If you would like to discuss any of these handouts further, or other helpful resources not listed below, consider scheduling an academic coaching meeting.
When we are striving to become a better student, we may find ourselves trying to change a habit. Many researchers suggest that it takes 32 days or 32 times to adjust to a new habit. This handout is a strong visual that can positively reinforce your progress towards a new habit. Decide what your commitment is, and use the chart to check off each day/time you get closer to 32! The key to this handout is getting to 32 days/times consecutively, without skipping even once! Skipping once will hinder/halt the progress, and require you to start at the beginning. Below are some academic and other examples of things that can be a 32 Day/Times commitment:
- Check my planner once a day
- Review my class notes each day
- Floss once a day
- Exercise for 30 minutes each day
- Get 8 hours of sleep
- The next 32 times I have class, attend and be on time
- Participate in class at least once the next 32 times I have class
“For the longest time I tried to get 8 hours of sleep. But video games, Youtube, anything kept me up really late. I was lucky to get 5 hours. This sheet helped me hold myself accountable. I stuck to the 32 days. I put the sheet right next to my desk so I would see it all the time. Once I got the 8 hours, I never missed a class, paid more attention in class, understood the material better, and saw my test scores go up. Sleep really is important! I think this would be a good tool for other students to use too.” – A student who used a 32 day commitment
Stress is a part of life. It is impossible to “cure stress,” because it will always be something we face from time to time. It is easy for college students to face stress due to academics, and other responsibilities we have. This handout features tips that can help students manage stress at a healthy level. It also offers tips on how to productively respond to stress. Please be mindful there are many more tips that could not fit on this handout! Consider what tips, or other ideas, would work well for you. Seek them out online, through your peers, family, academic coaching, a professional counselor on the Sacred Heart campus, etc. You can always get better, little by little, at managing stress levels, and responding productively to stress, if you set your mind to it.
Like stress, anxiety is a part of life. As a college student, it is easy to worry about future academic events. Worrying about a test, a presentation or asking a question in class are just a few examples. It is helpful to manage this anxiety because it can hinder academic performance. For instance, during a test, we may, “blank” and forget the information we studied. And then right when we leave the classroom, we remember the answers, and unfortunately could have gotten a higher grade than we will wind up getting.
Often times, anxiety is what blocked us to access the information we studied from our brain. Anxiety does not need to strongly interfere with our academic success.
This handout has some tips on how to do so, and there are other ways not listed on this handout. Seek them out online, through your peers, family, academic coaching, a professional counselor at the Sacred Heart campus, etc. You can always get better, little by little, at managing anxiety, and responding productively to anxiety, if you set your mind to it.
Consider watching this short video on a strategy for responding to anxiety in 20 seconds.
- For helpful general information on anxiety: Watch 0:00 – 2:07
- For information on how to calm anxiety in 20 seconds: Watch 2:07 – 5:55
“Anxiety is the reason my GPA was so low my first semester. I never asked questions in class because I was worried about what other people would think about me. I was afraid of looking dumb. During exams, I could feel my anxiety getting worse as it went on. And then I would remember everything I studied after I handed it in. I want to tell everyone who can relate to my experience that it can get better! It did for me and I know it can for you! I worked up the courage to talk about it in Academic Coaching. The handout helped with a couple of things, but I got the most out of my Academic Coaching meetings. I still experience anxiety, but now I know what to do for myself. Be brave, and make the time to talk about it in Academic Coaching. It is so worth it! ” – A student reflects on academic anxiety
Feeling overwhelmed is usually a symptom of being stressed out. When we are overwhelmed by our academics, it can be easy to give up on a task. For example, if we are overwhelmed with studying, we may abruptly stop. If we are overwhelmed with finding time to get homework done, we may just not do it. If we are overwhelmed by a project because of difficult group members, we may take on the whole assignment, or not help at all. Read this handout for tips on feeling overwhelmed. You might find reading the handouts on anxiety and stress useful as well. Feel empowered to lessen your overwhelming feelings. It can be done. If you set your mind to it, and seek out support, it will be done.
We live in an age of technology, and so many resources are at the tip of our fingers! If you have a smart phone, you can find apps to help you to be academically productive. Stay mindful that phones can distract us, though. Review this handout to see what apps may help you in your academic pursuits; spend ten minutes exploring the app store; if it will help, download, and embrace the benefits!