Counseling Center Offers Workshops to Help Students Succeed

Posted: June 27, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Nicholas Zinzer

What do relaxation techniques have to do with studying? Besides reducing stress, they improve concentration, students in a recent Counseling Center workshop discovered.

“I recommend relaxation techniques to transform yourself,” Nikki Zawadzki, a graduate student majoring in Counseling Development, told students attending “Improving Concentration.” Zawadzki believes that concentrating on a task, whether academic or personal, requires physical and mental relaxation as a prerequisite to effective concentration.

To help plan her time more effectively, which also helps her concentrate, Zawadzki keeps a linear schedule of upcoming events. “I keep a monthly calendar because that works best for me. I try to plan things out.”

In the workshop, Zawadzki also included tips on avoiding procrastination, how to control a studying environment and how to do a distraction analysis.

The best way to study, according to Zawadzki, is to limit the number of distractions in one’s environment. “Concentrate on the task at hand and concentrate on the studying part,” Zawadzki said. She believes an ideal studying environment is a quiet area with minimal distractions such as television, windows and food and drink.

“Whatever you’re studying, find an interest in it,” Zawadzki advised. “Some things make you wonder why you are studying something. Try to find a relation to your field.”

Academic Skills Workshops will continue through mid-August for the summer session.

Upcoming workshops and material covered include:

  • Overcoming Procrastination: find out what makes you procrastinate

  • Managing Performance Anxiety: reasons for anxiety and how to cope with it

  • Exam Strategies: preparation and test taking techniques

  • Scheduling and Time Management: balance study with other activities

  • Motivation and Goal Setting: look at the big picture in choosing your course work; explore your values

  • Overview of Study Strategies: effective study methods and note-taking techniques; find out how you learn best; learn methods to transfer information from short-term to long-term memory

  • Organization skills: learn how to manage clutter; keep up with all your papers, texts, e-mails and assignments; be more efficient and productive

For more information, contact the Counseling Center at 703-993-2999 or see the Academic Skills Workshop web site.

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