One of the best things you can do to combat text anxiety is to simply breathe. When we’re anxious, we tend to take shallow breaths, which increase the stress response.
Long term assignments can challenge even the most poised project planners. The trick is to take control early.
Here is a plan to show you how:
- Break down your behemoth undertaking into three to four major tasks.
- Each of these tasks should then be broken down into clearly-defined small steps.
- Once you’ve identified these small steps, determine how long it will take to complete each one.
- Look at the project deadline, and working back from there, figure out the deadline for each small step.
- In your daily planner (You do have a daily planner, don’t you?), write down the details of what you need to do next for the deadline (What books do you have to read by then? How many pages need to be written by then?).
- Relish the feeling as you check off each completed deadline.
- Ideally, budget your time so you finish the project at least two days before the deadline. This way, you can make edits or address any unforeseen issues.
- Sleep restfully, knowing that you have a plan and it’s all under control!
You are in the middle of your Spanish exam. Instead of remembering how to conjugate estar, worries are rattling around your head like maracas gone wild. Thoughts like, “I’ll never pass”, ”Why didn’t I study harder?” and “I’ll never graduate” all clamor for your attention. How on earth are you going to conjugate estar with all of this nervous chatter in your head? Fortunately, there are techniques that can help qualm such runaway thoughts.
One method is the thought-stopping technique. Imagine a red and white stop sign with eight sides. Picture the word STOP in the middle of the octagon. Now imagine hearing the word “stop” out loud, either by you or someone else. This will draw your attention away from your racing thoughts, even if just for a second. This is a way of training your brain to regain control. If you return to your racing thoughts (which you likely will), that’s okay. Simply remember the word “stop” again. With practice, you will be able to regain control of your mind. And practice makes…perfecto!
The lure is almost within reach. You can almost hear the crowds cheering you on as you come down the final stretch. Everyone is telling you that this should be a happy time, but you don’t feel that way. For many college graduates, the joy of leaving school is often mixed with sadness, anxiety, and a host of other emotions. For some graduates, there is anxiety about not knowing what comes next. For others, there is anxiety about starting graduate school when they feel so academically burnt out. Other students experience grief over leaving the place they have called home for four years.
No matter what category you fall into, the most important thing to understand is that it is okay to feel what you’re feeling, no matter what that feeling is. One way of overcoming transition anxiety is to try to relax and congratulate yourself on your accomplishment. Once you have thoroughly allowed yourself to experience all of your emotions, the next step is to set up new goals and try to attain them. While this race may be ending, there will be more to come!
So your professor wants you to do a big presentation on Prometheus. Why is it that being bound to a rock and attacked by an eagle sounds infinitely more appealing than speaking in front of your class?
Many people find presentations daunting, but they don’t have to be. The truth is, your instructor is likely not trying to punish you eternally, but simply helping you develop a skill that you’ll need far beyond your college years.
Here are a few tips that will ensure a great delivery:
- Preparation. “Winging” a presentation usually invites disaster. One way to prepare is to create a list of major goals. What are the key points you want to convey to your audience? Another important factor is to know your audience. When you know your audience, you know how to tailor your delivery and content. Next, keep a simple outline and make it organized. This will ensure that you and your audience can follow your ideas from start to finish.
- Materials. Once you have figured out the content of your talk, decide what materials you want to accompany it. Do you want to present everything on PowerPoint? Do you want to give the audience handouts to follow along? Are there any exciting “show and tell” type items to pass around? You don’t want to make your audience too distracted, so if you have numerous handouts, wait until the end of the presentation to distribute them.
- Delivery. If you are truly prepared and have decent materials, your delivery will likely go smoothly. Preparation is the key to confidence. However, there are some things you can do to increase your chances of a stellar performance. Try to make eye contact when possible; it creates a connection with your audience. Try to remember to speak more slowly than you would in regular conversation, as your audience needs time to absorb all that you are saying. Additionally, try to vary the tone and volume of your speech— otherwise you could end up sounding monotonous. Only use hand gestures to emphasize important points; otherwise, it may be distracting.
After your presentation is over, take stock of how you did. What went well? What didn’t go so well? What might make it better next time? Remember, a flawless performance is hard to achieve. After all, Prometheus represents human striving, not perfection!
- As long as there is no guessing penalty, try to make an educated guess. Leaving a blank would be criminal. After all, you have a 50% chance of being right!
- Words such as “always,” “never” and “every” indicate that a statement must be true all of the time. These types of words usually lead to an answer of “false.”
- Words such as “sometimes,” “generally,” and “usually” mean that, depending on the situation, the statement can be true or false. Such words frequently result in an answer of “true.”
- Most true-false tests have more true answers than false answers. So if you’re at the end of the true-false section and you feel like you bombed it, go back and count. What’s your true to false ratio? If you have more false than true answers, you may want to go back and revise the answers about which you are unsure.
- If there is any part of a statement that is false, then the whole statement is false. HOWEVER, just because a portion of the statement is true, does not mean that the whole statement is true. Got it?
Before you bust out your bathing suit and bolt for spring break, you will likely have to face much maligned midterms. But taking the mid-semester test doesn’t have to be all that bad—as long as you prepare.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- The first step is figuring out what you need to study. Look over the syllabus, and ask your professor what potential topics might be covered on the exam.
- Next, make short summaries of every topic. Highlight areas of difficulty and ask your professor to clarify them.
- Once you have summarized the gist of each topic, you are ready to master the specifics with flashcards. By writing down information on flashcards, the studying is already halfway done. You can bring flashcards anywhere and save time by studying in unlikely places—like a long line at Starbucks. (There are other ways to review material too—check out The Study’s Learning Styles workshops.)
- Come into The Study for a tutoring review session.
- Make sure to get a good night’s rest the day before the exam—at least seven hours, if possible.
- Once the exam is over, pack your bags. Cancun is calling!
The warm glow of the holiday season has gone cold. Bitter temperatures keep you in your room. Spring seems an eternity away, even though spring break is supposedly around the corner. For many, winter can be a lonely and disheartening time of year. Some people can get through it with invigorating activities such as exercise or spending time with friends. Others, however, may need a bit more support to get through it. If the doldrums of winter have gotten you down, fortunately, there are resources available.
Loyola’s Counseling Center offers a place where you can get help for a host of issues ranging from depression to eating disorders to everything in between. To learn more about Counseling Center services, visit:
Let’s face it: sometimes we just don’t feel like learning. However, note taking is important, because it forces you to listen and cues you into what the professor finds important in the text (in other words, what will likely be on the exam).
Here are some tips to help you take better notes:
- Briefer is better. Never use full sentences (unless you are quoting). Be consistent in your use of abbreviations and symbols. DO NOT take notes in shorthand, because they cannot be studied in shorthand.
- The majority of notes should be in your own words. This will help you remember the material better. Exceptions to this are formulas, definitions, and specific facts.
- Don’t write down every single thing you hear. Focus on the main points. Concentrate on the “heart” of the subject and forget the extras.
- Keep notes in order by date and in one place.
- Review your notes regularly. We recommend reading through them each week, even if you don’t have an exam coming up.
Want more tips on Note-taking? Take an Effective Note Taking workshop at The Study! Click the link below to register:
Chemistry is killing you. Neutrons are giving you nightmares, halogens are haunting you, and catalysts are just plain confusing. Why suffer in silence? One of the best ways to take on difficult subjects is to get a tutor—and early on. Getting a tutor as early in the semester as possible is one of the best ways to ensure that your grades don’t suffer.
Photo Credit: http://www.collegeparents.org/sites/default/files/peer_tutor.jpg