As a social work student, I am particularly concerned with self-care and mental health for students. It is no secret to anyone who is a student that tackling our studies can be incredibly stressful. We all tend to start out our school year similarly: Our notebooks, laptops, and textbooks are ready to go, our mental state is shifting into “school mode”, and yet a couple weeks into the semester we begin to feel the signature overwhelm that occurs when assignments start to become due. Here is a list of some ideas that may help you to better organize your life as a student, so you can conquer any obstacles that come your way:
1.) Write down (or type) the due dates for the first couple of months’ worth of assignments in a planner or on a Notes app on your phone. Once you get through those assignments, do it again for the next couple of months. I personally do both so that just in case I don’t have access to one, I can use the other one to look up what is going to be due next. This sincerely helps me stay on track of what I should be prioritizing and completing first.
2.) Stay in communication with your professors, especially the classes that are more difficult. Right now, I am in a Social Work Research class, which is proving to be a challenging course. During class, I ask lots of questions, take extensive notes, and stay after class if I have a question I want to ask the professor privately. I also often email my professors with questions, and they are almost always very quick to reply with the help I need.
3.) If you start to feel overwhelmed or anxious and feel you have no one to talk to about it, USG has the Center for Counseling and Consultation (CCC) right inside the library where students can receive private and confidential counseling services for free. I have actually tried out these services and had a great experience. It was comforting to know that I didn’t have to look far to find someone to talk to about my stress.
4.) Buddy up with someone in one of your classes. Chances are, if you have the same major as another student, you will likely have more than one class together. It is incredibly beneficial to have a support system within your peers, even if it’s just one other person. I keep tabs on a couple of my friends and check in on them often. They also check on me to see how I am doing, and it makes me remember I am cared about within my program.
5.) If you feel you are losing control of your organizational abilities or falling behind in a certain class, the Center for Academic Success (CAS) is the spot for you. CAS has many resources for students who need help in a certain class, including academic coaching (tutoring), writing assistance, disability support services, and statistic/research methods help. I have also utilized these services and am grateful that they are available for any student, free of charge.
It is our responsibility as students to stay organized and on track to succeed in our classes. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of creating some time in your schedule for extra help. Those of us who are students at USG are fortunate to have so many free and helpful services that we can utilize while we are students. I would recommend any students who are in need to check out these services, and I wish you all great success in this new school year!