Workshop addresses challenges of the classroom

Emily Beckstrom

Staff Writer

Boring lectures, monotone professors and hard exams are not optional for college students. However, forming good study habits and relational skills can help students avoid bad grades and open their minds to a world of knowledge.

The student development center, located in Eldridge Hall, hosted a student workshop, “How to Deal with a Challenging Professor and Pass the Exam,” in the Trojan Center on Tuesday, Nov. 4, to discuss the above concepts.

JoAnn Smith, a student affairs counseling graduate student and administrative assistant for Center for Student Success, presented the material to students, informing them on how to learn from the professor and pass their exams.

Smith emphasized that students learn how to talk and relate to their peers through personal, one-on-one experiences. By seeking out classmates, students can build study groups, compare notes and form better study habits.

To help students build good study habits, Smith came up with an experiment that requires two students, a TV, and a pen and paper.

“Sit down and watch the news with a friend for 10 minutes,” Smith said. “Take notes like you would in class, then compare the notes.

“What information is the same? This is probably the most important information. Now do the same thing with your class notes.”

Smith said another way to recognize important test material is “If a professor writes it on the board, or says, ‘Listen up!’ it’s probably going to be on the test.”

Smith encourages students to interact with the staff members in their departments because this enables students to learn new things.

“Faculty have been working in their profession for many years,” she said. “They have a lot of knowledge to share.”

Approaching professors requires preparation, thought and courage. While preparing, Smith advises students to take good notes in class and to pay attention to what the professor says and how he or she says it.

College students, specifically freshmen, should know who their advisers are and how to contact them. Advisers can offer students advice on different options for changing classes and how their decisions will affect their graduation dates.

Smith added that dropping and/or adding courses can greatly affect students academically and financially. “Knowing the deadlines for dropping or adding courses is important,” she said.

However, students must consider their health, and ask themselves, “How many hours should I take to make sure my nutrition and sleep are adequately balanced?”

“By practicing time management, you will learn how to balance your meals, workload and sleep schedule,” she added.

Organizing a calendar at the beginning of the week and referring to the calendar or to-do list can help a student eat and sleep well while also succeeding in class.

“Don’t pull all-nighters,” Smith said. “You need at least eight hours of sleep each night and three healthy meals each day.”

Dava Foster, a conditional counselor at Troy and Smith’s assistant, encourages students to take advantage of campus resources such as the library and tutoring center, which offer free resources to students on a variety of subjects.

“Students would be surprised at what the tutoring center offers,” Foster said. “There’s group study sessions every week in Eldridge Hall in certain subjects.”

The next workshop is at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 9, in Trojan Center Room 119.

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