UT resources provide stress relief, aid productivity

Megan Hix

While most students are familiar with the cramming and stress of finals or midterms, few capitalize on the fresh start offered each time a new semester rolls around. This spring, ditch the bad habits by taking advantage of these UT resources for a productive, stress-free semester.

One major component of a successful semester is learning to manage time early on, Sanger Learning Center director Michelle Jewell said. Before getting weighed down by your assignments, Jewell said it’s important to get organized.

“There’s not a single person who doesn’t struggle to make enough time,” Jewell said. “Read your syllabi, make a deadline calendar, arrange when your projects are due, reverse engineer how many hours you’ll have to put in to meet deadlines — no one should write a paper overnight.”

Sanger Learning Center offers workshops on everything from time management and study techniques to GRE prep classes. This semester, Jewell said workshops on succeeding in online classes will be added to the mix. Workshops and tutoring begin Jan. 25.

“Talk to your professor about your first assignments if you don’t know what they mean [on the syllabus],” Jewell said. “The worst thing you can do in those early weeks is be shy about asking for help or refreshing yourself on
the basics.”

UT career counselor Lynn Chang said it’s never too early in one’s college career to utilize the University’s career services. Specialists can help answer questions about what careers fit each major and even help secure first jobs for those about to graduate.

“The most important thing to do is explore, explore, explore beyond your major,” Chang said. “If you’re interested in one thing, get really involved in that one thing. That means not just classes but maybe joining an organization or getting involved in the community. Think about how to use your time to highlight who you are.”

Whether students are looking for a part-time job or need help polishing a resume, Chang said UT  offers forms of help, such as job and internship database hireutexas.edu or resume workshops and mock interview setups.

Katy Redd, the assistant director for prevention and outreach at UT’s Counseling and Mental Health Center, said that with so much going on in students’ lives, it’s crucial to manage stress and the beginning of the semester is a perfect time to create healthy habits.

“One of the great things about being in an academic environment is that you get a fresh start twice a year,” Redd said. “Getting enough sleep is a really good habit to start building now, really setting a fairly regular sleep schedule and really thinking about how you’re managing and structuring time.”

Redd also recommends students include things such as exercise and social interactions in their schedules to help reduce stress. She said the CMHC offers workshops and therapy groups for those interested in learning more about stress management, as well as the Mind Body Lab, where students can relax or learn deep breathing techniques.