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Part of Western Governors University

May 21, 2014

Curing the 'perfection disease.'

Frustrated student

By Brenda Scott
Program Mentor, College of Health Professions

It doesn't have to be perfect; it just has to be thorough.

How many times have you read those task instructions? How many times have you thought, "I need to add just a few more sentences"? Have you ever said, "I just need to proof it one more time"?

For some, these "quick" fixes turn into days, weeks, or months. This condition, which I call the "perfection disease," is common among my students.

So many of us strive to be perfect in everything we do. You should remember your work doesn't have to be perfect on the first attempt, but it should be quality, thorough work. Your evaluators aren't checking for perfection but rather competency. Competency doesn't equal perfection; it means you can demonstrate your understanding of the course concepts. Your Program Mentors and Course Instructors are here to help you with this process. If you think you have symptoms of the "perfection disease," please use your faculty as a resource and let them help you remedy this situation. Competency—not perfection—is the goal.

So, how do we cure the "perfection disease"? Review your task instructions and rubric and be sure that you have addressed each prompt thoroughly (this is the key). If you are reading through your submission and you still feel the need to add more, talk with your mentors to get assistance. Finally, submit your task. If you get it sent back for revisions, don't be alarmed! This just means you need a little more work to demonstrate the competency.

Remember: Demonstrate your competencies through quality, thorough work. Hopefully, this will help cure your "perfection disease." Good luck!

Benda scott wgu portrait

About the author: You know you have the most amazing job in the world when you wake up every morning thinking it's a dream. Well, that's how I feel every day that I spend working at WGU and supporting my students. My name is Brenda Scott. I am Program Mentor in the College of Health Professions. I have my Master of Science in Nursing with specialty in Nursing Education and am currently pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Administration. I have worked as an ER nurse, ICU nurse, public health nurse, and department chair of an ADN program, but none of these are as awesome as working at WGU. I absolutely love every minute of it!

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