The Pop-up Against Procrastination invited Concordia students to enjoy a study break with coffee, food and pet therapy. Photo by Kirubel Mehari.
Concordia Student Success Centre pop-up offers tips and support for students during finals
Every student is likely guilty of procrastination. Despite having too much work and not enough time, it’s not uncommon for students to find themselves putting off assignments and studying, particularly at this point in the semester. With that in mind, Concordia’s Student Success Centre organized a “Pop-up Against Procrastination” on March 28.
Strategically set up in the LB atrium, students on their way to the library could swing by for free sandwiches, popcorn and coffee. The event also provided students with support, tips and services to help them avoid procrastinating. The pop-up was divided into three types of stations designed to tackle different factors of procrastination. Several stations were geared toward learning support services, such as the writing assistant and math tutoring services offered year-round by the Student Success Centre, as well as the various research tools and services provided by the university libraries.
“We help students develop the skills they need to edit their own papers,” said writing assistant Kelly Routly, who specified that “one thing we don’t do is edit and proofread.” Essay writing can be a long, complicated process that requires time. Writing assistants at the Student Success Centre help students with this process by teaching them how to spot mistakes on their own. “You’ll spot mistakes by reading your essay out loud,” advised writing assistant Cindy Hanna. “It’s very helpful.”
Writing assistants like Hanna can assist students with the brainstorming process and teach them how to structure and organize their essays. The centre also offers group conversation sessions in English and French to help students improve their language skills. Routly suggested students take the time to write two drafts of their essay. “A lot of students will try to make their first attempt be the final draft, but it helps to go over it to produce a final draft from that first, initial draft,” she said.
Other learning support stations at the pop-up offered smart study strategies and a time management checkup. Free monthly and daily planners, as well as blank checklists, were available for students to help them prepare for final exams. Stationed at the time management booth, Charles Procee, a liaison for the Student Success Centre, said the trick to following a study schedule is to treat it like a guideline rather than a “shackle.”
“Life happens,” Procee said. “Let the study schedule guide your day, not dominate it.” A study schedule is not effective, he added, if students are being too strict about it and stressing themselves out. It’s all about being realistic when planning a study day; Procee advises students aim to complete 80 per cent of their study goal.
The pop-up also featured stations to help students lower their stress levels. Counsellors were available to speak with students about their mental wellbeing, and a table was set up with mandalas and coloured pencils to encourage therapeutic colouring. At his own station, a Bernese mountain therapy dog named Café was surrounded by smiling students eager to pet him and take photos.
Students could have their questions answered by academic advisors, career counsellors and librarian staff at the planning assistance stations. According to business librarian Melissa Rivosecchi, knowing how to use the research tools available on the library’s website or on-site allows students to be much more efficient and successful in their research. This can also encourage students to avoid procrastinating.
Rivosecchi said some students don’t know that the university library databases are divided by subject, or that they can widen their research using Boolean operators. “Students may not know that the library website also has many citation guides that have detailed explanations,” she added.
Here are a few tips from the Student Success Centre to avoid procrastination:
- Start with the smaller tasks that don’t require too much effort
- Treat your study blocks like a game; try to finish each task within a set time limit
- Tell others about the specific tasks you’re working on; this will motivate you to complete them
- Schedule time to relax and breathe; and remember, you can do it!
The “sharing wall” invited students to write tips and motivational notes for their peers.
- “Take food breaks”
- “Don’t forget to treat yourself”
- “You got it, dude!”
- “It’s never too soon to begin!”