Posts Tagged ‘academic tips’

Trying to figure out… Dealing with Academic Struggles

Friday, July 5th, 2019

Honestly, looking back at my first two years of college I realized there were steps I wish I was able to take if I had known them and had the time to minimize some of the struggles I already faced in the academic sphere. The day before my first day of college, I received news that my cousin’s diagnosis was terminal. In the coming weeks, I was required to engage in classroom discussions, socialize with others all the while I was hearing the shortening timeline of my cousin’s life. I was emotionally drained, but I used my school work as a distraction to get through the reality of what her death meant to me and my family. I was lucky that the first semester was an easy and non-challenging classload. Surprisingly, I ended up doing really well.

The second semester of freshman year, my uncle passed away suddenly. For me, it was a hard shock to my system. He is part of the reason I am on the path to becoming a counselor. In fact, my college application essay was about him. To say I was shattered to hear another person I loved passed away doesn’t really capture how I felt. But I dealt with the brokenness and lack of hope in an unhealthy way; I again delved deeper into coursework.

When fall semester sophomore year rolled around, I was not prepared for how the grief and loss would hit me with my cousin’s death anniversary. I started off that semester pretending I was okay and able to handle it, but my grades gave me my reality check. I was barely passing exams and completing assignments. That’s when I started to register my thoughts: I did not want to show up to class or hear what my professors had to say. When I got my grades for that semester, I passed by a narrow margin a course required for my major. 

During winter break, I knew that simply getting a head start on tasks would help me in the future. I joined a research team. I emailed a bunch of professors off my program site and waited for responses. I eventually got one and found a stable circle of people to interact with in my academic life. The stability of having people who I could talk to about coursework, professors and potentially personal matters became a game changer. 

Looking back I wish someone would’ve given me the advice my advisor gave me when I interviewed her about this post. She said you have to self-advocate from the beginning of your college experience to build a foundation to fall back on whenever you need it.

From my conversation with my academic advisor Amanda Holda, she wanted students to keep the following in mind before they get to a point where they can’t anymore with academics:

From NYU Steinhardt: Applied Psych Advisor Page

  • Make sure you build support systems in your academic world from the beginning even if its informal networks like fellow club members & co-workers
  • Make it a habit to reach out to those individuals you feel comfortable with and start building a relationship with your advisors
    • Take it from academic advisor Amanda Holda. She stated that it’s their role on campus to be students’ support systems, so utilize them. They may not have the answers, but they can definitely guide you where you want and need to go. 
  • Be open to making connections (Professors probably aren’t going to be the main connection)


If there is one thing you should take away from this piece, I want it to be an urgency to help yourself when you are in a healthy positive state rather than stuck in a tragedy forced to make changes. Start easy with email exchanges and build to face to face meetups with individuals. With Professors, say hi before and/or after class eventually, start going to Professors’ office hours to talk. 

If you are someone who started off college without having time to build connections, remember “it is your right to reach out and ask questions.” Work to overcome the internal messaging that you have about connecting with staff and faculty. Take care of yourself and allow faculty and staff the opportunity to support you. They won’t know what’s going on without you telling them!


By Sanjidah Chowdhury

Sanjidah is a rising senior at NYU Steinhardt majoring in applied psychology. She aspires to become a mental health counselor to understand intergenerational dynamics and better serve the needs of women, Muslims, and the South Asian community. She currently works with NYU’s Office of Alumni Relations. Throughout the academic year, she works on a research team under Professor Niobe Way and volunteers for Nordoff -Robbins Center for Music Therapy. Most of the time you can find Sanjidah with her nose in a book and music blasting through her headphones. 

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


Winning Over Your Professors

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

In college, we all realize that there is no one way to eat, work, learn, or live. This principle extends beyond just student life: there is also no one way to teach. Just like everyone else, professors come in all different shapes and sizes–and for this reason, so do college courses. If you want to find good personal study habits, you have to first understand as much as you can about the person who decides what you have to study. Here are some tips to help you choose the right professors, and, when the time comes, impress them!

Choosing a Professor
Have high expectations for what you can accomplish in a class. If you can handle being challenged (and I’ll bet you can), choose professors with a reputation for expecting a lot of their students. It isn’t hard to figure out which professors these will be–lots of us already know about sites like that give us students the opportunity to anonymously praise our professors or similarly take our anger out on our keyboards in a show of a semester’s worth of pent up frustration. When you read these reviews or even when you hear about a professor from a friend, take everything with a grain of salt. You are different from everyone else: don’t lose sight of the kind of student you are or the kind of student you aspire to be when you consider others’ opinions. If you want better study habits, a great way to get them is to choose a professor who has a reputation for encouraging learning in a way that works for you–and that means not taking the easy way out.

Making the Impression
If you’ve already chosen the best professors for yourself, or at least tried to, then winning them over shouldn’t be hard! It will, however, take some planning and thoughtfulness. Like I said, all professors are different, but it generally takes a just little more than turning on the charm to show them you’re serious about their classes. I like to set small rules (small enough that I know I can keep them up all semester) that will help me show my professor my best self. For starters, if technology is allowed in class but not encouraged, I recommend you stay away from it. It will set you apart from everybody else in the class and, even if you don’t believe it, actually help you pay attention. And regardless when you actually start assignments (though you can read last week’s post for some tips on planning ahead), always read the handout explaining the assignment on the first day you get it. It only takes a few minutes and it spares you the dreaded possible fate of starting an assignment at the last minute and realizing you’re doomed by unclear instructions.

If you read all instructions as soon as possible, go out of your way to ask early questions! Nothing too obvious, but if you email your professor early on to ask advice about an idea for an assignment, they will notice your dedication and respect for their opinion. This also goes a long way to help you get your name recognized and get face time with your professor–don’t underestimate how important this can be. It’s the only way to avoid being just another face in a large class.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be ready to impress and finally kick the stress. Whether you’re enrolling in next semester’s classes soon or you’re drowning in midterms for classes you wish you’d never chosen, keep this advice in mind to boost your grade and your morale.

By Madeleine Fleming

Madeleine Fleming is a Campus Clipper publishing intern and a rising sophomore at NYU.  A lover of reading, writing, and learning in every way possible, Madeleine is excited to be writing about college study habits for the Campus Clipper. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services. 

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.