At some point in your academic career, you are likely to experience test anxiety. Below are some tips for reducing feelings of panic and anxiety and improving your testing performance:

Dealing with the Fear Response:
It’s normal to connect a feeling of fear with an event. To deal with your fear, sometimes it helps to practice being in the testing situation.

  1. Practice your relaxed breathing.
  2. Make a list of three events that cause fear when you are taking a test and then rank these events from what causes the most fear down to what causes the least fear.
  3. Practice relaxed breathing.
  4. Imagine event #3. If you feel fearful, turn off the mental picture and go back to breathing.
  5. Once you’ve successfully pictured Event #3 without panic, move on to the next item.

By repeatedly putting yourself in the testing position and experiencing a comfortable feeling, you are desensitizing yourself to those bad feelings.

10 Test Taking Tips

General :

  • Mark and return to more difficult questions. Don’t waste time and increase your anxiety.
  • Allow more time for questions worth more points
  • Break down difficult questions into manageable parts and rephrase them in your own words.

Multiple Choice:

  • Beware of absolute terms (e.g., always, never, every).
  • Eliminate obviously wrong choices, then eliminate implausible or unlikely choices

Essay:

  • Start with the easiest question. Be sure to get those points.
  • Briefly outline the major points you want to discuss before writing your essay.
  • Use facts and specific examples to support your answers.

Math:

  • Try substituting one of the middle range responses for the unknown in the problem.
  • Simple numbers can sometimes be substituted for more complex ones to give an indication of a “ballpark” answer
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As the end of the semester grows closer, you may find yourself daydreaming of summer vacation, nights out with friends and day trips to the beach. Maybe you have a new, exciting job to look forward to, or perhaps you are returning home to spend time with your family.  Whatever your summer plans, it is an exciting time of year. Yet, the only thing standing between you and break… are finals. Having strong motivation and focus is key to finish the spring semester strong!  But, how are you expected to take tests, stayed motivated and write papers when it is festival season in New Orleans and there are crawfish boils at the fly?!  Keep reading for some tip and tricks to help you perform at your best during the last the few weeks of spring semester 2017!

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1. What’s your perfect storm?

Understand your stressors! If you know that cramming for a big exam makes you extremely nervous, utilize time effectively! Studying for shorter amounts of time over a longer period could help improve your studying and focus.

 

2. Where you at?

   Create the ultimate study space! If you feel distracted in you room, study in the library! If you feel that you cannot get work done in a group, book a private study room! Wit or without music, creating a comfortable environment will give you optimum results.

 

3. Workshops!!!

   The UCC is offering a few free workshops to aid the Loyno community in dealing with the stress of finals, test anxiety, motivation, and focus! Drop by Marquette 112 on the following days to get some good advice, take a break and recharge during finals!

 Thursday, April 20th  12:30-1:30

       ~Improving Focus and Motivation!

   Tuesday, April  25th  12:30-1:30

   Thursday, April 27th  12:30-1:30

       ~Test Anxiety Drop-Ins!

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Allergies can present anytime in a person’s life, especially for people who are new to our great city. Many people first experience seasonal allergies when they are young adults. New Orleans has been labeled as one of the worst cities for seasonal and outdoor allergies. In fact, the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America has ranked New Orleans in the top 15 worst cities nationally for seasonal and outdoor allergies. One of the reasons is our longer and stronger allergy season, which pretty much extends year round.

 

Symptoms of seasonal allergies can often mimic the common cold or flu. These can include:

• Stuffy nose, runny nose, sneezing

• Itchy or red eyes

• Sore throat, cough, itchy throat or ears

• Waking up at night or trouble sleeping, which can lead to feeling tired during the day

 

The most common causes of seasonal allergies are:

• Pollens from trees, grasses or weeds

• Mold spores which grow when the weather is humid, wet or damp

 

The symptoms of allergies occur when a person with seasonal allergies breathes in these substances, and the immune system acts as if the substance is harmful to the body. Enjoying our nice NOLA weather and festival fun may contribute to these symptoms. Don’t let allergies slow you down!

If you feel like you may be struggling with allergies, there are many different treatment options for you. You can visit Student Health Services (SHS) for more information, evaluation, and treatment of your symptoms. We can also help with a referral to an allergist if needed. SHS is located in the basement of the Danna Student Center or call 504.865.3326.

 

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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month! Loyola will participate by holding Sexual Assault Awareness Week with several activities including signing petitions and postcards to encourage support of Violence Against Women Act funding, a free self-defense class, and the opportunity to sign It’s On Us pledges and share your picture to show support!

On the national level, the focus of SAAM this year is “Believe Survivors Change the Culture.” Prevention efforts are important; however, we also need to work on how we respond when sexual assault happens. The first disclosure is critical. Often survivors are unsure who to tell and choose someone they feel they can trust. If the reaction is negative, they feel ashamed and are less likely to seek help or tell others because they fear further judgment or blame. They are also more likely to experience depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and substance abuse than survivors who feel supported.

What to do if someone discloses sexual assault to you:

  1. Remain calm. Sexual assault is a terrible thing and it is okay to react with concern for the survivor, however, it is also important to remain calm and keep the focus on them and their feelings.
  2. Don’t assume they’ve told others about the assault. Even if it happened a long time ago, you may be the first person they have chosen to tell about what happened to them.
  3. Don’t try to “fix it.” You can’t fix the situation or make things right or take away their pain. However, you can respond in a caring manner. Questions like “what do you need right now?” and “how can I help?” are a good place to start.
  4. Don’t ask too many detail questions. You are not an investigator. Allow the survivor the space to tell you what they want without the pressure to talk about details that are unnecessary. Additionally, questions about details can sometimes make survivors feel like they are being judged.
  5. Don’t lie about reporting. Title IX requires that non-confidential sources and CSAs report incidences of sexual violence that take place on and around campus. If you are a responsible reporter and a survivor tells you about a reportable assault, be honest with them and explain your obligations and the process. If you do not tell them or lie about reporting, they may feel betrayed.
  6. Don’t push them to report or press charges. There are many barriers to reporting sexual assault but beyond all of the reasons a survivor may not want to report, they should be empowered to make the decision that is best for themselves, not the decision you think is best.
  7. Refer them to resources. This includes on-campus resources such as the UCC, University Ministry, LUPD, The Advocates Initiative, and the Women’s Resource Center; as well as off-campus resources such as Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response (STAR) and the SAFE Program at University Medical Center for sexual assault exams. For more information about resources, visit: http://studentaffairs.loyno.edu/counseling/sexual-assault
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For the week of Compassionate Campus, we spend time focused on acts of kindness and compassionate in our everyday lives. Take some time this week to notice the daily acts of compassion occurring all around you, and to make a conscious effort to be more compassionate in your own life.

Not sure where to start? Below are some resources:

Compassionate Campus 2016 

Self-Compassion Exercises

Random Acts of Kindness

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The pressure to “look” right can become overwhelming. Being constantly worried about if you look good, if you’re too skinny, too fat if society accepts your body, is exhausting. Why do we want to be in someone else’s body? What about our own body can we not love? The National Eating Disorder Association reports that 20 million women and 10 million men in the United States suffer from an eating disorder at some time in their life. People of color and LGBTQIA+ people are at a higher risk of developing an eating disorder.
On February 6th, Loyola will begin a week-long celebration and journey about loving your body. We strive to celebrate ALL bodies at Loyola; bodies of all colors, sexes, religions, orientations and shapes. Every individual on this campus is beautiful and unique, which is what makes Loyola New Orleans so special.
Special events will be held all over campus from February 6th-10th to engage the Loyno community in loving and celebration our bodies! Post a selfie and use the hashtag #mybodyis to show your love and support for your body and the bodies of your peers. As Lady Gaga says, “We were born this way” and we should celebrate that!
#mybodyis

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Welcome back to campus for the spring 2017 semester!  I just love the start of a new year to set new habits, explore new horizons, and make progress toward new goals.  In this line of thinking, you might want to consider joining a group at the UCC.  Group counseling can be a supplement to individual counseling or it can be an alternative option to individual counseling.  This spring, the UCC is offering the following—

  • Anxiety Management Workshops
    • Every Tuesday, starting January 31, 12:30-1:30pm, Student Success Center (Marquette 112)
    • Workshop descriptions:
      • Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction
      • Rewiring Your Anxious Brain
      • Progressive Muscle Relaxation
      • Self-Care & Stress Management
  • Sexual Assault Survivors Group
  • Grief Processing group

For more information about group counseling in general or any of the groups above, please call the UCC at (504) 865-3835 or visit our website at http://studentaffairs.loyno.edu/counseling.

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The holiday season is quickly approaching. Making the right decisions about healthy eating may become increasingly more difficult. While families gather to celebrate and spend time together, there will be plenty of food. Choosing the right foods is important in enjoying the season without putting on extra pounds. Here are some simple ways you and your family can eat healthy:

• Get plenty of rest before the party. Experts recommend getting at least seven hours of sleep daily. Studies have found that adults ate about an extra 300 calories and tended to choose higher-fat, higher-calorie foods when they were not well rested.

• Bring a healthy dish. This will ensure that there is at least one healthy choice at your gathering.

• Plan before you eat. Check out all food options on arrival and develop a plan that will allow you to sample foods while keeping previously developed good eating habits.

• Don’t arrive on an empty stomach. Don’t skip breakfast or lunch. Eat small healthy portions during those meals.

• Choose your appetizers wisely. Research suggests that most people consume larger amounts of the foods they eat first. Start with a low calorie appetizer. Try fresh vegetables with hummus instead of chips and creamy dip.

• Choose healthier options. Pick foods like turkey or chicken breast, plain potatoes or rice, salad, steamed vegetables, or fresh fruit. Try to limit higher calorie foods such as beef, pie, cake, stuffing, gravy, bread pudding, eggnog, or candy.

• Focus on people, not the food. Spend time socializing, making new acquaintances, and reminiscing with old friends.

• Don’t drink your calories. Limit seasonal drinks that may have a lot of added sugar and alcohol.

• Select small portions. Use smaller appetizer plates instead of dinner plates.

• Eat slowly. Take smaller bites and chew slowly.

• Drink plenty of water.

• Leave the table when you are done. Offer to help with the dishes, clear the table or take a walk.

• Use the buddy system. By splitting a dessert with someone, you can cut the calories and fat in half and avoid being wasteful.

• Plan time for exercise. Exercise helps relieve holiday stress and prevent weight gain. Try 10-15 minute brisk walks twice a day.

Happy Holidays! Enjoy your time with friends and family and be safe!

 

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With finals season approaching fast, you’ve probably got a whole lot of studying in your future. Impending exams can be overwhelming, no matter how early you start preparing. Take heart though: There are seriously easy ways to make all that reviewing less agonizing, and if you play your cards right, way more effective. Try these simple study tips and see what works for you.
Get a little loud: A big part of studying is just reading: finally reading that chapter you skipped, re-reading the material you felt shakiest on, reading over the notes you took months ago…no wonder your eyes tend to glaze over before long. To prevent entering a trance-like state where you’re reading without really processing, start reading out loud. It’s one of the oldest and lo-fi study hacks, but also one of the most effective, as it forces you to focus on every word. If that starts to get too easy, read upside down. Yes, turn your notes or book upside down and try to read it that way. It’ll slow you down, but you’ll actually concentrate on what you’re reading, not all the other things fighting for your brain’s attention.
Or listen in: For those moments when you can’t conceivably have your nose stuck in a book—while you’re walking, driving, exercising, folding laundry, whatever—consider listening to a recording that compliments your studying. Whether you have recordings of your professor’s lectures, found a podcast on the topic, or taped yourself reading over your notes, plug in your earbuds and listen. This is especially helpful for auditory learners who do best when they hear information.
App-ly yourself: There are tons of apps out there that can assist with optimizing your studying, and many are either free or pretty cheap. Reference apps like National Geographic’s world atlas or a mobile periodic table are great for studying, and there are even apps to replace graphing calculators and paper flashcards. If you’re a data junkie, try Study Checker, which tracks your study habits and reveals the trends, so you can see where you can increase your efficiency.
Rewards yourself: How do you stay motivated when you’re not in the mood to study? It’s unrealistic to think you’ll be able to review non-stop, so build in breaks as rewards. This has a whole bunch of benefits. Chunking your review will make the material more digestible, you’ll be more driven to get things done since there’s a (temporary) reprieve in sight, and your brain will benefit from the refresh. Ultimately, it’s all about hacking your brain a little bit. When you’re deep in a studying haze, you may be so eager to escape that you find yourself making strange bargains, such as getting to look at Instagram for five whole minutes if you can finish the next chapter of your reading.
Embrace the theory of (study) evolution: When you try a new study method, evaluate how well it worked afterwards, and keep up the habits that result in success (and get rid of the ones that don’t). Put simply, you have to do what works for you, and you may need to experiment with many different methods before reaching your study sweet spot. Some people insist that listening to music helps them study, while others think it’s a distraction. A lot of people will tell you not to study in bed, but other people swear by it. You may even find that certain tactics are better for certain subjects. Don’t be afraid to switch things up!
Also, on12/12/16 at 6:00 p.m. try “Destress with the Health Advocates” in the Peace Quad —Get tips on how to manage your stress, blow bubbles, breathe, etc.

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Dear Students,

With the approaching Thanksgiving holiday, now is a good time to think about our health and wellbeing. If you do not have health insurance or are uninsured in the state of Louisiana, it may be beneficial to look into options at healthcare.gov. Open enrollment started November 1st and ends December 15th with coverage beginning January 1, 2017. If you are insured it may be helpful to look into your out-of-state coverage and ensure that you understand how to use your insurance in New Orleans. If you are going home for Thanksgiving, this may be a good time to bring this up with your parents.

This part of the semester can prove to be increasingly stressful. Between midterms, finals, possible homesickness, and changing weather – you may be feeling anxious or overwhelmed. Another stressor may be the climate of the election this year and there may be the urge to discuss politics over break. Keep these conversations civil and recognize that attempting to persuade or defend your position to your family or friends will likely not be productive and may cause unneeded tension. Recognize that every one has differing opinions and are as likely to change their stance, as you are yours. Remember, there are many, many other things to talk about and the holidays should bring people together.

If you feel like you are having trouble adjusting or are feeling anxious or depressed, feel free to visit the University Counseling Center. The UCC provides fully confidential counseling, free of charge, to all currently enrolled Loyola students. The UCC also offers group counseling, currently there are three groups: Grief Processing group, Anxiety Management Workshop Series, and Sexual Assault Survivors group. The UCC provides a case manager to assist students in applying for healthcare and finding providers off campus. We are open M-F from 8:30am – 4:45pm, the UCC also offers a Counselor on Call 24/7, 365 days/year. If it is after hours please call the UCC at (504) 865-3835 and press 1 to speak to a counselor. Please visit the website or call (504) 865-3835 during regular business hours for more information about the UCC:

http://studentaffairs.loyno.edu/counseling

Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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