BYU workshops help students succeed

Students attend a success workshop in the Career Center, where valuable study skills are taught such as time management, note taking and test preparation. (Whitney Tibbits)
Students attend a success workshop in the Career Center, where valuable study skills are taught such as time management, note taking and test preparation. (Whitney Tibbits)

A time management workshop helped Zayne Callahan successfully balance 15 credits, nearly 20 hours of work, three hours of volunteer work and active involvement in the BYU Chinese Club and the Chinese Student and Scholar Association.

“(The workshop) helped me … see where my priorities are and realize that I can’t do everything,” Callahan said. “Or (at least) I can’t do everything well … I can do some things well.” Callahan is a sophomore studying physiology and developmental biology and teaches workshops at the BYU Career Center regularly.

Free workshops for student success are offered almost daily in the Wilkinson Center. The Career and Academic Success Center has seven workshops that do exactly what its name says: offer tools for career and academic success.

Here is a preview of the Career Center’s academic and life skills workshops.

1. Memory

Incorporating three types of learning methods — visual, auditory and kinesthetic — into studying can help students remember more.

“Remembering isn’t as dependent on time as it is on effort,” senior Amanda Quebbeman taught in a recent memory workshop. Quebbeman is studying humanities and works for the Career Center.

Finding ways to make things meaningful, organizing terms or concepts by patterns or using acronyms are tools students can use to help them tap into their long-term memory.

2. Listening and note-taking

The Career Center teaches active listening by the acronym TQLR: tune in, question, listen and review. Active note-taking helps students improve their listening by labeling, using white space, formatting and abbreviating.

Removing internal and external distractions during class can help students listen more effectively. “If you don’t know what you’re listening for … it makes it harder,” Quebbeman said.

3. Communicating

Communicating is also a life skills workshop, consisting of listening and speaking. Speaking tips include being clear, using “I” messages (rather than “you” statements that assume someone else’s feelings), being confident in one’s emotions and not fearing others’ reactions. Listening tips include using silence when necessary, commenting, asking questions and clarifying.

4. Test preparation

Students often have difficulty taking tests because of stress, anxiety, lack of preparation or poor test-taking methods. The Career Center recommends that students prepare mentally, emotionally and physically.

The Career Center teaches students to take mental breaks to retain more information when studying. Leaving time to relax before diving into a test can help students perform better. Eating healthy meals throughout the day and drinking plenty of water may ensure proper brain functioning.

The BYU Testing Center suggests bringing a light jacket or earplugs in case the testing site gets chilly or noisy.

5. Textbook comprehension

The Career Center focuses on a strategic reading process called the “SQ4R method”: survey, question, read, recite, review and reflect.

6. Stress management

Useful not just for school, stress management is also a life skill. The Career Center gives four tips: change the cause of stress, develop coping skills, manage the mind and lead a balanced lifestyle.

Creating a balanced lifestyle might include eating nutritious meals, exercising, relaxing and developing creative hobbies or outlets.

7. Time management

Prioritizing is crucial to balancing classes, work, church, family life and social life. The Career Center’s Three D’s help students focus on what is most important: decide, determine, develop. “Balance … that’s one of the things that all students have to try to figure out,” Callahan said.

All of the workshops are student-taught and held Monday–Friday in Room 2590 WSC.

The monthly workshop schedule and printable summaries of each workshop are available on the Career and Academic Success Center website.

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