrase may seem pointless however, it is a great way to encourage students who have low self-esteem to boost their confidence.


Promoting self-reflection, whether it be done as a form of discussion or written, self-evaluating always helps highlight room for improvement. This allows for students to be more accepting in learning from their mistakes rather than taking feedback negatively.

Graphing progress and feedback from teachers help building self-control. All students should be aware of how they can progress, what level they are at and what is their target level. Allowing students to picture their journey makes things much clearer hence, more achievable.


Setting weekly/monthly goals- stepping stones in achieving the BIGGER goal. It is important that all students are communicated on how they can improve and achieve their target level. It is crucial that students are guided and monitored weekly/monthly and notified of their progress.

Effective peer-relationship, the way individuals can grasp conflict resolution faster and are more accepting of criticisms. It is true, students work best with their peers, believe or not even grasp concepts better when paired with a classmate. Group work/Partner work should always be encouraged.

Express and explain the importance of positivity and being optimistic. It is normal to come across pessimist students who always self-pity and think of all the things that can possibly go wrong. It is always important to be optimistic around such students and remind them that they have the potential to do better.

Teachers/Lecturers should take time to know the personal perception of achievement of their students. It is necessary for teachers/lecturers to understand the personal needs of their students. Teachers/Lecturers should hold one-to-one sessions with students to communicate where exactly they have gone wrong and how they can improve. It is important to deal with each student differently as they all have particular needs.

Individual work/Task: Train to work best on your own as it allows one to function to their highest level. It is very important that teachers/lecturers challenge their students and provide them with individual tasks, allowing them to consolidate their learning-also it can be used as a form of assessment.

Encourage students to do what they love. It is always good to guide students towards a specific path especially in that which they are strong at. Teachers/Lecturers should be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each student and help hone their skills in that field.


All of the above procedures are incorporated one way or another in classrooms by teachers to help their students build resilience.

Written by Halima Khatun



Posted in Uncategorised |

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