Academic stress and struggles could include usual or upsetting changes in one’s academic life. Maybe you or a friend are having trouble getting motivated to go to class, completing assignments, or remembering what was read while still reading. Maybe you notice that you or a friend are having more difficulty writing papers, or studying for a particular topic than usual. These are all examples of academic struggles that place a lot of stress on all aspects of student life. Academic stress often leads to text anxiety, procrastination, and even depression, and generalized anxiety, which in turn lead to a decrease in grades, added stress.
How to help a friend
Helping a friend improve their academics can be a touchy subject, but it is worth bringing up! Many students who are struggling get discouraged easily because they feel that no one cares and no one can help them. You can be the one to help change this perception.
- Share your own challenges, let them know they are not alone. Talk about times that you struggled as well.
- Reference resources that you have found to be useful and accessible. Encourage your friend to use them!
- If there is a website, email/IM/facebook it to them so they can easily go back to it if they want to later.
- If it is a review session, offer to go with them and work it into social/study plans
- Share study strategies that have worked for you, invite them to come study with you.
- If they don’t believe they can achieve something, point out to them similar things they have worked hard at and succeeded in, in the past.
- Be gentle in your suggestions — sometimes your friends are not in a place to be able to accept your help. That is okay. Remind them that you are there for them, that you care.