Counselors give tips to avoid stress

Photo by Will Pritchard / The Flare.
uses the computer lab in The Zone.
The Zone is free to use and is located in the Student Services Building Room 119.


Due dates and first exams are fast approaching. As assignments are piling up, so are students’ stress levels. How should students deal with it all?

Here are some helpful hints to remember before the time crunch comes down.

“It’s always success and failures; there’s going to have to be some failures, in where you have to back up and realize ‘I need to change some approaches’,” Dennis Cliborn, assistant director of TRiO, said

If students are not doing well, they should look at what they have been doing wrong. If a student knows he or she cannot focus while studying in a residence hall room, go to the library to work.

Jennifer Quine, counselor, said the top thing that trips students up is time management, so students should get in the habit of managing their time and planning ahead. They do not have to cram for everything and rush.

Getting a student planner is the first step in managing time. The Student Success Department is giving them out for free. There are even more helpful homework hints inside.

After writing the assignments down, students have to work on them. They should put time aside to work on homework every day. Block that time off to work on what is due or to study.

Having a set time to do school work gets students in the habit of working every day, so once they are done they do not have to think about it.

Non-traditional students could try asking relatives to look after the kids if they need to, so they could do homework or study for a test.

When making a to-do list it is also useful to put each item into a categories; urgent, important and normal. Urgent homework should be done right away and important things could be planned out more. Students can decide if they want to do the normal assignments today or wait until tomorrow.

Students should not wait too long to work on something. Due dates come up fast, and if students wait too long everything becomes urgent.

“Procrastination is a big contributor to creating stress, because everything becomes last minute and you have to get five projects done in one night instead of working on it over time,” Cliborn said.

When students get overwhelmed they should talk to their instructors. They can work with a students’ schedule and give them advice on what to do.

“Students forget they can talk to the instructor,” Quine said.

Sometimes students take too many course hours at one time. They might have underestimated how much work a class requires or something new might have come up.

“When the student realizes they are doing poorly, that’s when I recommend they seek help. We have a very late drop date in the semester,” Quine said. “If they seek help early enough they might be able to salvage the class.”

If a student is trying to get too much done at one time, it might be best to drop a class, so he or she can do well in a smaller number of classes rather then doing poorly in more.

When the homework is done, it’s just as important to relax.  Just as when scheduling study time, students have to also schedule free time.

When studying for long periods of time, students should schedule a break in every hour, so it will be easier to focus and produce better work.

If possible, students can schedule an hour for watching movies, going online or indulging in a hobby.

It’s still early in the semester, so even if students have been neglecting their school work until now; with some effort it is not too late to turn the semester around.