Higher Education Blog

  • Study Tips for the Best Grades by Chidera Nwana

    Woman on laptop

    Studying effectively plays an important part of academic success in university and college. Effective study habits can help in retaining information better, improve time management plus, it could be a lifesaver to reduce stress and anxiety that comes with exam season. However, it can be difficult to know where to start or even go about improving one’s current study habits. In this blog, I’ll provide some study tips that could help you get the most out of your study sessions and achieve your academic goals. Whether this is the beginning of your higher education journey or you’re in your final years, these tips can help you stay organized and focused throughout your entire academic journey. 

    Create a Study Schedule

    In university or college, you create your own class schedule. You pick your own classes for the program you enrolled in, and the time you want to take them. This schedule provides you with a routine to follow throughout the semester to keep you organized on when and where you take your classes. The same can be done by creating an effective study schedule. An effective study schedule can help you plan your study periods in advance while prioritizing important assignments, tasks and could help allocate time to get work done while still leaving free time to engage in your hobbies or hang out with friends. There are several ways to create an effective study schedule. Personally, using planning apps such as, Google Calendar and iPhone Reminders feature to create notices for important tasks and allocate time after class to study and get work done. Additionally, I can set notifications for weeks and days in advance for deadlines. I also use a journal to fully organize my day-to-day tasks for academics, work, and my hobbies. Overall, a good study schedule can be a powerful tool that could be implemented to plan your tasks and beat deadlines while achieving academic success.

    Utilizing your Textbooks

    Textbooks are an important educational resource in university or college. However, a lot of students just buy and keep them stored on a shelf somewhere while relying mostly on notes and lecture slides for most coursework information. However, textbooks can be used to get another perspective or provide better insight into a particular topic. There is only so much that a professor/lecturer can talk about during class and only so much that can be shown in lecture slides. With textbooks, you can get a bit more insight into various concepts taught. Thus, making it a study crucial weapon.

    A lot of students, especially me, aren’t the biggest fans of hauling a 300–page book in their bags to and from class and the library. Thankfully, Pearson eTexts are the best alternative to the traditional textbook by providing digital course materials and resources. Not only are the materials online, making it convenient for transportation and accessibility but it has other features, such as text-to-speech with highlighted words and concepts, in-text search for easy lookup, and an interactive glossary to summarize important concepts and definitions. Pearson eText makes studying easier as they help to simplify learning new concepts. In conclusion, textbooks, especially eTextbooks, are a powerful tool to make studying more in-depth as it fosters opportunity for insightful learning.

    Use of a Timer

    In collaboration with creating an efficient study schedule, the effective use of time management can help in boost your study skills and increase your concentration and retention abilities. This is where the Pomodoro timer comes into play. The Pomodoro timer helps break down tasks that can be done into 25-minute intervals with 5-10 minutes in between for breaks. The main purpose of this is to be able to get work done efficiently without the risk of burnout. Asides from the Pomodoro timer, there are other efficient time management techniques available. For instance, Parkinson’s’ Law is implemented to complete as much work without your laptop charger. This technique could help subconsciously help get work done quicker with added concentration and time constraints. Overall, using a timer or an alternative =time management technique can help reduce distractions, increase concentration, and help you work more efficiently.


    In conclusion, these study tips can help make studying more fun and effective for academic success. It can also help you make time for other activities outside of school. By Creating an efficient schedule, using a study timer, and utilizing textbooks are only a handful of study methods available. There are many other tips and study strategies that can be found online from fellow classmates and through university resources.


    1. Picture from Shutterstock.com
    2. Mozafaripour, S. (2019, October 3). 9 popular time management techniques and tools: USAHS. University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. Retrieved April 4, 2023, from https://www.usa.edu/blog/time-management-techniques/
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  • The unheard prerequisite for success in university: failure

    Think back when you were in grade 12. Grade school is almost done. Damn, it went by so fast. You’re caught up in making your last memories, completing your last courses and enjoying the sunshine in the midst of graduating. Life was good -- except we’re forgetting about one thing. University and college applications. The pressure was real – you were engaging in a variety of extracurriculars, keeping your GPA as high as possible and choosing a specialized stream to further your education in. Even with all the pressure – you work your way to the top to get into prestigious universities and colleges. You did it. You’re here. You made it through the hardest part.

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  • Dealing with Imposter Syndrome, FOMO, and Stress as a First-Year University Student

    2 figures with visible brains

    My first year of university was full of new people, places, and experiences. I don’t think there was one day that went by that I didn’t encounter something new! Although exciting, there were many times when all this ‘newness’ began to affect me; all the people I met seemed so much smarter than me, being unable to hang out with my new friends became anxiety-inducing, and I felt overwhelmed by my workload. These feelings quickly turned into imposter syndrome, fear of missing out (FOMO), and general stress. At the time it was difficult for me to put a name to these concepts, so I struggled to find ways in which to overcome them. I tried so many different strategies and eventually found the ones that worked for me, and that’s exactly what I want to share with you today! Of course, what worked for me may not work for you, but I hope that sharing the methods I used will help someone experiencing similar feelings navigate their first year of post-secondary education!

    One of the first struggles I encountered in university was imposter syndrome. Many of my peers were knowledgeable about topics that extended past our class material or had more extracurricular experience than I did. I compared my knowledge and accomplishments to those of my peers and began feeling like a fraud. I wasn’t sure how to deal with these feelings, so I decided to wait them out. As it happens, that’s exactly what I needed, time. Time showed me that the strengths of my peers came with weaknesses too, and that nobody was perfect. For example, success in one course or aspect of life often came with hardships in another. Realizing that I was only comparing myself to my peers’ strengths and successes restored my faith in myself and my abilities and showed me that I deserved to be in my program just as much as anyone else. Nobody can be truly successful in every aspect of their life, so don’t be too hard on yourself!

    Another struggle I encountered in my first year of university was FOMO. If I wasn’t always with my friends, I felt like I was missing out on experiences that would help us grow closer or I felt anxious about possibly being left out. So, I hung out with them as much as I could, even if I was tired or overwhelmed with schoolwork. This quickly became not only mentally, emotionally, and physically draining, but took away from time that I could’ve used to engage in healthy habits. Realizing how drained I was, I began spending more time by myself and getting back into habits like exercising and sleeping early. Not only did this energize me to spend better quality time with my friends, but also made me realize that I would always be missing out on something, because it’s impossible to always experience everything! For this reason, it’s important to prioritize doing things that make you feel happy, healthy, and fulfilled, rather than doing things solely because you don’t want to miss out on the experience.

    The last thing I dealt with in first-year was stress, of course! The sheer amount of work I had to do each week was overwhelming and I initially struggled to keep up. I often looked at my long list of upcoming due dates and felt like I didn’t know how to manage my time to get everything done. Realizing that the way I was working wasn’t very effective, I devised a weekly work schedule with three tasks to do each day. On Mondays, for example, I would create notes for my physiology course in the morning, complete my weekly psychology assignment in the afternoon, and work on chemistry homework in the evening. Then, on Tuesdays, I would have three different tasks to complete. Scheduling my week like this allowed me to set goals for myself and made the number of tasks I had to complete seem more achievable. This schedule also allowed me to work more efficiently because I already had my tasks set out for the day and didn’t have to spend time figuring out what to work on. I was also able to schedule in time to engage in healthy habits, like going to the gym or relaxing, which helped make sure that I still had time to spend on myself. This schedule was one of the best things I figured out for myself in first-year, and I continue using similar schedules to this day!

    I hope that reading about my experiences with imposter syndrome, FOMO, and stress helped provide some insight into what life can be like as a first-year post-secondary student. Higher education often unfortunately comes with struggles, but learning to deal with these struggles efficiently and effectively can help make your post-secondary experience as enjoyable as possible! As such, I hope that if you're facing similar issues in your first-year (or even any other year!) of higher education, you can take something away from my experiences and lessons to live your best post-secondary life!

    Image source: https://meridianuniversity.edu/content/phd-in-psychology-what-can-you-do-with-this-doctorate-degree

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  • Studying Techniques: A guide to organizing your approach to studying

    Person writing at desk

    By Caleb Ripley

    A good approach to how you study can make all the difference in your ability to feel prepared on exam day. This blog covers spaced repetition, active recall, and Feynman technique as studying methods to help you prepare for any quiz, assignment, or exam you may have as a post-secondary student. Regardless of your major, or field of interest, these study habits will make you retain what you learn and genuinely understand the content. In this way, these techniques can improve your overall academic performance by streamlining how you think about studying. The best part is that these techniques are evidence-based revision and study techniques, meaning you can trust their efficacy.

    Spaced Repetition – Refining learning

    • Fundamentally, spaced repetition allows you to utilize flashcards (virtual or physical) to space out the content you need to know over days, weeks, and months leading up to an exam. This is contrasted by cramming where you overload your mind with a lot of content in a short period and forget most of it after the assessment. Spaced repetition helps with memorization and comprehension, and it helps to reduce the “forgetting curve” which is essentially a theorem that suggests that we forget things consistently over time at an exponential rate (where % remembered is on the y-axis and time is on the x-axis). To prevent this deterioration of knowledge, you can repetitiously practice what you’ve learned through active recall at points along the forgetting curve which slows down the forgetting process, and over time you start to remember increasingly more of what you read and take notes on. This counteracting of the forgetting curve through active recall techniques allows for spaced repetition to be the most intuitive and straightforward way to organize your thoughts and structure your understanding of various topics so they stick. What you may take away from the forgetting curve is that the more your brain must work to understand something, the stronger the encoding process is. There are three easy steps to implementing spaced repetition in your studies. First, use google spreadsheets and create a different sheet for each course and, within each subject, list what you need to review in the first column (A). Second, write the date you revised that topic in the next column. Continue this to track your spaced repetition of each subject. Finally, color coat each revision date in Green for proficiency, yellow for moderate, and red for struggling. In doing so, you can optimize what you’re focusing on so that you can improve in the areas that are giving you the most difficulty. As time progresses, your red areas will move to yellow and then green, and your understanding will broadly improve as well. In closing, focus on the topics you have marked as red and optimize your approach to studying these red topics so that you can balance out what you need to know.  

    Feynman Technique – Approaching Learning

    • Albert Einstein said, “you don’t know something well if you can’t explain it to a child”. This principle is what guides the Feynman technique which is a technique designed to help you understand complex subject matter by deconstructing its components and individually grasping each idea. In this sense, you will have broken down, easier-to-understand concepts that add to the sum of the larger and more complex idea. One way to utilize this technique is to take a broad idea such as, “Why do economies of scale reduce the cost of production?” and break it down into smaller components such as “Why do costs fluctuate?,” then you ask yourself, “Why can I get something cheaper from wholesalers?” then you can start to further elaborate on these simplified questions to have a more intuitive understanding that costs fluctuate due to factor input costs, and these input costs are variable. The larger a corporation, the larger its production scale, and this capacity leads to a decrease in cost per unit of output which further enables an increase in scale and reduced costs of production which translates into lower prices for the consumer. Take these questions, and “teach them” to yourself or others in a study group. Finally, the Feynman technique adds value to your studying routine for four key reasons. First, it helps you identify important topic areas. Second, it allows you to deconstruct these complex topics and break them down using simple language. Third, you can use this simple language to better grasp the problem areas which, when resolved, leads to a more intuitive understanding of the content. Finally, this technique allows you to then take your intuitive understanding of the individual parts of the complex idea and transfer this understanding to other topic areas clearly to you and easy to utilize.  

    Active Recall – Learn, Elaborate, Regurgitate.

    • The point of active recall is to retrieve information already in your brain to elaborate on the newly learned subject matter. Essentially, active recall is based on asking yourself questions and retrieving information from your brain rather than trying to simply put novel information into your brain. For example, while reading a chapter in your textbook, it is more helpful to create questions based on the key areas of each paragraph. Use the previously mentioned spaced repetition, to go back and answer those questions at the end of the chapter, and make sure that you’re connecting the subtle details. For example, active recall for a biology student may include reading a chapter in Neurophysiology, and writing down essential questions such as, “Why does negative feedback result in an oscillation of the controlled variable?” or, “What is Einstein’s diffusion equation and what is D for ACh?.” In doing so, you’re engaging with the content at a deeper level and you’re enhancing the retrieval proposal. To create an actionable plan to utilize active recall, you should follow this three-step structure. First, write down questions while reading the chapter or lecture notes. Second, go back to the end of the chapter and answer those questions from memory or lecture notes. Finally, have a colour coating system. For questions, you couldn’t answer at all mark them red, for questions you could partially answer mark yellow and for questions that you had an easy time answering mark them green. In closing, active recall is beneficial for four key reasons. First, it is versatile meaning it can allow you to streamline and optimize your learning experience regardless of the subject. Second, it allows you to constantly test yourself so that you are aware of what you don’t know. Third, it saves you time by optimizing what you focus on, and it improves the depth and breadth of your knowledge. Finally, it highlights your mistakes because you’re forced to retrieve the answers to your questions from memory and this identifies specific gaps in your knowledge.

    In conclusion, we’ve discussed Spaced Repetition, the Feynman Technique, and Active Recall as functions of a good study routine. Collectively, these are evidence-based learning techniques that have been proven to optimize the way students approach knowledge acquisition, their ability to retain what they study and most importantly they improve the brain’s ability to overcome mental obstacles; such as the so-called “forgetting curve” which, when ignored, puts constraints on the amount of information that can be effectively processed. It is through techniques like these that students can improve their academic performance. Best of all, the Pearson suite of products (MyLab, Revel, Mastering...,) includes an easy-to-understand interface that allows users to utilize the above techniques in real-time. For example, in Pearson MyLab, three important tools relate to the above-mentioned study techniques. First, “Demo docks” walk students through how they will solve the problem if they get it wrong. Second, a “study plan” is an option that allows students to engage with active recall and focus on improving in areas they’re struggling with automatically through the software. Finally, the ability for students to interact with the interface and answer questions, create a study plan, highlight their textbook, and takes notes means that all their learning needs are in one place, and this reduces the obstacles to learning and improves your experience as a student.  

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  • Understanding Goals and Progress - What Is a Goal?

    By Caleb Ripley

    Congratulations! You’ve been admitted into the next chapter of your life and as the visions of future achievements start to flood your imagination, I wish you the very best! Higher education can be a rollercoaster at times, and I would like to offer a three-step approach so that you can achieve your maximum potential and sidestep some of the mistakes that others have made. First, is to define what a goal is, then we look at how to set yourself up to achieve the goals you set and finally we look at the importance of being consistent.

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  • 3 Tips for Balancing Academics, Work, and Extracurriculars as an Incoming First-Year University Student by Marianna Hsu

    Going into university is such an exciting time in your life. It is understandable why so many people refer to their university years as “the best four years of your life.” As a university student, it can be overwhelming finding a balance between joining clubs, growing friendships, doing well academically, and working a part-time job. As an incoming freshman, it can be especially challenging trying to navigate the transition to university. In this blog post, I will talk about my experiences and tips on how to balance your busy university life as an incoming first-year student. 

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  • Out of the Office, Back to Basics: A Student's Perspective on Remote Work

    Photograph by Allyssa Harman
    Allyssa Harman, Ontario Tech University  |  June 15, 2022

    Introduction: Why Should I Consider Remote Work?

    My workday was off to a productive start as I had just finished editing my final assignments for the winter semester. Satisfied with my efforts, I saved my documents and began my next project, all while sitting comfortably on my laptop at home. Future employment opportunities have quickly become the main topic of discussion amongst my peers. Like many students, I have submitted my resume to countless employers, though many of my peers have admitted they are unsure of where to go after graduating. However, I am explicitly targeting remote opportunities for long-term employment, and here’s why I think any student with doubts about their future should do the same.

    You should know that uncertainty is normal in our constantly changing world, now more than ever. Sometimes you might be caught off-guard, unsure of where to go next or who to turn to, and that’s perfectly fine! Though remote work might not be for everyone, it is worth a shot for many to see if a viable long-term career option would best suit their needs. I was very hesitant to pursue remote work at first, especially considering the conforming nature that workplace culture has been founded upon. Despite my initial uneasiness, I now firmly believe that working from home will be the basis of future employment. As both companies and workers are realizing the benefits that come with this new model, there is no better time to join the remote workforce!

    The Benefits of Working from Home:

    There are plenty of benefits to consider when looking at the future of remote opportunities, especially as a post-secondary student looking for work. For one thing, international students have benefited from the shift to online environments and remote jobs, with many saving on travel costs and getting the chance to stay close to home while continuing their studies. Individuals who suffer from severe health and immunity issues find it significantly easier to take online courses or work remotely. Many students who have worked during the school semester admit to skipping classes because their shifts and in-person lectures overlap; online courses make it simple for students with busy lives to plan out their schedules in a way that suits them best. Online working environments can positively impact staff, with many corporations learning these benefits after disposing of the one-size-fits-all model for their employees throughout the global pandemic. Overall, it is hard to look past the upsides that come with skipping the commute to the office and working at home instead.

    My Experience with Online Learning:

    In March 2020, the global pandemic halted my winter semester. I distinctly remember telling my friend that I would see her on Tuesday for our next lecture, only to have all classes cancelled the next day. The online transition differed for all institutions, with some acting faster than others. My university was very quick to transition, with the aforementioned Tuesday lecture proceeding as scheduled in a digital environment.  The first semester was stressful for both students and professors, especially those unfamiliar with or not fond of online teaching and learning. Little did we know that this new learning format was far from a “one-time thing”, as every semester since then has consisted solely of online courses. During the ease of lockdowns and restrictions I had a class that was intended to be hybrid, though we only had a fourth of our lectures offer the option for learning in-person due to unforeseen circumstances. My experiences with online learning have only further contributed to my positive outlook on digital work environments, as I see no benefits when considering in-person learning now that we have comfortably adapted to these new formats.

    My Perspective on Working From Home:

    I have struggled to land positions regarding remote work opportunities due to my lack of experience. Many employers want upwards of three years in a specific field, something out of reach for those who have been trapped by the pandemic’s toll. Additionally, many jobs still demand that people commute daily or travel long distances for work. These jobs can be done remotely in many cases and often require employees to pay for travel costs out of their own pockets. I recently completed a remote opportunity where I worked part-time creating social media advertisements. From my experience, in-person training takes significantly longer than online learning and can detract from one’s adjustment to the workplace. Overall, the opportunity to learn online has significantly improved my skills and increased my chances of future employment.

    The Future of the Workplace:

    Many students that are looking for work today lack experience due to the pandemic, and several companies are hesitant about their next steps when hiring because of this. Furthermore, COVID-19 has forced companies to rethink how they structure schedules, operate work environments, and view their employees as a whole. Despite these points, I am quite optimistic when looking to the future, and I believe the ideal solution for many would be to seek permanent employment that they can do from home. There are plenty of people who enjoy remote work over traditional careers, particularly students with erratic schedules. Online work will bring significant change as more student’s flock to this emerging field, instigating a shift in workplace culture as we know it. Overall, I think the world of remote opportunities is largely what you make of it, as it provides many chances for you to improve your resume and learn new skills online!

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  • Staying Healthy To Keep Our Brains Healthy

    Photo by Tanner Van Dera on Unsplash: https://unsplash.com/photos/oaQ2mTeaP7o

    University/college is stressful; there’s a mountain of homework, assignments, projects and tests on top of the challenges with growing into a fully-fledged adult. This mountain though, can only be conquered when our brains are at their best. To keep our brains in shape, we have to make sure that our body is in shape as well. Regular exercise and healthy living can potentially be the single best improvement a student can make to help with college/university. Scientific research has shown that exercise improves both learning and memory - can a student ask for anything more? Often the biggest fear for busy students, however, is the time commitment. Time spent staying healthy should be thought of less as time wasted, and more as time invested in school and on yourself. You might lose an extra hour or two of studying, but the benefits exercise and healthy living contribute to your brain will multiply the value of the hours you study.

    So how can you maximize the benefits of healthy living?

    Practice good sleep hygiene

    It’s easy to say, but it’s probably one of the hardest things to do as a college student. There’s just so much that we want to do every day, from school assignments to hanging out with friends. Some days, there’s just no way that you’re going to get eight hours of sleep, and that’s okay. As long as it doesn’t become a habit and if on average you’re still getting a good amount of sleep, your body will still be able to refresh and re-energize. The amount of sleep isn’t the only important factor either. Especially with online school, it’s easy to mess up your sleep schedule and begin to sleep during the day and stay awake all night. Our body has a natural sleep-wake cycle and flipping it definitely won’t help our brains.

    Eat healthy

    Eating healthy is hard as a student. It takes time to prepare meals and ready-made healthy food seem to be more expensive. A lot of that is out of control, but try as much as possible to eat whole foods and make sure you’re consuming enough fruits and vegetables. Meal prepping for the entire week on the weekend can help so that you’re not strapped for time on a busy school day. In the business of school, try not to miss a meal either. Without nutrients, our body and brain can’t function, so it’s important to eat our three meals a day.

    Stay physically active

    It’s scary to think of how many hours we probably spend sitting in a chair as a student. Most of it is unavoidable; it’s hard to study or type up an essay without sitting at our desks. So, when you have time to spend away from your desk, be sure you’re participating in physical activity. Even a mere thirty minutes daily, can go a long way to keeping your body healthy and your mind fresh. If you don’t think a daily goal is possible, set a weekly goal instead. It’ll give you some flexibility and even if you’re not active every day, you can make it up on other days. Physical activity isn’t restricted to going to the gym or running outside. Playing sports with your friends, going for a hike or even strolling through campus for an hour is incredibly good for you.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a university/college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

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  • Sustaining Yourself in University: Self-Care and Avoiding Burnout

    Photograph by Ann Yang

    Photograph by Ann Yang
    Ann Yang, student, University of British Columbia  |  March 17, 2022

    Maintain your machinery before your machinery demands it upon you.

    One of the most toxic mindsets common in post-secondary students is the idea that “I can rest after I’ve gotten my degree.” Who can blame us? When the world demands high academic achievements, strong network connections, and extracurricular success, we are bound to be overwhelmed. There are only so many hours in the day. Unfortunately, many choose to sacrifice self-care. Having a healthy social life, getting eight hours of sleep, and taking breaks became a student’s guilty pleasures. We are constantly haunted by the voices chanting “you should be doing something productive right now.” Under this mindset, we become stretched thin by all our responsibilities, and burnouts become inevitable. In this article, I will teach you how to redefine success, take care of your body, and recognize the signs of burnout.

    Defining Success

    Success can be defined in many ways. In the post-secondary setting, students are often judged based on their academic achievements. However, we are not solely defined by our grades. Sure, having a high GPA may lead to professional recognition and access to further education, but ultimately, it does not indicate our worth. It neglects contextual factors such as family troubles, health issues, or an ongoing pandemic while measuring only a fraction of our abilities. So, can we really say that a 95 is more successful than a resilient 60 that inspired many in their community?

    Oxford Languages defines success as “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” While this is true for short-term goals, it is often misused when we describe a human being. When we say “success,” we often extract characteristics like wealth, power, and fame as if they are the entirety of success, but these items are never the sole purpose of one’s existence. For a student, our goal of existence is not “to have good grades.” It is ultimately to live, to enjoy living, and to help others enjoy living. It is to be at peace with our journey. Of course, the details of your aspiration depend on yourself but remember that success must root in satisfaction and happiness. It cannot exist if it is not sustainable or is reaped from a puddle of misery. Achieving your ambition should never rely on you constantly burning the candle from both ends.

    Practicing Self-care

    As students, we tend to limit our vision to temporary objectives and lose sight of the larger world. We neglect the long-term impacts of our sacrifices. For example, staying up late makes you more prone to falling asleep mid-lecture, your body has needs that it must meet by any means necessary. If you keep pushing yourself to the limit without tending to those needs, your body will attempt to forcefully do so itself, or it will break down.

    To ensure both physical and mental wellbeing, you must properly treat your body with respect and care. Here are a few things you can do to practice self-care today.

    • Eat well, sleep well, and exercise are the foundations of self-care. Listen closely to your body signal and respond with kindness. Carry a healthy snack on you, if you often get hungry in class. Find a spot on campus for a quick nap if your body craves rest. If you are too busy, try to find unique ways to fulfill those needs, like asking a friend to go grocery shopping together instead of your usual hangout activities. In your spare time, try to get some movements, however small. It can be going to the gym, jogging between your lectures, or just choosing to take the stairs to your dorm.
    • Learning your destress method. Everyone is unique in their preferred destress methods. Think back to what you like to do in your free time and how it made you feel. Some people feel at peace by expressing their feelings through paintings. Others like to reflect upon their thoughts via journalism and meditation. Some go for a run; others enjoy a nice hot bath. Don’t be afraid to venture out and try new self-care activities. Once you found something that helps, incorporate it into your daily schedule and practice often.
    • Building a resource kit. You may not always have the energy to help yourself. Prepare a small box with a handful of useful items for when you are feeling low. The content of the kit is often personal and specific. Some ideas include materials for destressing (like candles and chocolate), notes of affirmation, and a list of people you can reach out to in a time of crisis. Take the time to learn what resources are available to you and keep the information in your kit. It is always better to be overprepared than underprepared.

    Of course, this list is not comprehensive, but it is a good starter. It is also crucial to remember that you should not attempt to perfect every item listed. It is better to move at a pace you feel comfortable with by setting small, personal, and reasonable goals.

    Facing Burnout

    One of the common consequences of prolonged stress is burnout. When burning out, you are emotionally drained and physically tired, unable to reach your usual level of productivity. Some common symptoms are reduced energy, motivation, and attention, as well as the feeling of helplessness, inadequacy, and frustration. You may find yourself to be procrastinating uncontrollably and experiencing a lot of detachment. While stress thrusts you into a reactive state, burnout makes you withdraw and disengage. Remember, the turning point between stress and burnout can be slow and hard to identify, so be sure to stay attentive to your physical and emotional state.

    The best way to avoid burnout from the get-go is to integrate an adequate number of breaks and self-care activities into your schedule. By routinely unwinding yourself after a tough day, you are building back your capacity to handle stress. It may be easy to treat breaks as a guilty pleasure, but it is crucial to maintain your sharp mind before it demands of you.

    In the event of a burnout, there is really not much you can do except give yourself adequate rest. At this stage, your body is quite physically rebelling and fighting against work, begging for a break. For example, just like how physical injuries heal over time, you cannot rush a recovery by force, but you can provide various accommodations to assist the healing. In this case, it is to accept the fact that you need a break and put down your work for a proper rest. Contact your professors for extensions, get a sick note, and take a two-day vacation. Allowing the complex machinery that is your mind to heal completely before diving back into the busy academic life is simply more efficient than wallowing in despair for a week.

    Going forward, try to identify the source of your burnout and find ways to solve, limit, or mitigate the impacts. To name a few strategies, taking fewer classes, setting work-life boundaries, and developing healthy stress outlets can go a long way.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a university/college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started!

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  • 7 Tips for Creating an Effective Video Presentation

    Sylvia Harnarain, student, Ontario Tech University  |  February 22, 2022

    COVID-19 affected the entire world in some form or another, and students were no exception to this. With the transition to online learning, professors had to come up with new and innovative ways to engage students and create assignments for us to complete. A common assignment that I have gotten over the course of my online learning experience is pre-recorded video presentations in place of live-in-person ones. Video presentations are a creative way to present information, but can be a big undertaking. Not only do you have to do the research, but you also have to be able to present it effectively. What are some ways to make an effective video presentation you ask? Don’t worry, I’m here to help with 7 tips for creating an effective video presentation!

    My platform of choice is Microsoft PowerPoint to create video presentations.

    Less is more when it comes to text

    I’ve always been taught that the best presentations are the ones with the fewest words on the slides! I’ve definitely carried that advice with me throughout high school and university. Having less text makes it not only easier for the audience to understand and follow along with, but also helps you, as the presenter stay organized, and not get lost in a jumble of words.

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