Chief Editor's Note: A Change Of Mind(set)
The thing that fascinates me most about being human is our natural desire and ability to learn. Learning itself is a wonderfully weird phenomenon. It can be the result of intense labor--as any student can testify--but sometimes it happens without any conscious effort; you know something but can’t place a pin on when or where you learned it. How we orient ourselves toward learning is shaped by what we think about the nature of intelligence.
One very popular theory, developed by Carol Dweck and colleagues, approaches the issue of intelligence through the concept of mindsets. According to Dweck people can be placed on a continuum based on their implicit views on the origin of intelligence and ability. At one end of the spectrum you’ll find those who see intelligence and success as innate qualities, having—using Dweck’s terminology—a fixed mindset. At the opposite end of spectrum are those who believe success is the result of hard work and effort. Dweck calls this a growth mindset. These beliefs play a vital role in how we learn, how we face failure and ultimately what we accomplish.
While in recent years Dweck’s theory of intelligence has been contested, I’ve found the idea of a growth mindset comforting and inspiring on a personal level. It has challenged me to go on an inward journey and examine my own beliefs about capability. While traversing in the darker corners of my mind I found evidence of a grim truth: I was fairly certain that some things were unlearneable for me. I discovered thought patters that began with "I could never...", "I'm not cut out for..." and so forth. Stumbling into Dweck’s growth mindset sparked a flicker of hope in my otherwise discouraged mind. So, I decided to adopt a new attitude, one where anything can be learned with effort and where failure is not the end of the world.
For me personally, BTSB’s new site is the fruition of my journey to a more healthy and productive view on ability. I’ve shied away from technology for years insisting that I just didn’t have what it took to create anything in digital form. Yet many bitter tears, two near-panic attacks and countless “how to…”- Google searches later I can proudly welcome readers, both old and new, to our brand new site! My hope is that this new platform works as a pedestal upon which the insightful, creative, and entertaining work of talented writers can be showcased with pride.
I write this to not to toot my own horn, but to encourage you (and at the risk of sounding like a self-help book) to begin the autumn with pride in your current abilities and confidence in your capacity to learn and grown any which way you choose. All you need is a desire to work hard. And if you fail? Congratulations, you’ve just learned how not to go about it.
When you’re not busy kicking ass and climbing to new heights, BTSB is here to provide you with a wide selection of down-time reads. Take a moment to peruse through what I’d humbly say is one of our best and most extensive issues up to date! English freshmen will be happy to notice Danielle’s and Elina’s Freshman’s guide, which contains all the information a student of English will need, and then some! Kick back with Hanna’s beautifully crafted short story about young Smith on the fourth floor or Eveliina’s list of the most hygge autumn activities. In the review section Petteri takes on Frankenstein's film adaptations, Jesper shares his opinion on the newly released remake of It, and Elizabeth’s reviews a comic collection dealing with mental health. In addition, Elina offers food for thought in her essay about Finnish pride, Kaisa shares her thoughts on Kim Wall, and Eveliina introduces readers to the Myers-Briggs type indicator.
So go ahead, dive in!