Making the most of the spring semester

Reanna Comiso, Features Editor

Photo of counselor Dennis Emano by Hannah Davis

With the new semester already roaring at full speed it is best to start preparing early. If you are anything like most students, though, you waited until the last minute to check what textbooks you needed, where you classroom is, and even what classes you actually signed up for. Have no fear.

Despite that fact that the responsibility that comes with being a college student is greater than ever, students at the College of DuPage do not need to compromise their well-being to have a successful semester. COD offers many valuable resources to ensure that all students have a chance to reach their goals.

For all students, old and new, one of the best options for success is to take advantage of the Learning Commons. The Learning Commons offers free tutoring for all subject matter: math, science, reading, writing, and just about every main subject area that the school offers.

Tutors at the Learning Commons can range from students at the college to faculty with graduate degrees, both offering many valuable tips to students. Where the faculty tutors can give pristine academic help, the student tutors can provide their own study tips on how to do well in the classes the college offers. Dennis Emano, a counselor at the college, says, “Students really need to take advantage of that more”.

Emano suggests that organization is something that all students need to focus on. “I think that students need to think in terms of a week, in terms of a month, as well as a day”, says Emano. He recommends a daily organizer to ensure that they are aware of when things are due, when responsibilities are taking place, and just how much time that students actually have to put towards their school work and also their physical well being.

Utilizing a planner can allow students can plan out the time when they are sleeping, eating, commuting and exercising, then allowing students to figure out the time that they have left over to put in that work for school.

While attending tutoring sessions can help with students that are struggling with certain subject areas, keeping a focus on physical health can help ensure that time in the classroom is spent productively. It can help students to be more energized and engaged in discussion, promoting a greater success in the class overall.

“As a counselor, I always talk about self-care, especially making sure you sleep enough, making sure that you are eating well, and making sure that you have some sort of physical activity”, says Emano, “that really helps with focusing, concentration, energy level, and mood regulation”.

For students who do tend to get become increasingly stressed during the school year, Emano shares some of his tips to minimize tension: be realistic with your limitations, develop a well-balanced schedule that leaves time for fun and relaxations, develop healthy exercise and sleep patterns, practice mindfulness and meditation and talking to others when problems arise.

The college offers a free fitness center for full-time students as well as several physical education classes, which can make fitting in regular exercise easier for students. A meditation group is also offered to all students and faculty, taking place every Wednesday from 11am to 12pm in the meditation room located in the Berg Instructional Center.

Over 80 clubs and organizations are offered to students, including cultural and ethnic clubs, social and academic clubs, political advocacy clubs, and honor societies. Partaking in clubs is a great way for new and returning students to gain leadership skills, responsibility, and meet new people with a similar interests.

Counseling and advising often holds workshops to help students with frequent student needs, such as providing information on transferring and career exploration. Personalized advising sessions are also available to all students, though Emano says that it is better to not procrastinate when making appointments.