Test Anxiety

Test Anxiety

Some tips to reducing anxiety when taking a test.

By: Brittany List

  1. Be prepared- if you haven’t done your work of course you will be anxious. Take the time to do small amounts of required reading throughout the time in between tests. Take time to review your notes each night. Make sure you have gotten all your homework done and handed in. This will help ease the anxiety associated with test taking. There’s nothing more stressful then showing up to take a test and you have no idea what the test is even going to be asking.
  2. Fuel your body- Make sure you get a good night’s sleep the day before a test. This means no late night cramming! Make yourself a well-balanced breakfast and stay away from the sugary treats and anything with caffeine like coffee and energy drinks. These will only increase your anxiety level. Try a glass of milk with toast and fruit.
  3. Go to class early- This gives you time to look over your notes before taking the test.
  4. Take your time- Read each question slowly and try to fully understand what is being asked. Don’t feel bad if you’re not sure how to answer a question skip it and come back later. Many people aren’t aware of how to use your test to help you. Many test questions contain answers to other questions so after you finish the test go back to skipped questions and you may be surprised that you can now answer it. When you have completed the test to the best of your ability take time to review your answers. This gives you time to reread questions and find areas you may have missed and make any corrections.
  5. Last but not least, don’t rush- So what if other people finish before you, by taking extra time to go over each question there’s a higher chance your grade will be better than whoever finished first.

Sources:  2003-2014 TestTakingTips.com - Reducing Test Taking Anxiety

Stress Management

Stress Management                                           

By Brittany List

As students are getting back into the swing of things with the new school year starting some of us get put under a lot of stress. With so many different activities going on it’s hard to keep your mind focused and sane.

With a campus that has students from all different backgrounds and in different life stages there is no single method that will work for everybody. I personally am a non-traditional student who lives off campus and I commute to Upper Iowa 4 days a week. I am a full time student with a full time job, I take part in the work study program. On top of all this I own my own home and have a family. This life load adds many stressors to my personal life however my stressors are very different than say a traditional student who just graduated high school who lives on campus, is a full time student, does work study and participates in sports. With so many different stressors a student can experience it’s hard to come up with ways to manage that stress. Here are a few techniques that can be used during many different times of stress.

  • Having a plan! When you’re juggling classes, work, sports, and life in general it’s easy to forget the days must do tasks. One helpful tip I swear by is making a daily “to do” list. Every morning before my first class officially starts I take out my spare notebook and write down the day’s agenda while writing out the agenda I make indented tasks associated with those activities. For example if I have time in between classes I write out a list of things I need to get done during that spare time such as “print off power point before next class” “pay my cell phone bill online” “call and set up dentist apt.” I will also leave space underneath my classes to add homework tasks assigned that day.

I know what you’re all thinking… Isn’t that what a day planner is for?  Yes it is however with a day planner you are often limited on space where as the notebook has endless pages. Plus writing main tasks in my planner plus a to do list means I’m going over my daily tasks twice and writing them down twice which means I am at a huge advantage when it comes to remembering everything I need to do. Just like studying and note taking the more you review the more you retain.

  • Taking time for yourself! This is a tough one with the crazy schedule’s we all have but where most people think taking time for yourself means trying to find time to pamper yourself, or a block of time that seems impossible to find (which is impossible for the majority of us) set up a 5-15 minute window in between classes or before you go to work and just find a place to sit down and collect your thoughts. Write down anything you forgot about when making your morning “to-do” list, cross out tasks you’ve completed, or just sit close your eyes and breathe. Just don’t fall asleep as this will add stress to your busy day.

By taking just a little bit of time out of your day you can regroup your thoughts and find some clarity in the mess of everything going on. I find this helpful in keeping headaches out of my head, and when I don’t take this time I find those thoughts intensifying and becoming a source of worry causing dull achy pain that will eventually turn into an unbearable migraine headache. So it’s good to release those stressors before moving on to your next daily event.

  • FUEL YOURSELF! That’s odd, is this chick asking me to guzzle down some gasoline? NO! Our body’s main defense system against stress and illness is having the ability to regenerate itself. Lack of sleep, water, and essential nutrients can lead down the dangerous road of…Getting Sick… and who has time for that? Sickness leads to medical bills, medication costs, missed classes, missed working hours, and of course falling behind on everything you’ve worked so hard for these past few weeks.

So you’re in a hurry this morning and you were up all night studying for a big test, what does your breakfast look like? Most of us have experienced this and most of us turn to a big can of Monster and candy bar. But what can this do to our bodies over a period of 4+ years? Well the outlook is grim, lack of sleep can lead to poor mental health…DEPRESSION…, premature aging, cause everyone wants to look 30 years old on their 22nd birthday! Serious health problems many including heart problems, and well, being a college student this one may come in a #1 a serious impairment of our: judgment, concentration, problem solving, reasoning and attention span. Because none of those are useful while taking notes in class! Well that was just lack of sleep let’s move on to a lack of nutrients. Again not getting all the vitamins and minerals your body requires leads to heart problems so adding this to lost sleep increases that risk. There is also lost concentration and added mood disorders, so you’re doubling the “dumbing down” effects causing you even more issues in retaining what you’re studying and you’re crabby on top of that. And for all the athletes out their grabbing junk food on the go you’re seriously missing out since eating a nutritious and well balanced diet actually boosts not only your immune system but improves your sports performance! And last but not least that energy drink…well health issues include many heart related problems…may as well call that the triple whammy on your ticker when you’re lacking on that fuel your body needs. CALORIES GALORE nothing like the freshman 15 or maybe 30 and of course everyone likes to be nervous and jittery while sitting in class listening to a lecture. Right? Water is essential to a healthy body, why? Water makes up a vast majority of our body it’s found in our blood, bones, brain, muscle and of course our organs (skin is an organ). So when we skip out on water for a one of those energy boosters, soda, even a fancy latte were really not solving the problem on our lack of sleep. I think it’s safe to say that rather than studying until 2am going to bed at 10pm and getting up earlier having a balances breakfast and a big glass of water with a shorter cram session will be much more effective than the first option.

Hopefully these tips to stress management will help in maintaining your sanity and health throughout the semester and however many semester’s you have left until graduation.

Credits: Web MD, Division of Student Affairs Case Western Reserve University.

Getting along with your Roommate.

Anyone who watches the Big Bang Theory (a really highly recommended show that everyone should watch!) would know how much of a pain is it to have a roommate that drives you crazy like Sheldon does to Leonard with his roommate agreement. We all have that one person we never did get along with. It is not easy to get roomed with someone that has a totally different personality than yours.

Here are some tips to help you get along with your roommate!

Find ways to admire and appreciate this person. This is really important. You know those times when you see someone and hated them immediately because of their face. Well, this is why this is so important; we need to get beyond appearances. There isn’t a person on this earth who doesn’t have something interesting about them. Figure out what it is and observe it, ask about it, talk about it. People respond well to people who see something admirable in them.

Assume good will. This is really difficult to do when you’re biased against someone. Make sure you get beyond your initial impression and work to appreciate your roommate so that it doesn’t seem like everything he or she does is to get into your nerves. When or if your roommate blasts the volume of a disco song, you might want to ask if that is his or her way to get relaxed or help them study. (Hey, some people likes disco songs, don’t judge).

Communicate. No one can read minds. If you could, you shouldn’t be here. If you don’t like your roommate to borrow your stuff, say something. Simmering in resentment will only make it more difficult to get along. Your roommate can’t read your mind and you can’t read your roommate’s mind. So what do we do? We talk!

Communicate about things that interest you. People get interested in people who are interesting. If you limit your conversation to who gets to use the phone first, you won’t get very far in getting to know your roomie. Lose your shyness. This is the person who hears you snore and sees you first thing in the morning. Better balance that with some sharing about movies, music, or harmless gossip.

Negotiate. Somewhere along the line, you’ve already learned how to state a problem, brainstorm alternatives, and choose a solution (even if it was in your international relations class). Got a problem? Call a meeting when neither of you is hungry, tired, nor furious, see if you can work it out. Remember, you’ve got to be reasonable if you want the other person to listen to reason.

Have fun with the situation. Positive energy invites more of the same. Having a roommate isn’t a problem. It’s an opportunity to learn about yourself and, perhaps, to make a friend.

 Try it out and party with your roommate and start doing fun things together!

Have a nice day!!

Rachel T.

Tips for College Freshmen…


We all know how stressful college can be for freshmen, it’s the next biggest step in our lives! Today I am going to share some helpful tips with you about how to get through the first year of college successfully.

·         Go to all orientations

·         Get to know your roommate and others on in the residence halls

·         Get organized

·         Find the ideal place to study

·         Go to class, meet your professors

·         Become an expert on due dates and course requirements

·         Get to know your academic adviser

·         Seek balance

·         Get involved on campus

·         Strive for good grades

·         Don’t feel pressured to make a hasty decision on your career major

·         Make time for you

·         Take advantage of study resources on campus

·         Take responsibility for you and your actions

·         Make connections with students in your classes

·         Don’t procrastinate, prioritize your life

·         Learn to cope with homesickness

·         Keep track of your money

·         Stay on campus as much as possible

·         Don’t cut corners

·         Be prepared to feel overwhelmed

·         Stay healthy

·         Ask for help

·         Embrace campus life and be committed to doing well

·         Complete assignments

·         Get enough sleep

Don’t feel pressured into making a decision on your major, most freshmen change their major several times before they graduate. Focus on getting good grades, what classes you like and do well in, and that will ultimately help you decided what you want to do for the rest of your future! The most important thing you can do in college is, SHOW UP FOR CLASS! Some professors just give points for being there, or if they notice that a lot of people are gone they will give out points for no reason. More importantly you could be missing out on valuable test information while you are not in class. College is very stressful, but it is still very important to get a good night’s rest. It isn’t going to do you any good if you show up for class but you are sleeping during it. Prioritize the important things in college and in life. There is never anything wrong with asking for help, don’t be scared most likely someone does or had the same question you did! Hopefully these tips will be able to help you in some way!

Ashley J

Source: http://www.quintcareers.com/first-year_success.html; http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/ways-freshmen-succeed-first-year-college-8488.html

Moving In Day is Coming


So today I will be talking about move in day. Moving day will be one of the most nerve-racking and exciting days of your life. If you’re moving into a dorm, the good news is there will be plenty of people to help you. The dorms will have resident assistants and others on hand to help you find your room, and there will also be people there to help you move your things to your room. Once you get to your room and put your stuff down, you’ll have to choose a bed, a desk etc. What side of the room do you like to sleep on? Do you like to be by a window? Closer to the door? If you want a loft or regular bed? Ideally, roommates should decide together who’s going to get what furniture. If your roomie hasn’t arrived yet, just put your stuff to the side and wait till he or she gets there to choose beds. You’ll be off to a bad start if you start making executive decisions from the get-go.

Saying goodbye to your family might be a tearful moment. That’s OK. It’s a tearful moment for most people. Mom’s eyes will get misty and Dad will come back twice from the car to tell you some crucial piece of advice that he forgot to tell you earlier. Make sure to tell your folks that you’re going to be okay. You’re going to eat regular meals and brush your teeth and study and not do all of the other million things they’ve warned you about. Oh, and wipe the grin off your face until they’ve actually driven away.

Amber <3


How to Cure Summer Boredom, part 3

Some more inexpensive things you can do this summer to keep yourself from getting bored before heading back to UIU!

16. Get dressed up and have a photoshoot with your friends. Pretend you’re Vogue models and dress in outrageous outfits while striking your best “fierce” poses. You don’t have to show the pictures to anyone if you don’t want to, but you’ll make memories that will last for years to come.

17. Go Geochaching. If you haven’t heard of Geocaching, it’s basically a treasure hunt using GPS. You go to the website www.geocaching.com and enter your zip code to find little treasures that people have hidden in the area. Once you locate their treasure, you replace it with a new teasure and write about your experience on the website. It’s a really neat thing to do.

18. Go stargazing. It helps if you have a telescope or binoculars, but those aren’t necessary. Look online for maps of the stars, then see if you can find them in the clear night sky. You can do this alone, with friends, or even with a date!

19. Teach yourself about a different culture. Read books or research online about different countries and cultures. You may not get to take your dream vacation right now, but you can learn about the places you’d love to travel to and be more prepared for when you actually get to travel there.

20. Make art. Paint a picture, make pottery, sketch fashion designs, do DIY projects, or even color in a coloring book. Let your creativity run wild by being artistic.

21. Visit a museum. They are usually inexpensive and surprisingly entertaining. I personally love visiting science museums, but art and history museums are fun as well.

22. Go to local music shows. Help to keep your city’s music scene alive by attending concerts put on by local musicians. Local music shows are usually less than $10 to attend, and your money goes to supporting the bands from your hometown.

23. Treat yourself to dessert. Go to your favorite restaurant and just order something decadent from the dessert menu. You’ll get a delicious treat without having to pay for a whole meal.

24. Read blogs.

25. Be on the lookout for discounts. Many businesses offer discounts to students, regular customers, and loyal customers. You can find out about these discounts by checking the website, Facebook page, or Twitter page of your favorite restaurants and stores. That way, you can still shop, eat out, and indulge this summer, while still saving enough money to afford books next semester.

Here’s to a happy summer - Vickie

Source - http://www.collegefashion.net/college-life/25-inexpensive-or-free-ways-to-cure-summer-boredom/

Things that most Students Forget while Packing

What up everybody.

So by this time you should have at least started packing. I know there are some people out there that are like me and are waiting until the very last minute. However, it is best to get it over with earlier so you won’t be as stressed as I was. With that being said you should make a list of everything you need so you won’t forget anything important. But just in case here is a list of things that most students forget while packing for college:

·         Alarm clock

·         Books if you bought them online

·         Formal outfits – a suit for job interviews or dress pants and shirts

·         Sports equipment

·         Social security card, copy of birth certificate, bank account  information

·         Desk lamp

·         First-aid kit

·         Bowl, plates and silverware

·         Gym/Workout clothes

·         A thicker jacket

·         Power strip with surge protection

·         Tools

·         Duct tape or Command strips

·         Extra-long TV cable

·         Mattress pad

·         Dust-buster

·         Hangers

Amber <3


Source: http://www.dormdelicious.com/articles/what_to_bring_to_college_part_3_things_you_might_have_forgotten

Last Minute Tips

Hey there!

Time really flies. You will be on campus later this month. That means its crunch time. Here are some last minute tips you should take care of before you get to campus and classes start.

Connect with your roommate

Depending on how you want to look at it that can be a good or bad thing, but either way, you should take it as a chance to meet someone new (and hopefully make a new friend). If you’ve already been notified as to who your roommate will be, take some time this to reach out and introduce yourself. This could not only be a great chance to break the ice, but it can also be an opportunity to figure out a move-in plan (e.g. who brings a microwave, TV, etc.).

Review meal plans

Unless you’re commuting back and forth from school to home, chances are you won’t be dining on mom’s home cooking during the semester. If you’re signing up for a meal plan make sure it is one that fits you best, for example whether you eat breakfast or not. Chances are if you didn’t in high school, you won’t in college. If you have any special dietary needs, such as a vegan regiment or nut allergy, find out what kinds of foods are being served and how they’re prepared

Financial aid follow-up

As you’ve probably found out by now, getting in to college was just the beginning — paying for it is where the real challenge begins. Make sure to follow-up with the financial aid office to ensure all money-related situations are covered. Likewise, once you receive your financial aid offer take a close look at what’s being offered. Whether you’re using loans, scholarships, or a savings account for funding, it’s crucial you know exactly how much you may owe and how much is covered.

Amber <3

#UIU_Success #Lastminutetips

How to Cure Summer Boredom, part 2
Some more inexpensive things you can do this summer to keep yourself from getting bored before heading back to UIU!

6. Get in shape with a friend. It’s been proven that most people are more likely to stick to an exercise plan if they have a friend with them, so start exercising with your BFF! Even if you just walk and talk to your friend for a half hour every day, you can burn lots of calories while you enjoy the summer sun.

7. Plan a vacation. Even if you have no money, it’s still really fun to plan an exciting trip. Whether you’re planning a lavish trip to Paris (for the future, when you’re loaded), or a simple weekend trip that might actually happen in the near future, either way it will give you something fun to do.

8. Have a slumber party. Invite your best friends to sleep over at your house, middle school style. You can watch movies, gossip, and eat all the junk food that your hearts desire.

9. Get a jump start on your future career. You can do this by doing research online, applying for future internships, or even shadowing a person who works in the field you plan to work in. It’s a great way to make your summer work for you.

10. Teach yourself to cook. Look up recipes online or watch a cooking channel on television. If you learn to cook, you can satisfy your taste buds without having to spend loads of money on eating out.

11. Start keeping a journal. You can write whatever you’d like in it, from what you do each day, or how you feel about certain things. Many years from now, you can read it and remember your college years.

12. Cool off with water. Go swimming in a pool or the ocean, have a water balloon fight, or play in a fountain. Beat the summer heat with any water that you can find, just be sure to protect yourself from the sun when spending time outdoors!

13. Catch up with old friends. Call some of your high school friends, or anyone that you miss, and plan to meet up with each other. It’s always nice to see someone that you haven’t seen in years and will help keep the friendship strong.

14. Pretend you are a tourist in your own hometown. Every city and almost every town has something that people go there to visit, yet most of the locals never do those things. They are usually inexpensive or even free, and you can find out about them on your city or state’s website. Bonus points if you rock a fanny pack or have people take photos of you and your friends throwing up the peace sign at every attraction.

15. Enter to win contests online. There are so many free giveaways these days that it’s almost impossible to keep up with; meaning there are TONS of chances for you to win something.

Here’s to a happy summer - Vickie

Source - http://www.collegefashion.net/college-life/25-inexpensive-or-free-ways-to-cure-summer-boredom/

How to Cure Summer Boredom, part 1

Over the next several weeks, we will be sharing some inexpensive things you can do this summer to keep yourself from getting bored:

1. Go to the bookstore. You don’t even have to buy anything. Just grab a coffee, sit in the comfy chairs, enjoy the A/C, and read any book or magazine that you’d like.

2. Make a spa in your own home. Search online for some DIY spa tricks and relax and rejuvenate at home.

3. Watch your favorite childhood movies. It’s interesting to compare your current interpretation of the movie to the way you thought of it when you were younger, and you can pick up all the jokes that went over your head as a kid.

4. Talk to an elderly person. Older people are so very wise, and they have many interesting stories to tell if you ask. Most of them love sharing their experiences with the younger generation, and you get to learn about a different time period from someone who actually lived through it.

5. Shop at a thrift store. Although some people do this regularly, many people have never experienced thrift store shopping. Give yourself a $10 limit and see what great outfit you can come up with.

Here’s to a happy summer - Vickie

Source - http://www.collegefashion.net/college-life/25-inexpensive-or-free-ways-to-cure-summer-boredom/