As college students approach the end of their winter term, many can feel as if they are carrying the weight of the world. TCC offers these events to help students cope. Additionally, TCC experts offer the tips below to help college students everywhere finish the term successfully.
Tips to Successfully Navigate College Finals:
- You should be seeing payoffs, now, from your work with your success coach and/or academic advisor to create a class schedule that reflects your lifestyle. If you balanced your work and school hours, you most likely are avoiding the extra stresses of working full time and going to school full time. Ideally, you’ve been able to be present and engaged in your classes, as “Being present and engaged is a No. 1 Success Strategy!”
- Continue to build on your relationships with your professors and take advantage of one of the most under-utilized and most accessible resources available. Remember that getting to know your professors may open doors to internships, letters of recommendation and great help as you close out the semester. At TCC, for example, professors maintain 10 hours per week of office hours just to assist students; so, if you haven’t already done so, be sure to get the full benefit from this resource.
- Take advantage of the relationships with your fellow students that you have gotten to know. Continue to stay focused and participate in remaining class discussions, found to be one of the best practices for retaining information. Study with classmates when feasible to enhance preparation.
- In the waning hours of the semester, remember to include time for exercise and meals in your schedule. Staying active and eating often are keys to keeping your metabolism going and avoiding stress and fatigue. If don’t have one already, establish a daily schedule and routine that you commit to with your academic advisor and/or success coach as a means to avoid procrastination, which often leads to falling behind in your classes and, ultimately, anxiety and depression.
- For those scheduled exercise times, take advantage of gyms to work out, practice yoga or even learn relaxation techniques. Daily exercise increases serotonin and helps clear your head when you feel stressed out. Eat well-balanced meals and do not skip meals as keeping your metabolism going promotes good health. You should also limit alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol is a depressant and too much caffeine can aggravate your anxiety or lead to panic attacks. Licensed professional counselors are available on all TCC campuses to help students who encounter substance abuse issues, depression or anxiety or simply need someone to talk to confidentially. They also can help you learn relaxation techniques like how to take deep breaths, as you are breathing through a straw, to slow your heart rate in order to promote relaxation.
- Take full advantage of the TCC resources or the resources at the college you attend. Community colleges do an excellent job of assisting students in their first year experience and TCC is no exception. Refer to the “Resource Guide” you received during New Student Orientation with details of all of the various departments that assist students.
- You should take full advantage of writing centers, math tutoring centers, Supplemental Instruction or (peer tutoring) and consider joining a club or organization in order to make friends and have fun. Also, do not forget that there are plenty of work-study jobs on campus and these jobs provide excellent work experience and a great way to earn money too. Check your school for other resources to help. Many schools have Licensed Professional Counselors, Transfer Services, Career Services, health professionals, veterans’ services and support. There also is assistance for students with disabilities. At TCC, services are provided through our Student Accessibility Resources (SAR) offices. These services are free to students, so take full advantage.
- Remember that you cannot control everything. Do your best, instead of aiming for perfection. Maintaining this healthy attitude helps students avoid perfectionism, which none of us can attain.
- Welcome humor and be sure to maintain a positive attitude. College should be enjoyed and part of managing your stress and depression involves managing your self-talk. Students possess the psychological muscle necessary to control their emotions by looking for the “silver lining” or positivity in any event. Try to avoid negative thoughts and avoid other students who tend to engage in negativity too.
- Talk to someone if you begin feeling overwhelmed. Your success coach, your academic advisor or your college counselor are there to assist when you hit that proverbial “wall” or life happens. Confidential Licensed Professional Counselors are there to assist students in times of crisis and they can even refer to a physician or therapist covered by the student’s insurance plan for long-term professional help.