New Year, Same Roadblocks?
Written by Christina D., a tutor at Intellect Learning Center.
As the clock strikes midnight, the turn of a New Year begins with fresh resolutions and hopeful promises of healthy habits. However, the New Year for students occurs twice in a 12-month period; every September and January. This January, there are many prospective students pledging to study more, procrastinate less, and achieve better scores. Yet, the challenge that many students encounter are battling old stressors, poor study habits, and low endurance due to no support system. In order to tackle these hurdles, we must examine each roadblock and be determine how to overcome them.
If you struggle with handling stress and anxiety in the classroom, you can overcome it. About 16-20% of the school-going population is affected by test anxiety, according to the American Test Anxiety Association. Test anxiety, nervousness when confronted with an exam, can cause difficulty in concentration, feelings of fear or failure, and can lead to a panic attack. When a student begins to feel this way, a few tips to battling this roadblock are:
Roadblock: Poor Study Habits
- Breathe. As soon as you feel like youâ€™re beginning to get a headache, overcome with fear, and emotionally overwhelmed just breathe. Count to 20 slowly. Then, try to tackle the issue.
- Have a plan. If you know youâ€™re prone to anxiety, start studying two weeks from your test. Make flashcards. Use a whiteboard. Ask someone to test you. Most importantly, study in the same atmosphere as you would be taking your test in -- no TVs and blasting music.
- Positive Attitude. Maintaining a positive attitude will take work, especially if youâ€™re use to fearful, negative thoughts as your test is approaching. Every time you catch yourself saying a negative thought, turn it into a positive one.
Studying hard will not get any student passing grades, but studying well will. There is a difference between studying 8 hours a day and barely comprehending the subject versus studying 2 hours a day and being prepared to test. The only way to obtain better study habits is by changing your current study habits. Some are tips for this roadblock are:
Roadblock: No Support System
- Re-evaluate your habits. Whatâ€™s your learning style? One of the best ways to get better study habits is understanding how you learn best. Through the following website, http://www.educationplanner.org/students/self-assessments/learning-styles-quiz.shtml, you can take a 20 question assessment to determine what kind of learner you are.
- Ask for help. This is essential. It is vital to ask for help when we need it. You could use the internet, your local library, or a tutoring center. Asking for help symbolizes the student is teachable and in perfect position to learn.
- Practice. When you feel yourself wanting to retract back to old habits, it is important that you stay on the path of change. By consistently practicing your new study habits, you are creating an opportunity for growth and productivity.
The importance of a support system affects a studentâ€™s ability to make healthier choices. A support system can establish a safe network for students to grow, make mistakes, and improve a studentâ€™s self-esteem. If this is a roadblock for you, here are some tips:
- Lean on family & friends. Often, we are motivated by the approval of our family and friends. Let your loved ones know you need their support in your academic endeavors.
- Get a mentor. Mentors can provide academic guidance and motivate you to achieve your goals. They can also provide insight on future roadblocks and advice on how to succeed them. In addition, they are a great resource for references and recommendations.
- Have resilience. Through the process of reaping new study habits, you will make mistakes and you may possibly feel anxiety again. But take heart, you are investing in your future schooling and laying down a foundation for a successful and lasting professional career.