The transition to college is challenging for everyone, and there is no quick and easy way to make it “better” or “successful.” This is especially true for twice-exceptional learners. With the school year ending and seniors in high school preparing to embark on this transition, discussing the challenges 2e students might face seems timely.
I approach this topic from multiple perspectives, writing not only as an expert in educational psychology, but also as someone identified as twice-exceptional when I was in fifth grade. [If you are interested in reading about my journey as a 2e individual, please see Baum, S., Renzulli, S., & Rizza, M. (2015)].
High school wasn’t always easy for me, but by my senior year I had finally achieved both academic and social success. I thought I had everything figured out and that I knew better than my academic counselors, teachers, and most of all, my parents (who are both professors of educational psychology). I entered my freshman year at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., and disregarded every piece of academic advice that had been given to me because “I didn’t need any help.” I did not register with the college’s office that supports students with disabilities or go to professors’ office hours. I did not ask for extra help if I did not understand something and did not seek additional tutoring. I did not meet with faculty or teaching assistants to discuss how to be successful on exams.
In fact, I only used two positive academic skills during that first semester: I attended my classes on time and always took notes. My grades during this time reflected all the academic tasks that I did not complete and reminded me, again, that I needed to envision academic success differently t...
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