Kevin T. Velez, Campus Carrier asst. arts & living editor

Netflix’s recently released documentary “The Last Blockbuster” features the last remaining store of its former competitor, Blockbuster. The company was once the leading video rental franchise with 9,000 stores globally and a revenue stream of $5.9 billion in 2004, according to Business Insider. The documentary talks about one of the largest mistakes the corporation made during its successful years that contributed to its bankruptcy and later collapse. During the corporation’s reign as the industry leader, Blockbuster’s chief executive officer John Antioco and other executives met with a struggling competitor to potentially purchase the business for $50 million. Ultimately, Blockbuster’s chief executives decided to not purchase the struggling competitor and left the table; that competitor was Netflix. Today, Netflix is worth over $100 billion, according to revenuesandprofits.com, with over 150 million subscribers. The once failing competitor has now surpassed Blockbuster in revenue and existence. 

Although the mistakes college students usually make are not on such an extreme scale, the mistakes a student can make while at college can affect their professional, educational and personal development. Despite the consequences of certain errors and a fear associated with committing mistakes, physiotherapists like Mel Schwartz agree that the fear of making a mistake is harmful to development, and that individuals should conquer those fears. In an article for Psychology Today, Schwartz rationalizes mistakes and focuses on their positive affects in developing life. The article also includes the dangers of allowing the fear of making a mistake to overpower action. 

“The fear of making a mistake impacts not only our personal relations but also our jobs, careers, and what otherwise might be inconsequential decisions,” Schwartz said in the article. 

Berry’s First-Year Mentors are assigned to BCC 100 classes to guide new students into college life and assist them in overcoming common mistakes. Mentors direct students to support resources on campus and lead discussions in class to help students adapt to life at Berry. 

Lily Calhoun, junior, is the student co-director for Academic Transitions, the program responsible for managing BCC classes and assigning mentors. As part of her role, Calhoun trains, hires and assists the mentors whenever needed. During her time as a mentor, Calhoun has seen a common pattern of misunderstandings and obstacles that incoming freshman must grow from and change in order to succeed. 

“I think something that can be hard for freshman is adjusting academically at Berry, because it is very different than the typical high school experience that a lot of freshman come from,” Calhoun said. “A lot of freshman can come in with the expectation that things are going to stay the same.”

Calhoun describes the adjustment as tough for most freshman because they must learn time management, the teaching styles of certain professors and the content in classes at the same time. 

“Berry is a very time-consuming school in a lot of different ways, and it can be hard learning to juggle school, work and a social life,” Calhoun said. 

To help the adjustment, the mentor program introduces students to resources on campus that allows them to adjust to their new courses and life. Calhoun said the program emphasizes the value in these resources and expresses there is no shame in using them. 

“It is not embarrassing to go to the Academic Success Center or the Writing Center, in fact that is doing yourself the biggest favor possible,” Calhoun said. 

Rich Morrison, junior, is a First-Year Mentor. As a mentor, Morrison likes to connect with his students to learn what their goals are and what they want to achieve at Berry. Sometimes, Morrison finds that his students might benefit and perform better with an open mind regarding their major and courses. Morrison tells his students often about how he entered Berry as a biology major but switched majors when he found an unknown passion and excitement for political science. 

“For me, I actually became a political science major because of a politics of weapons of mass destruction course I took my first semester,” Morrison said.

When Morrison talks to his students about potentially switching majors, he relates facts with emotion. 

“Clearly you are miserable, and you are not going to be making as good of grades for four years and wasting your money if you do not switch your major,” Morrison said. 

Another common mistake Morrison and Calhoun see freshmen make is comparing themselves to others, something both mentors have done. 

“Stop comparing yourself sooner rather than later so you can be happier and feel fulfilled no matter what you do,” Morrison said. 

The mentors at Berry are trained to be open with new students and learn to assistant them in adjusting to Berry life. Mentors are trained to celebrate with their students during good times and walk them during the hard times. As part of their roles, BCC mentors like Calhoun and Morrison have witnessed firsthand how students have overcome their mistakes and have become adjusted to Berry. These mistakes sometimes allow students to find new passions and walk new avenues in life. 

Posted by Campus Carrier

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