College Writing Tips

Dear College Students: Take a Breath

Take a breath.

Like many of you, I, too, returned to college classes this week. Unlike many of you, I return as a professor and not a student. However, as I was still a student in January of 2017, I feel that I am uniquely qualified to comment on both sides of the coin as both former student and current professor.

I am sure that many of you are already overwhelmed. The syllabus is filled to the brim with assignments that you have no understanding of and due dates that seem impossible to meet. The professor seems aloof and you are pretty sure that they are just waiting for a chance to fail you. They do not care if you have a thousand other things going on at home, because their class is the most important. There is no way you will ever get through another semester . . .

Now, before your thoughts continue down this train of thought (a train I’ve ridden in the past), let me remind you:

Take a breath.

Of course the syllabus seems overwhelming, it’s an entire semester’s worth of work shoved into 8-10 pages.

Maybe your professor does such (sorry, those exist too), but more than likely, your professor does care about your success. And if they don’t, don’t let their attitude affect you. (Easier said than done right?) Find that one professor who does care and ask them question, even about other classes. Odds are, if they can, they are willing to help you.

There IS a way you will get through this semester, just like you did the last, and just like you will the next. ONE. STEP. AT. A. TIME. And one breath at a time.

Do not let this first week undermine your confidence. You can do this!