Everyone struggles in some way during their college career. Some may experience relationships ending or body-related struggles, others experience academic struggles. The Academic Achievement Center holds various workshops to help students in a large variety of areas. On Monday afternoon, the AAC hosted a workshop titled Evaluating Your Semester, where two UConn students discussed various topics with the attendees.
Aly Pinedo, a sixth-semester nursing student, and Jaelie Jackson, a sixth-semester English major, hosted the workshop. They discussed their own experiences and provide resources students can use throughout the semester.
One of the AAC’s favorite resources is the very popular Pomodoro Technique used to encourage effective time management.
“It allows you to set that timer for 25 minutes, but I personally do 35 minutes with 10 minute breaks in between,” said Pinedo. “What is so fantastic about this resource is you’re able to work on the task until the timer rings.”
Jackson explains how your mind is a muscle, so it shouldn’t be overworked. Just like someone shouldn’t be working out their quads for three hours without breaks, one shouldn’t exercise their brain for that length of time either. By engaging in the Pomodoro Technique, a student can block their studying hours to achieve prime efficiency.
Students can struggle in school for a plethora of reasons. If you do, remember you’re not alone. Organization, connection to campus, unawareness of resources, study navigation, self-care and feeling overwhelmed are all areas where students experience difficulty.
“I think the biggest part of struggling is that we don’t maintain that balance,” said Pinedo. “In order for someone to truly elevate their experience academically, they have to be okay with not everything being academic.”
After Pinedo finishes studying, she goes outside or practices some form of self-care. She claims it’s about endurance, and maintaining that balance is one of the key components.
Jackson came into college and was excited for what UConn had to offer, but during her first year she ended up on academic probation. One of the mantras she uses is “Stop. Start. Continue.”
“I failed those two classes, my GPA was disgusting, and so I had to stop and think about what I’m going to do,” she said. “That’s when UConn Connects mailed me a letter in the mail, and my mom saw it and said, ‘You’re joining, you need help.’”
From that moment on, Jackson began her new and improved journey, and took the lessons from her past semester into her future.
The AAC has numerous resources for students to take advantage of. A few of them are drop-in coaching hours, where anyone is welcome to stop by and get some help. They also have workshop and presentations. UConn Connects is a different campus organization that provides struggling students with a mentor and a weekly meeting schedule.
Not only can the AAC connect you to their own program, but they can help you reach out to other resources such as the Biology Center (Hartford Campus), Q Center, W Center, mental health services and even professors.
These workshops are free for anyone to join, and students can find the link on the AAC website. Not only are they informative, but they’re also interactive. Students discuss with each other and with the hosts about various topics including personal struggles, case studies and more.