Academics and Stress
For some lucky students, the academic transition to university is an easy one. For others, they need to relearn many study skills in order to achieve the same marks. Regardless of where a student is on this spectrum, grades are one of the most cited sources of stress. While stress can keep you motivated and gives you the drive to get everything done, too much stress is often detrimental to the quality of your work.
As parents and family, you might hear about these concerns on more than one occasion. At this time of year, there haven’t been many assignments or tests so most students don’t have any marks, and if they do, it makes up a small percentage of their total grade for a class. However, many classes are starting to introduce assignments while midterms are just around the corner. The expectations for these might seem overwhelming for students and have them questioning if they’ll be able to get the marks that they want.
The best thing you can do when your student calls home stress about grades is to listen and emphasize. It can be difficult to talk to other students on campus about feeling overburdened because they might have as much, or even more to do. All too often discussions can turn to a competition of who has more to do instead of being supportive. As family, you’re in a powerful position where you can allow your student to vent, let him/her know that you understand and help find solutions if your student desires. Tread gently when trying to help and avoid unsolicited advice. A great question can be “what do you plan to do about this?” and then allow them to bounce ideas off of you. I would also suggest avoiding telling students what to do and instead focus on providing them with information.
Of course, to offer information, you need to know some resources. So here is a brief list of some academic resources on campus!
Supported Learning Groups: Study groups for traditionally “challenging” courses, run by a Peer Helper who has recently completed the course and done very well. Students are able to go to any sessions they want to on a drop in basis at no cost. Often sessions will provide mock midterms and exams. http://www.lib.uoguelph.ca/assistance/supported_learning_groups/about_the_program.cfm
Writing Services: Located in the library. Staff are available for both walk-in help for relatively short questions and by appointment for longer concerns. http://www.lib.uoguelph.ca/assistance/writing_services/undergraduates/writing_appointments_&_service/
Library Workshops and Tours: Wondering how to use the library for research or how to effectively manage your time? The library offers a wide variety of great workshops and tours to help make you a more productive student. http://www.lib.uoguelph.ca/assistance/workshops_&_tours/
Program Counselors: Program counselors are experts who can help you pick courses that interest you, decide if your program is right for you, as well as look at possible future careers. http://www.uoguelph.ca/uaic/program_counsellors.shtml
Hope you found this information helpful,