Managing college stress
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MANAGING COLLEGE STRESS. Presented by: Michael Cummings. Have You Ever Felt Like This?. Or This. One for the guys. One for the girls. Objectives of the workshop. To equip students with information about college stress due to test Improve test taking skills

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Managing college stress

Presented by:

Michael Cummings

Objectives of the workshop
Objectives of the workshop

  • To equip students with information about college stress due to test

  • Improve test taking skills

  • Help students cope better with college stress anxiety

  • Equip students with study skills techniques

Stress causes anxiety
Stress Causes Anxiety

  • Although we tend to think of stress as caused by external events, events in themselves are not stressful. Rather, it is the way in which we interpret and react to events that makes them stressful. .

  • Stressors are something with the potential to cause stress.

    This can be:

    • Life events (marriage, death in the family)

    • School/work issues (hard classes, heavy workload)

    • Relationship problems

    • Daily grind (homework, deadlines, irritating people)

Effects of stress in college
Effects of Stress in College

  • Nervousness:

  • Having difficulty reading and understanding the questions on the exam paper.

  • Having difficulty organizing your thoughts.

  • Having difficulty retrieving key words and concepts when answering essay questions.

  • Doing poorly on an exam even though you know the material.

  • Mental Blocking: Going blank on questions.

  • Remembering the correct answers as soon as the exam is over.

What can help stress
What Can Help Stress?

  • S = Study Skills

  • T = Time Management

  • R = Reducing Stress

  • E = Examination Preparation

  • S = Self Talk

  • S = Seek Support

Study before the test

  • Plan two to three hours of study time for every hour you spend in class.There are exceptions, but this is a good general rule.  It’s also one that few students follow. Student making the transition from high school to community colleges are often unaware of the increased workload expected of them.  The benefits of following this rule will be apparent at exam time.

  • Study difficult (or boring) subjects first.If your chemistry problems put you to sleep, get to them first while you are fresh.  Most of us tend to do what we like first, yet the courses we find most difficult often require the most creative energy.  Save the subjects you enjoy for later.  If you find yourself avoiding a particular subject, try getting up an hour earlier to study it before breakfast.  With that chore out of the way, the rest of the day will be a breeze.

Studying tips cont

  • Avoid scheduling marathon study sessions.When possible, study in shorter sessions.  Three separate three hour sessions are far more productive for most people than one nine-hour session. When you do study in long sessions, take a planned break every hour. 

  • Be aware of your best time of the day.Many people learn best in daylight hours.  Observe yourself, and if this is true of you, schedule study time for your most difficult subjects when the sun is up. The key point is to determine your best learning time.

Study tips cont
STUDY TIPS (cont.)

  • Be prepared!Learn your material thoroughly

  • A program of exercise is said to sharpen the mind

  • Get a good night's sleep the night before the exam

  • Learn to say no!

Make a to do list
Make a To Do List

By putting the most important things first, you are sure to get the most important things done on time.

Prioritize your list
Prioritize Your List

  • A - Highest priority. Getting these items done tomorrow is very important.

  • B - Medium priority. You would really like to finish / accomplish these things, but they can wait if you run out of time.

  • C – Lowest priority. Getting these items done tomorrow is not very important.

Double your time estimates
Double Your Time Estimates

  • Most people tend to underestimate how much time a particular activity / assignment will take.

  • A good rule of thumb is to estimate how much time you realistically think something will take and then double it. More often than not, this doubled estimate is accurate.

Write down a to do list
Write Down A To Do List

  • This includes class readings, work on papers or problem sets, chores, errands, phone-calls, exercising, etc…

  • Break the studying down into “review chapters 2-5,” “review chapters 6-10,” “do six practice problems,” etc… and the research paper into “spend 1 hour collecting articles at the library,” “write an outline,” “write introduction,” etc… These items are much smaller, easier to start, and more likely to get done.

Managing college stress


When I know I am under STRESS, what can I do to manage it? Select three of the following options to implement this week!

Ask for help
Ask For Help!!

  • It never hurts to ask for help with a class or an assignment.

  • Talk about your stress, let one of the SSS staff members know about your stress and we will help. Besides, talking is a good way to cope.

  • Tutoring, seek academic support to help you study and prepare for a test.

Stress management strategies
Stress Management Strategies:

  • Exercise - regular, routine, and aerobic.

  • Support system - friends - community involvement.

  • Express yourself - talk it over with family, friends, counselors, clergy.

  • Eat right - select a healthful diet high in fruits and vegetables. Reduce caffeine (2 1/2 cups of coffee doubles the epinephrine level). Consider comfort foods as appropriate.

  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep the night before.

Humor is a wonderful stress reducer
Humor Is A Wonderful Stress-Reducer

  • It is clinically proven to be effective in combating stress, although the exact mechanism is not known.

  • Experts say a good laugh relaxes tense muscles, speeds more oxygen into your system and lowers your blood pressure.

  • So tune into your favorite sitcom on television. Read a funny book. Call a friend and chuckle for a few minutes. It even helps to force a laugh once in a while.

Dr. Lee Berk and Dr. Stanley Tan at Loma Linda University School of Medicine

Stress buster
Stress Buster

  • Identifying unrelieved stress and being aware of its effect on our lives is not sufficient for reducing its harmful effects. Just as there are many sources of stress, there are many possibilities for its management. However, all require work toward change: changing the source of stress and/or changing your reaction to it. How do you proceed?

How to handle test anxiety1
How to Handle Test Anxiety

  • Prior to the test Arrive early so you can sit where you are most comfortable, and avoid people who are anxious and might cause you to doubt your knowledge. When you receive the test look it over, read the directions twice, and then organize you time efficiently.

  • Engage in deep breathing for 2-5 minutes. Close your eyes and concentrate on the air going in and out of your lungs. Take long, deep breaths, fill your lungs and abdomen, hold your breath, and then exhale.

Anticipating test anxiety
Anticipating Test Anxiety

  • What is it you have to do? Focus on dealing with it.

  • Just take one step at a time.

  • Think about what you can do about it. That's better than getting anxious.

  • No negative or panicky self-statements; just think rationally.

  • Don't worry; worrying won't help anything.

How to handle test anxiety2
How to Handle Test Anxiety

  • Tense and relax different muscle groups. For example, if your shoulders are tense pull them back and hold them for a few seconds, then relax. This will help you to be aware of the relaxation of muscles and help you to relax more.

  • Aerobic exercise will help you to release anxiety and excess energy and, as a result, reduce body tension.

How to handle test anxiety3
How to handle Test Anxiety

  • Try to describe the anxiety. Focus your attention on your anxiety and think about the feelings it causes: how large is it? Where is it located in your body? What is its color, its shape, and its texture? If you can completely experience a physical sensation it will often disappear.

  • Engage in guided imagery for a few minutes. Pick a scene that you find peaceful, beautiful, and natural. Think about what you see, what you hear, what you feel and what you smell while in this scene.

During the test
During the Test

  • Read the directions carefully

  • Budget your test taking time

  • Change positions to help you relax

  • If you go blank, skip the question and go on

  • If you're taking an essay testand you go blank on the whole test, pick a question and start writing. It may trigger the answer in your mind

  • Don't panicwhen students start handing in their papers. There's no reward for being the first done

Self talk and test stress
Self Talk and Test Stress

I can’t do this

Test stress and self talk
Test Stress and Self-Talk

  • Self–talk refers to the dialogue that goes on inside your head when faced with conflict or life challenges or even simple day-to-day concerns.

  • Stress is maintained by self-doubts and self-putdowns The more we entertain such negative thoughts, the more stress we feel. We need to find ways of challenging and stop this.

Negative self talk
Negative Self Talk

  • Unfortunately, most of us have been pre-programmed to think negatively the majority of the time.

  • Your inner voice often sets very high (impossible) standards of performance. This can cause stress.

  • Some examples are:

    * I can’t do this

    * It is to hard

    * Etc.

How to overcome negative self talk
How to Overcome Negative Self Talk

  • For  three days monitor your self talk

  • Keep a  list of at least ten negative attacks your inner voice makes daily and replace them with positive statements

  • Some examples are:

    (a) I have the ability to do this, I just need to get some help

    (b) I can write this paper if I break it into smaller steps

Seek support
Seek Support

  • Ask for help from you teacher or a tutor

  • Get tutoring in the Academic Resource Complex, room 236.

  • Form a study group with classmates

Managing college stress

Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.

– Orison Swett Marden