Stressed Out Students | Mercier Wellness & Consulting

Its 4 am and you have been at your desk for six hours with little show except for your name, date, and a blinking cursor. The paper is due at 8am. “I’ll never get this done. It’s so f*****g hard!” Then you get angry and lash out at your roommate while he’s watching reruns of I Love Lucy (what else is on at 4am?). You think to yourself, “Maybe I should drop out.”

My firs year of college was the same way (minus the roommate). After high school, I had very little desire to go to college (and by little I mean absolutely none). I had just started working at a local 7-Eleven part-time and would soon be working full-time as a shift manager (cha ching!). My plan was to work that gig and load up on as much strawberry and grape slurpee as possible and then a year or two later join the Navy.

So my mother vetoed my master plan and forced me to enroll in classes at a local college. I failed just about every class I took that year except for Speech(good times). But it was not a complete waste. Apart from mastering eye contact and voice projection, I was able to learn a few things that you may find useful.

  1. Prioritize – A lot of my student’s lead very busy lives. While some of the things that occupy their time are include work and family, others are busy doing nothing. The time you spend in a classroom is the bare minimum required to do well. You must set aside time to study, write, go to the lab, and more. That might mean skipping that party Saturday night or cutting back on your hours at work. These are not always easy decisions, but they must be made.
  2. Plan – In every class you take, you are given a syllabus. Use it (but not for making paper airplanes). Your professor has spent hours preparing it with assignments, readings, due dates, rubrics, and more; only for you to lose it in the abyss you call your backpack. A syllabus is a great tool for planning your study time and your free time.
  3. Speak up – Too many students suffer in silence. My problem wasn’t that I was a bad student. As a matter of fact, I showed up for every class on time and did all the work. However, I just wasn’t getting it. The worse part was I said nothing. There are resources available such as counselors and advisors. Don’t wait until it’s too late; use them.

Today I am wrapping up my PhD and teaching undergrad and graduate students. It’s not because I’m a genius, although I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express. It’s all because I was able to get control of my studies. Success, in addition to hard work, requires a lot of planning. Unfortunately, that is usually where most people mess up. They failed to plan appropriately, if at all. College can be quite overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.
Mercier (92 of 158)Jameson is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and professor in Fort Lauderdale, FL. He works with families and individuals in the areas of self-improvement, relationships, and more. Jameson also consults with businesses and organizations seeking to improve employee relationships and build team morale. For more info, visit or email You can also follow us of Facebook at Mercier Wellness & Consulting or via Twitter@JamesonMercier.

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