Tips for Overcoming Anxiety as a College Student

College can be a stressful season of life, whether you’re living on campus far from home or commuting from living with your family. More demanding academics, changing social circles, and preparing for a future career can contribute to a student’s stress levels. In addition to dealing with everyday stress levels, some students experience more debilitating anxiety. Whether it’s test anxiety surrounding academics, social anxiety preventing the formation of good relationships, or even just general anxiety about everyday troubles can drastically affect a student’s ability to thrive in college. However, there are great resources to support students struggling with anxiety! Keep reading below for tips on overcoming anxiety in college.

Avoid Isolation

It can be tempting to hole up in your room and avoid stressful situations when feeling anxious. However, isolating yourself is rarely helpful. Loneliness can exacerbate anxiety, so prioritize social time in your schedule. If you’re struggling to make friends, consider joining a club or organization on campus that aligns with your interests!

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The Highest Rated Liberal Arts Colleges in the U.S.

The U.S. News has released its top five liberal arts colleges in the United States.

One notable change in this year’s rankings is the decreased emphasis on standardized test scores. Given the fluctuation in requirements for standardized tests, the report put less stock in those scores.

Taking into consideration factors like class size, acceptance rates, and student outcomes, the list includes four schools from the Northeast and one from California. Schools on the list have small class sizes in common among them. Other factors include faculty resources, expert opinion, financial resources, student excellence, and alumni giving.

Institutions on this list also have a leg up regarding social mobility. That is, the schools all score well on the improvement of their graduates’ circumstances after graduation. That is measured by comparing the status of pell grant recipients after they graduate. The Pell Grant program is reserved for undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need.

Here are the top five liberal arts colleges in the United States:

Williams College

Located in Williamstown, Massachusetts, Williams College boasts an acceptance rate of only fifteen percent. Williams College graduates join an alumni body full of influential people, including President James Garfield.

Amherst College

Also located in Massachusetts, Amherst College welcomed an inimitable freshman class. Eighty-five percent of incoming freshmen ranked in the top ten percent of their high school classes.

Swarthmore College

In the Philadelphia suburbs, Swarthmore College is ranked as the third-best liberal arts college in the United States. Swarthmore College was founded in 1864 and is one of the earliest co-educational institutions in the country.

Pomona College

Pomona College is the lone entry to the top five list from outside the Northeast. With an acceptance rate of only nine percent, Pomona is one of the most selective institutions in the country. Pomona is also notable for its commitment to diversity in its student body. It has been widely recognized for its intentionality in reaching out to lower-income and first-generation college students in its admissions efforts.

Wellesley College

Wellesley College is a women’s college located in Massachusetts. Wellesley grads join an impressive roster of alumnae, including former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the first female Secretary of State Madeline Albright.

This article was originally published on MarilynGardnerMilton.org

Encouraging Others to Pursue a College Degree

College can be a great experience for those looking to improve their futures. However, with the increasing cost, it can be difficult to convince children and other loved ones to attend college. Despite this, there are a few ways someone can be convinced to earn their degree and better their future. After all, it will help them get a better job, make more money in the future, be more competitive with employers, learn about new topics and expand their horizons, and make new friends!

Due to all these benefits, a great way to convince someone to attend college is simply by listing the benefits of having a college degree. In the face of increasing automation and globalization of the workforce, there is more competition for jobs than ever. By earning a degree in a specialized field, a college graduate has a much better chance of landing a high-paying job despite these global changes. Countless studies have proven college graduates make more money than those who don’t attend college. Additionally, the social atmosphere at college gives students a valuable opportunity to network and create lasting professional and business connections that can lead to better opportunities in the future.

Another way to convince someone to attend college is by talking about the elephant in the room: paying for college. It is daunting for low and middle-income families to think about paying for college so many simply decide not to attend and instead immediately enter the workforce. However, these money anxieties can be conquered by looking into funding opportunities. There are many pathways to paying for college. From loans to grants to scholarships, students have more ways than ever to pay for their education. Interested individuals can talk to a college’s financial aid advisor to go over their options and create a plan to fit their individual needs and situation.

Nothing is more convincing than hearing stories from someone who’s been there. So consider sharing a personal experience from college for encouragement. Whether a story about lifelong friendships or wonderful professors, these anecdotes can be powerful for those considering college.

There are many ways to convince a loved one to attend college. Encouraging them to earn a degree can be the single most important decision of their lives, so it is a decision to consider carefully.

This article was originally published on Marilyn Gardner Milton’s website.

Preparing For College Finals

November is here and that means that finals season for college students is right around the corner. For most universities, finals week hits shortly after Thanksgiving break, and many students end up smacked in the face with a mountain of work and studying to do. This can lead to tons of stress and exhaustion, which means you may not do as well on your exams as you want to do. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for finals week if you’re a college student (especially if it’s your first finals week).

Start Early

One of the best ways to prepare yourself for your finals is to start studying early. If you haven’t started yet, you might want to look into it! While cramming may work for some students, it’s generally better to study in intervals, such as 30 to 50-minute increments and taking breaks in order not to exhaust yourself. How early you choose to start may be based on how many finals you have to take and what kind of subjects you’re studying, so feel it out and make sure you give yourself enough time to fully understand all of the content.

Find A Study Partner

This may not be for everyone, but studying with another person can be a great way to make studying engaging and fun. Often times having someone else with you to help study can help you better understand something you’re struggling with, or vice versa. You can ask one another questions to make sure you fully understand the content and make a good friend in the process. It’s often best to avoid studying with a very close friend because it’s easier to get distracted, which is the last thing you want when preparing for a test that might make or break your grade for the semester.

Make Sure You Eat and Sleep

The most important part of preparing for your finals is making sure you don’t neglect important things like rest and food. While you may feel the need to pull an all-nighter to make sure you understand the content, it’s actually rather detrimental and can make it difficult to concentrate as well as putting extra stress on your shoulders. It can also be tempting to order greasy foods from restaurants open later in the evening, but this is also a bad idea. Be sure to fill your meals with healthy food, and plenty of water in order to make sure your brain is in tip-top shape before heading into your finals.

This article was originally published on MarilynGardnerMilton.org

How Educators Can Prepare For The New School Year

With the 2020 – 2021 school year starting soon or having already started in some places, it’s time for teachers and professors around the country to make sure they’re prepared for the year to come. Teaching isn’t an easy profession and there are countless aspects that go into it, from lesson plans to supplies and everything in between. This year, in particular, is especially unique due to the COVID-19 pandemic still deeply affecting our country, meaning that in many places teachers are either doing remote learning or some type of remote/in-person hybrid. Something like this is new to the current generation of educators, and it’s understandable if they don’t know how to approach the situation. Here are a few ways educators can prepare for the new school year.

Communicate With Your Class Early On

In order to make the teaching and learning experience smoother for everyone involved, it’s best to stay on top of communication with your students or their parents, especially in the times we’re living in. Consider your options for reaching out to everyone – if you’re a college professor, you can likely email your students their syllabus and any important information they may need a week or two before class starts, giving them plenty of time to read materials over and reach out if they have any questions. If you’re teaching younger students, you’re likely better off reaching out to their parents. This can be done via email, but it might be better for you to reach out with a phone call in order to introduce yourself and ensure everyone is in the know when it comes to your class.

Check Out Your Old Lesson Plans

One of the best things about being an educator is that with each new year or semester, you effectively get to start all over again. This means you can take a look at your previous years teaching and apply what worked while leaving what didn’t work at the door. Being an educator often involves a lot of trial and error, and not every lesson will stick with your students. The fact that you get to take on a new group of students each year means you start fresh and employ new ideas.

Discuss With Your Fellow Educators

One of the few great things about how the pandemic is affecting education is that no teacher is alone. There are educators all over the country who are in situations just like yours, and most of us are figuring it out as we go. With so many peers who understand what you’re going through, a good way to prepare for the new year is to talk to your fellow educators and determine what they’re doing, and what might work for you. Share your various ideas and experiences and perhaps you may come out with a brand new idea that might make this year that much more impactful for you and your students.

This article was originally published on MarilynGardnerMilton.org

How COVID-19 Might Change Education

Since the novel corona virus began to affect American Society back in March, schools not only across the country but around the world were shut down in order to keep everyone at home in order to flatten the curve. Students have been forced to resume education via the internet from the comfort of their homes, and many parents have suddenly become first time teachers. This can be stressful for both the parents and the children, and no matter how you slice it, the children will likely fall behind. Educators have been talking about looking into rethinking the way we educate for a while now and this pandemic may be the perfect excuse to begin doing something about it. So how might COVID-19 affect how we approach education?

More Online Learning

Since most if not all school have now implemented some form of online learning, it stands to reason that once things go back to normal it will continue to be an invaluable tool. Most students will have laptops or access to computer hardware, making it possible to give their lessons to them if they’re ever able to not make it to school or if something akin to this pandemic were to happen again. Teachers will also begin to get used to these new tools and technologies they’ve been using, meaning they may want to continue to do so. They can even be used in the classroom themselves, as opposed to only when the students aren’t in class.

A Potential Shift To Competency Based Learning

Many education experts believe that shifting to competency based learning might be the best way to approach education after the pandemic. Competency learning allows students to learn at their own pace and is “personalized” for each individual, but it also atomizes learning and heavily depends on taking standardized tests. If this does happen, it seems it might be used to see which students move to the next grade given the school year being cut short due to the pandemic.

Homeschooling May Become More Popular

It’s possible that some parents and students may feel that homeschooling has worked in their favor, allowing them to bond together while learning in a comfortable environment. Many will become accustomed to learning from home, and many parents may want to continue educating their children. Unfortunately, this won’t happen to the bulk of families as many cannot afford or make the time to educate their children while also taking care of a home and working a full time job.

This article was originally published on MarilynGardnerMilton.org