College

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      The Final Semester Survival Guide:    13 Tips for College Students Who Just Want it to be Over    The final countdown   Whether you’re in your first year of college or finishing up the home stretch, the last semester of each year can be a stressful time. In the fall, finals seemed so far away, and day-to-day assignments didn’t feel like they held so much weight. But before you know it, the end of the term is upon you, and you’ve only got a few short weeks or months to achieve your academic goals for the year.   How do I keep my momentum?   A lot of students start the year off feeling very optimistic, but as the months progress, tough classes and academic burn-out can curb their motivation and confidence. The pressure of the last semester can get to anyone, and while a little tension can motivate us to achieve our goals, extreme stress can negatively impact both grades and mental and emotional health.   Here are 13 tips for staying on top of your tasks and finishing your semester strong:    1. Focus on your strengths   Remember that even the world’s smartest and most successful people have both strengths and weaknesses. Keep your mind on the positive by taking time to reflect on your strongest areas – maybe science is really challenging for you and you’ve been feeling your hair turn gray as you cram for your chemistry final. While this test may be tough, consciously thinking of areas that you have strengths in will boost your confidence in your abilities and remind you of the bright future you are securing by powering through this class. Reminding yourself of your talents will help reduce the intimidation of subjects that you aren’t as self-assured in.   2. Work hard, play hard   It’s important to have fun and recreational time while you’re working through college; if you don’t let yourself unwind now and again, your stress will curb your creativity, lessen your retention, and could give you a mental break down. Set aside time for fun, humor, and laughter. When you’re feeling stressed out, pass on binge watching crime dramas and instead check out a comedy club with some friends. Laughter can instantly change the chemicals in our bodies, allowing stress to naturally release.   3. Cheer yourself on   It’s common for students in their last semester to stress over the “what if’s” – “What if I didn’t study enough?” “What if I don’t pass the class?” “What if my GPA isn’t high enough?” These worries can put a damper on your focus, mood, and academic performance. When you’re feeling stressed out,   Dr. Jill S. Kapil, specialist in young adult issues  , recommends repeating positive affirmations. Encourage yourself with phrases like, “I can push through it! I’m almost there! I’ll be done in no time!” “I can do this!” Even if you don’t believe everything you’re saying at first, affirmations will gradually train your brain toward more empowered, confident thinking that can help you overcome stress and bring your “A-game” to finals week.   4. Live one day at a time   If you look at big projects in their entirety, they can appear overwhelming and insurmountable. Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and big tasks that appear impossible can be accomplished if you break them down into smaller pieces. Relieve your anxiety by breaking up large projects into manageable fragments. Strategize how to tackle each piece over time, and only focus on achieving your goals for the present day. Congratulate yourself for completing each day’s task. Present-minded thinking will minimize how massive you perceive the work ahead of you, and it will help you relieve stress about your academic future. After all, the future hasn’t happened yet, so why waste today worrying about what may or may not occur?     5.Calendar everything   Let’s all just take a moment of silence to acknowledge those who had to go through college without smartphones or Google calendar! We are incredibly lucky to live in a time where daily organization and time management has never been so convenient or accessible. Find a calendar app that works for you and use it to document your daily goals, tasks, and to-do list. Make sure to schedule time for fun and self-care as well!   6. Ground yourself   By “ground yourself,” we don’t mean to exile yourself to your room with no TV for a week. We are referring to focusing your mind on your present moment by meditating on your five senses. Go through each sense one by one – taste, sight, touch, smell, and sound. Take deep breaths, filling your lungs and belly, as you direct your focus on each area. Try out a yoga class or research different meditations and relaxation exercises. Taking a few moments to ground yourself each day will assist your mind in staying present and your body in releasing stress tension.   7. Study outside   With the chaos of exams, projects, and grad checks around the corner, thoughts of lounging on the beach with your mind set to empty may feel tempting. While you can’t drain your brain just yet, ditching the dorm and getting outside to study can hold over your appetite for full blown vacation mode. Take your laptop to the park, an outdoor café, or anywhere else you can take in an enjoyable environment while you get your creative juices flowing.   8. Rethink your ramen   It’s common for young adults juggling school, work, and social lives to, well, eat like crap. The “freshman 15” and “ramen noodle diet” may feel like the norm, but don’t underestimate the power of nutrition to fuel your brain and motivational drive these last few months of the term. Eat a hearty breakfast that’s heavy on protein. Go easy on sugar, caffeine, and alcohol, all of which can make you crash and worsen your final semester slump.   9. Hit the snooze button   College students are notorious for lacking adequate rest and for having a “we’ll sleep when we’re dead,” attitude. The problem is, all of those 2AM cram sessions can have a serious impact on your mental focus and emotional well-being. Yes, full class loads and challenging projects force most students to stay up late every now and again, but try to get 8-10 hours of sleep on most nights. Set a curfew for yourself and unless you’re working on task that will make-or-break your grade, stick to it. For less pressing projects, you’ll do a better job if you return to your work with a refreshed and rested mindset.   10. Sweat it out   Working out boosts endorphins in your brain, naturally reducing stress, depression, and anxiety. If doing 500 burpees and posting sweaty gym selfies isn’t your thing, have no fear - a 15 minute walk around campus a few times a week can be a great, low-impact way to boost energy, release endorphins, and decrease stress.   11. Vent it out   When we are feeling stressed out with life’s challenges, it can become easy to isolate yourself and get stuck in your worrisome thoughts. Make sure to talk to friends, parents, professors, and academic advisors to help vent your stress and receive extra support and guidance to help you push through the challenges that college life presents.   12. Find your inner champion   If you’re a college student, then you’re no stranger to challenges. Whether you were valedictorian or more of a “C’s get degrees” type of student, you’ve had to work diligently and overcome obstacles to get where you are today. When you start doubting yourself, reflect on ways that you coped with challenges in the past – think of how you can apply those strategies to the obstacles you face today. By finding and highlighting inner strengths exist based on your past accomplishments, you will discover ways to break through challenges as they arise, You are a champion, and you got this!   13. Visit a Specialist   Our specialists support young adults and “millennials” through major life transitions including experiences related to college life and academic success, careers, and relationships. We empower our patients to overcome anxiety, self-esteem issues, and other stressors that impact their emotional well-being.      
	 schedule your appointment with a specialists 
       Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life:      

 
   
     
      
          
     

     

       

        
          

            

          

            
               

                 
                   First Name 
                   
                 

                 
                   Last Name 
                   
                 

               
            

          
        

        

          
             
               Email Address 
               
             
          

        

          

        

       

       
            Sign Up    
       

     

    
        We respect your privacy.  
    

     Thank you! 
      

   

 
       
     Y.on("domready", function(){
     Y.all('input[name="lname"]').setAttribute("value", "x");
     });
            Found this article helpful?     Rate and review us on Google and Yelp               

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism, Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams). See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a   call   and we will guide you.  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.      
  
       References :  Lucier, K.L. (2017). How to Stay Calm During Finals Week . ThoughtCo.  Retrieved online: https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-reduce-stress-during-finals-week-793289  Mental Health America (2018). Retrieved online: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/most-stressful-time-semester-finals  Taylor, K. (2018). 6 Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health During Finals.  HerCampus.com  Retrieved online: https://www.hercampus.com/school/wm/6-ways-take-care-your-mental-health-during-finals  Werner, C. (2017). 5 Ways to Prioritize Mental Health During Finals Week.  The Odyssey . Retrieved online: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/5-ways-to-prioritize-mental-health-during-finals-week   How to Cite This Blog Article:   Shinn, M.M. (2018). The Final Semester Survival Guide: 13 Tips for College Students Who Just Want it to   be Over.  Psychologically Speaking . [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/the-final-semester-survival-guide-13-tips-for-college-students-who-just-want-it-to-be-over

The Final Semester Survival Guide: 13 Tips for College Students Who Just Want it to be Over The final countdown

Whether you’re in your first year of college or finishing up the home stretch, the last semester of each year can be a stressful time. finals seemed so far away, and day-to-day assignments didn’t feel like they held so much weight. But before you know it, the end of the term is upon you, and you’ve only got a few short weeks or months to achieve your academic goals for the year.


     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Accommodations for College Entrance Exams: What Parents Need to Know    LISTEN TO THE PODCAST FOR THIS BLOG POST HERE     

 
 
     If you’re the parent of a high-schooler, you know the pressure surrounding your kid’s performance on the “big kahuna tests.” You know, the SAT’s, PSAT’s, ACT’s, AP exams, and so on. With graduation approaching, those scores hold a lot of power in proving your child has what it takes to succeed in college. If your child has a disability that affects their learning, the stress of these impending exams can feel especially overwhelming. You know your child’s potential and you don’t want their challenges holding them back from success.   How can my child have a fair chance?   Fortunately, test administrators are willing to make a variety of accommodations to level the playing field for students with disabilities. Knowing that accommodations exist and understanding how to pursue them are two different things, so here are some tips for a smooth experience in getting your child the support they need:   1. Learn what’s eligible   The accommodations provided will vary based on your child’s diagnosis and the test administrator. The SAT’s, PSAT’s, and AP exams are administered by The College Board. The ACT is administered independently by the American College Testing Program. The eligibility policies of the ACT and The College Board are similar, having only slight differences in documentation requirements and application processes. In most cases, eligibility for accommodations will be based on the following factors:    Having a documented disability – you’ll need current documentation from a psychoeducational specialist or physician that:    Clearly states the diagnosis    Supports the diagnosis by stating the assessment measures and results    Explains the degree to which it affects your child’s ability to perform tasks (functional limitation)    Details and justifies the specific accommodations needed    Includes your child’s educational, developmental, and medical history    Includes the accommodations page of your child’s IEP or Section 504 Plan, if they have one (if they don’t, you’ll need to explain why they haven’t had accommodations in school and justify why they’ll need them now)    Establishes the professional credentials of the specialist        
	 Click here to learn about Dr. Marta M. Shinn, specialist in Educational Psychology  
        Having a disability that directly impacts test-tasking - For example, requests are commonly made for students with disabilities related to reading, writing, or sitting still for an extended period.    Accommodation is given in school – Typically, whatever accommodations are given during classroom tests will be approved by The College Board or ACT, but know that having an IEP or 504 does not automatically guarantee this.     2. Understand what isn’t   If your child’s disability is not directly related to the tasks required of the exams, they will likely be denied eligibility. Some disabilities that are not commonly accepted are impairments in walking or other physical movement unrelated to writing, hearing impairments (college exams are mostly written), or certain psychiatric conditions that do not clearly impact their test taking ability, such as a wind phobia.     3. Discover what’s offered   Test administrators consider all reasonable requests, as long as the child has supporting documentation. Some common accommodations include:    Extended time – Students whose disabilities cause them to complete tasks slower than other students may be eligible for extended time to complete exams. They will need documentation specifically stating how much time they need, and which subject section(s) of the test they will need extended time on.      Extended or extra breaks – Longer or additional breaks may be granted to students who need to check their blood sugar, take medications, use the restroom frequently, or who have ADHD.     Computer use – Students with language-based learning disorders, or impaired writing abilities may be eligible to use a school computer to fill out essay and short-answer portions. This accommodation is not available for children whose disability only impacts their spelling, as the “spell-check” function is disabled from the school’s computers during exams.     Use of a four-function calculator – Students with documented disorders in performing math calculations may be eligible to use approved calculators that are limited to performing addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.     Reading and seeing accommodations – MP3 audio tests, magnifiers, large-print test books, or Braille graphs and test books may be offered to students with severe reading disabilities or vision impairments.        
	 For a more comprehensive list of The College Board’s typical accommodations click here 
       4. Explore your child needs   Parents often know what works well for their child, but may be unaware of additional accommodations that are available. For example, parents may request that their child with ADHD be given extended time, but they may not know that some students with ADHD perform better when testing among a small group. Consulting with a specialist in Educational Psychology can help you learn the most effective accommodations available for your child and guide you through the approval process. They can also provide the necessary documentation required to submit your accommodations requests.   5. Start early   Requests to The College Board and ACT can take several weeks to be processed, and you aren’t guaranteed accommodations if your requests come in late. You can access The College Board’s request deadlines by clicking   here   and the ACT’s special testing calendar by clicking   here  . Your best bet is to start early and work with your school in submitting your requests.   6. Communicate with school officials   Whenever possible, The College Board and ACT recommend working with officials at your school to submit requests. Many schools have specially authorized educators who have access to the online request systems for both The College Board and the ACT. The College Board refers to these officials as SSD Coordinators, and ACT refers to them as TC’s (Test Coordinators) or TAC’s  (Test Accommodations Coordinators). If you do not have access or support from one of these officials, you are able to apply for accommodations yourself.   7. Get to know the request process   TAC’s and SSD Coordinators have access to online requests and customer support, streamlining the process and ensuring that you include all necessary documentation. For the SAT, your SSD Coordinator can assist from start to finish with registering your child. For the ACT, you will need to register your child online first, making sure to select the “Special Accommodations” option. You will then select your requested accommodation type and submit the initial registration. Afterward you’ll receive a confirmation email with instructions to forward it to your school’s TAC, and the TAC will complete your formal submission to the ACT.   What if we don’t have an SSD Coordinator or TAC?    Whether your child is home-schooled or your school does not have authorized officials to assist you, both The College Board and ACT have registration options that can be completed by parents. You can contact The College Board’s SSD department directly to get a hard-copy application, but allow yourself additional time since The College Board specially reviews all applications not submitted by SSD Coordinators. You can register for the ACT online, but will need to include a statement from your student’s teacher, parent, co-op, or consortium detailing:    Their current accommodations    Under what conditions accommodations are provided    How long they’ve been receiving accommodations    Their official diagnosis documentation     8. Learn what to expect after your request   After your child’s accommodation request is approved, it is up to your TAC/SSD Coordinator to work with your family to ensure that appropriate accommodations are in place for each exam. If your child’s request is denied, it is usually for one of three reasons:    Additional information is required    The documentation did not fulfill their requirements to support the diagnosis/accommodations    The request has been partially approved, meaning some but not all of the accommodations are being allowed    If you are a parent whose child has been approved and you don’t know what to do next, or if your request has been denied and you feel that was an inappropriate decision, a specialist in   Educational Advocacy   can guide you through the next steps.   9. Consult a Specialist    The world of admissions exams can be overwhelming for anyone, especially for parents of children with disabilities that impair learning. There are several ways to ensure a positive test-taking experience for your child, and there’s no reason you need to go through this alone.   Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D ., is a specialist in psychological testing and an expert in child psychology and educational psychology. Dr. Shinn specializes in helping parents understand the special education processes conducted by schools and empowering them to become informed advocates for their children. Whether you’re wondering if your child is eligible for support or you’re concerned that your school isn’t meeting the needs of your child, Dr. Shinn can help.      
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Shinn.  
       Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life:      

 
   
     
      
          
     

     

       

        
          

            

          

            
               

                 
                   First Name 
                   
                 

                 
                   Last Name 
                   
                 

               
            

          
        

        

          
             
               Email Address 
               
             
          

        

          

        

       

       
            Sign Up    
       

     

    
        We respect your privacy.  
    

     Thank you! 
      

   

 
       
     Y.on("domready", function(){
     Y.all('input[name="lname"]').setAttribute("value", "x");
     });
            Found this article helpful?     Rate and review us on Google and Yelp               

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism, Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams). See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a   call   and we will guide you.  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.      
  
       References:   American College Testing (2018). National vs. Special: Which Type of Learner Support to Select. ACT.org Retrieved online:  https://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/Accommodations-National-Special.pdf  American College Testing (2018). Requesting Accommodations and English Learner Supports. ACT.org. Retrieved online:  https://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/Accommodations-Infographic-Student.pdf   College Board (2018). Services for Students with Disabilities. CollegeBoard.org. Retrieved online:https://www.collegeboard.org/students-with-disabilities  College Board (2018). Teacher Survey. CollegeBoard.org. Retrieved online: https://www.collegeboard.org/pdf/ssd/ssd-teacher-survey.pdf   How to Cite This Blog Article:   Shinn, M.M. (2018). Accommodations for College Entrance Exams: What Parents Need to Know.    Psychologically Speaking .  [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/does-my-child-need-accommodations-for-the-sat-act

Accommodations for College Entrance Exams: What Parents Need to Know  

If you’re the parent of a high-schooler, you know the pressure surrounding your kid’s performance on the “big kahuna tests.” You know, the SAT’s, PSAT’s, ACT’s, AP exams, and so on. With graduation approaching, those scores hold a lot of power in proving your child has what it takes to succeed in college. If your child has a disability that affects their learning, the stress of these impending exams can feel especially overwhelming. You know your child’s potential and you don’t want their challenges holding them back from success.