The CollegeSurfing Insider: “Big Test – Studying During the Holidays as an Adult Student”

As Thanksgiving approaches, the distractions increase … with thoughts of turkey, shopping, and family time taking you away from studying, writing papers, and finishing end-of-the-semester college projects. With these top tips, you can enjoy your holiday traditions (yum, pumpkin pie!) and finish up the semester strong.

Family get-togethers, holiday shopping, holiday cooking and more are all filling your calendar in Thanksgiving and December. With a bit of planning and preparation, these helpful hints should allow you to enjoy the holiday and keep from having to finish a key assignment or study for a final at the last minute:

Schedule your holidays.
Just like timing the components of a holiday meal, designate days and hours for studying/coursework, holiday commitments, and family time. For example, complete a homework assignment before you head out for Black Friday shopping, so you can enjoy the madness along with other deal seekers. Choose which holiday parties you will attend based upon school deadlines, so that you have enough time to study and have fun, says Richard Shadick, director of the counseling center and an associate adjunct professor of psychology at Pace University in New York.

Set realistic goals.
This may be the year that you hand off certain Thanksgiving dishes or holiday parties to someone else. Adult students often feel like they are unable to give anything their “all,” but if you set reasonable expectations about school, home and work, you will feel less stressed, Shadick says.

Don’t overindulge.
Enjoy that (one) cup of eggnog, as Shadick points out that drinking too much, overeating, or staying up later than normal makes it difficult to study effectively.

Be thankful for help.
If you feel overloaded, consider going to your school’s counseling center to talk to a professional about your holiday and school-related stress.

For more tips, click here

The Associated Press: “College mental health screenings go high-tech”

Many college counseling centers are more swamped than ever, therapists say, particularly at this time of year, in the frenzy of final exams and job searches.

Dr. Richard Shadick, Director of Pace University’s Counseling Center in New York City and an adjunct professor of psychology, was interviewed about trends in screening college students for mental health issues – what works, what hasn’t.

Within the counseling field, there is no consensus about whether there really are more college students with mental health issues or whether they are simply increasingly willing to ask for help.

Some say that antidepressants and more support has made it more possible than ever for a student who is mentally ill to attend college. Others have noted that this generation of students seems less able to cope with stress, for whatever reason.

At Pace University in New York, counseling director Richard Shadick and his staff give a presentation at each “University 101” class for freshman and give them a survey to help them get a read on substance abuse and mental health problems they may be having. The mental health staff also spends time on campus giving mini screenings called “checkups from the neck up” and refers students who need help to the counseling center.

Learn more about how mental health is being taken seriously here at Pace and at other college campuses.