Thursday, January 19, 2012

S.A.D. - Symptoms and Strategies

Winter is here, and along with colder tempertaures and shorter days, there's a change in the amount of daylight we receive. Some of us are affected by this change, and feel more depressed as a result. This is called seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.), and can have a very real impact on your life. Below is a link with more information about signs and symptoms as well as ways to deal with S.A.D.:
One of the best ways to manage is to utilize a special sun lamp, which mimics the benefits we would receive from being outside. Also, consistent exercise (preferably outside if you can) is highly recommended.
Remember: if you are feeling seriously depressed and/or suicidal, please contact Counseling Services immediately at 315.443.4715

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Spring 2012

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing winter break, and that you feel energized for the upcoming semester!
The following are my updated hours for the spring semester:

Mondays: 9:30am - noon; 12:30 -3:30 - LINK 269
Thursdays: 9:30am - noon; 12:30 -3:30 - LINK 269
Fridays: 9am-noon, LINK 269; 1pm-5pm in SHAW 029E

As a reminder, STAR is here to provide academic counseling regarding a variety of issues, such as:
• study skills
• test anxiety
• time management
• stress reduction
• other personal issues

I hope that you will take advantage of STAR services, and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at
Wishing you a wonderful semester!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Last week of classes!

Fall semester has flown by! As you prepare for finals, here are some links that could be helpful:
Wishing you good luck on exams!

Monday, November 28, 2011

New York Times Article

With finals coming up, I would highly recommend that you take a few moments to read the following article from the New York Times: Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Finals Success Workshop

Test Anxiety?

What exactly is “test anxiety”? How do you know if you have it? What can be done to alleviate it?
·         True test anxiety is a heightened state of nervousness and worry before, during, and/or after an exam. Some students experience “blanking out”, physical discomfort, and emotional distress.
·         An important distinction needs to be made between nervousness and anxiety that comes as a result of not studying or being prepared for an exam and extreme anxiety that results regardless of the preparation.
o   The former is a normal response – if you feel underprepared, or if you haven’t studied, you would be expected to be a little nervous or worried.
o   However, if you have adequately prepared and still have the nerves and increased worry, then you may be experiencing true test anxiety.
What causes test anxiety?
·         There is no one factor that causes such an extreme reaction to test-taking. Generally, it’s a combination of how you perceive your abilities, the amount of significance that you associate with exams, and past negative experiences you may have had with test-taking. Regardless of the reasons, test anxiety is a real issue, and can make a normal academic experience (tests) extremely unpleasant.
What to do if you have test anxiety?
·         Don’t keep silent…it will only get better if you talk about it and be committed to trying out new ways of thinking about and approaching exams. (Remember the STAR office can assist you with managing test anxiety.)
·         Concentrate on physical relaxation – deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and mental imagery are all designed to create a physical sense of relaxation which can translate to mental relaxation.
·         Revise your perspective. This is the crucial part to dealing with test anxiety – changing how you think about exams. While it is a gradual process, you can start right now with incorporating some new “self-talk”. If you catch yourself saying, “I can’t do this”, or “I’ll never pass”, try a counter-statement such as, “I’ve prepared well for this and will do my best” or “I know I can do this”.
For more tips/strategies, visit:

Surviving Finals!

STAR-tracks (LC Smith College of Engineering, Syracuse University)
With the end of the semester fast approaching, finals are right around the corner. Whether this is your first time taking finals exams or your last, there are a few tips that could be helpful in getting you through them successfully.
  • Start reviewing now! Some finals are cumulative, so the information you covered at the beginning of the semester may show up on your final, so it would be worth your while to review that material.
  • Organize your notes. Go back through and make sure your notes are clear, concise, and connected. Depending on what works best for you, organize by concept, chronology, or class. Make sure you understand how the concepts relate to one another and that you understand the application of concepts. Incorporate your instructors’ notes with your own.
  • Know your finals scheduled dates and times. This one may sound obvious, but double check this information in advance so that you can plan accordingly.
  • Put it into perspective. Try to see finals as another step in your college career – not as the defining feature of your ability to be successful as a student. Some finals may be harder than others, but as long as you prepare as best you can, you are doing what you need to be doing.
  • Avoid cramming and “all-nighters”. Possibly one of the most popular college myths, cramming and staying up all night is NOT the best way to prepare for a big exam. All cramming accomplishes is increasing your stress level. Your brain also needs a full night’s sleep to incorporate material, so allow yourself sleep the night before a big exam!
  • Use your resources now. If a concept is confusing, or you are not sure how to do something, get help for that now. Don’t wait until a few days before the final. Talk to your professor or TA; get to the tutoring center; form a study group. Be proactive in getting the assistance you need.