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Supporting Your Second Year Student

Posted on October, 2018

Supporting Your Second Year Student

As second year begins, some students some may find themselves falling back into good habits easily, while others may be surprised at how much is going on around them. Even though the initial adjustment to university usually passes with the first year, it is in second year that some students begin to feel the pressure of an increase in their workload, personal expectations, and the abundance of opportunities that surround them. This can bring on issues connected to stress and feelings of being overwhelmed.

If this sounds like your student, it can be useful to help them realize that no one can do everything and that they should pay attention to what makes them feel fulfilled when thinking about priorities. This is particularly beneficial if they appear to be comparing their efforts to those of their peers.

Some specific areas of focus can include:

Making space for their own needs. People who overcommit tend to deny their own needs. When we do this chronically, we get burned out. Making time to eat, sleep, and spend time with friends helps students be more grounded, confident that things will get done, and generally supports them in being more efficient.

Consider the priorities (while understanding they can change). Provide guidance to your student in prioritizing their efforts. No matter how interesting a given opportunity might be, they should try to ask themselves, does this activity align with my personal goals right now?

Be thoughtful about what they commit to. Students should think about what various commitments will actually require of their time and energy. Encourage them to be realistic and try to avoid overcommitting.

Feel entitled to say yes or no. Students need to be protective of their time and health. If an activity isn’t a clear “yes” according to these criteria, then students should consider saying no. If students are ambivalent or concerned about something they are taking on and cannot resolve the concern, they should say no.

Smith students are known for being engaged, involved, and active students—which is great—as long as it is within a healthy range. Past that point, once students are overwhelmed they are not much good to themselves or to anybody else. Encourage your student to take time to look after themselves, too.

 

 

 

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