Developing an Academic Power of Attorney
There may come a time when you realize that you don’t have the personal discipline to succeed in college. This isn’t uncommon for students. You may need an academic power of attorney.
The concept of a power of attorney comes from situations where a person does not have the capability to manage his/her own affairs. Another individual is given the legal authority to manage the person’s affairs. The academic power of attorney isn’t as drastic, but the concept is the same. You are relying on another person to help you develop the discipline you need.
Who do you select for your power of attorney? It could be a family member, a close friend, someone you are dating, or a mentor. Whoever you select, it should be someone who has a geniune interest in your success and who will push you to sustain your discipline without making you upset. Often parents have done this in high school, and you probably resented them doing it. Your power of attorney is generally someone who will keep you on track without making you feel like a child when you don’t stay on course.
Once you have your power of attorney, work out a routine. Typically your routine will consist of:
- A planned list of activities each day which you send to your mentor.
- A report at the end of each day to your mentor on what you accompished.
You will share each of these with your power of attorney each day with a personal note on your reflections of how you think you did, and what you will do to continue improving your discipline.
The final step with your power of attorney is a meeting to discuss your progress. You will want to meet with your power of attorney weekly at first and then less often as you make progress.
Typically your need for a power of attorney will only last for one semester. Once you develop the discipline you need, you should be ok, but you may need to check in with your power of attorney every few months just to review your progress.