The experience that an individual has during his or her college years, varies greatly depending on the goals that individual plans to achieve. Simultaneously many books offer techniques in which they promise to reveal the secrets of success in college; yet, these guides focus mainly on getting high grades. On the other hand, in his book What The Best College Students Do, Ken Bain gather a compilation of interviews and research-backed concepts to give the reader an idea of the type of behavior and approaches, which should optimize the readers college experience and aid in later life. Sprinkled intermittently among the main concepts are explanations of human behavior, which serve to support the rational of how the concepts were created. To complement the research, Bain provides interviews with individuals who exemplify the concepts of the best college students. The main concepts that make “the best college students” according to Bain are: deep learning, the mindset that intelligence can be improved, embracing failure, and practice self-kindness. The concept of self-kindness is the base upon which the rest of the techniques outlined rest. Further research on self-kindness illuminates why it is far superior to self-esteem and why it is a very important concept for college students to practice. Despite finding many useful techniques for college students, among them self-kindness, and having a flexible view on intelligence; Bain fails to pay proper attention to the importance of social organizations and the stress that a student could undergo by being separated from their family member (aka separation anxiety disorder).
Dr. Kristin D. Neff an Associate Professor in Human Development at the University of Texas Austin developed a concept called self-kindness. The definition of self-compassion:
Entails three main components which overlap and mutually interact: Self- kindness versus self-judgment, feelings of common humanity versus isolation, and mindfulness versus over-identification…Self-Kindness refers to the tendency to be caring and understanding with ourselves rather than harshly critical or judgmental…The sense of common humanity central to self-compassion involves recognizing that all people fail, make mistakes, and feel inadequate in some way…Mindfulness the third component of self –compassion, involves being aware of present moment experience in a clear and balanced manner so that one neither ignores nor ruminates on disliked aspects of oneself or one’s life.(Self- Compassion, Self-Esteem and Well-Being)
Neff makes the argument that while self-esteem has positive results such as more happiness, optimism and more motivations, the drawbacks are too many. Some of the drawbacks to self-esteem include high levels of narcissism, over-inflated ego, negative reactions to criticism and the need to put other down in order to feel good about one’s self. She devised the concept of self-kindness as a concept that...