Mon. Aug 8th, 2022

Feeling flustered by tests, homework and essays? Finding yourself pulling all-nighters to pass midterms or final exams? Do you feel like you are studying constantly but just do not see the results you expect? Whether you are a first-year student or a senior, dealing with the college workload can seem like an overwhelming task. When students let stress build up, they may suffer setbacks. Stress may cause students to have trouble eating and sleeping, become depressed or irritable with their friends and may even cause students to abandon the goals that led them to pursue a college education.

Luckily, help is available.

From test taking strategies to time management skills, the Student Success Seminar can be valuable for stressed out students or those who simply want to improve their GPAs.

Angelor Laurent, a 22-year-old transfer student with an associate’s degree, completed the seminar and said it helped ground her with regards to her attitude towards schoolwork.

“I was already familiar with the workload of the curriculum that comes with the territory of going to college. However, I did not make myself aware of the fact college work, at times, is not as heavy as university work. The Student Success Seminar was a big encouragement for me.”

Lead by Andrew Buechner, a graduate assistant for the Learning Assistance and Resource Center with a bachelor’s degree in Literary Studies, the Student Success Seminar includes five topics: time management, note taking, study skills, test taking and essay writing and class participation.

“I’m trying to teach simple techniques that can significantly improve someone’s academic success,” Buechner said. “Positive results can be gained from managing study time better rather than studying more.”

“The idea is to help students create a solid foundation, where they feel confident that they can meet the challenges of college,” Buechner said.

History major Mike McGrath signed up for the seminar this semester. McGrath said he was motivated to sign up because he knew he needed to create better study, note-taking and test-taking skills.

“I’ve used some of the note-taking techniques the SQ3R for one,” McGrath said.

When asked if he would recommend the seminar to students, McGrath said, “Yeah, other people don’t have a good idea of how to study and it’s definitely helpful.”

Although some students may feel reluctant to sign up, the benefits they receive and the skills they learn greatly surpass the time invested in the seminar.

Dr. Thomas Seifried, an academic advisor in the pre-major advising center, said that students need to build transferable skills. Seifried said, “You need to graduate. Your current job is a student, and you must be successful at your current job.”

A program like the seminar, Seifried added, can give students a jumpstart in building their skills and signing up as soon as possible would be most beneficial. “Learning how to take notes effectively in your senior year wouldn’t be very helpful,” Seifried said.

Stress remains a problem for virtually all students pursuing higher education. Through programs such as the Student Success Seminar, however, West Chester University encourages students to engage in the process of education, easing the burden of stress.

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