The hardest thing about communicating with prospective students about college and Skidmore is discussing tests scores and grades. No, Skidmore is certainly not the easiest school to get accepted to but its important to note that the admissions counselors want more than good numbers. They understand that you are more than just a test score and grade. You are a teen with interests, passions, and even stressors.
I remember how stressful it was to be 16, to deal with the everyday stresses of being 16 topped with the stress of the darn SATs and ACTs. And to test what? Intelligence? Debatable. Test taking skills? Sounds more like it. Back when I was in High School it seemed that most of the students who did extremely well were the students who had been getting SAT/ ACT tutoring for years. And let’s not get into how expensive that can be. I am not saying there is anything wrong with taking advantage of the opportunity to have a tutor or take classes on how to take the SATs and ACTs. I am also not saying that one should not study. I am just stressing that there is more than numbers and you shouldn’t pull your hair out when it comes to test scores and grades. Make sure to let that “more than numbers” part of you shine. Schools like Skidmore that recognize well rounded students make great students will take into consideration the classes you have taken (when looking over grades), the extra- curricular’s, and the “it” thing about you and taking the time to interview is the perfect opportunity for you to show off that “it” thing. So please do not freak out if you do not get as high of a grade or score as the person next you because what can be more important to schools are those things that you have proven to be passionate about.
I just came back from the gym. A short 1 hour work out and I am ready to do homework. I have an exam tomorrow and a paper due Friday. A bit much, I am aware and though many would have used that extra hour to cram in some studying or research I felt that gym session was much needed. Everyone needs that 1 hour of something to clear the mind in preparation for, well, anything and everything. For some that may be 1 hour of alone time in their dorm room, 1 hour of arts and crafts, or 1 hour of a movie and friends. For me it is one hour of extreme cardio. I need to sweat disgusting amounts for about an hour and my head is clear and ready to take on the pile of homework that lies before me. My adrenaline is running for hours and I use it on homework. I love it, its great. I remember when I lived in a dormitory, I’d “itch” for a run at times. If the weather was not too great, instead of walking to the sports center I’d walk down to the basement and run on the treadmill. All of the dormitories on campus are equipped with at least a treadmill and an elliptical machine for those who’d prefer to save the 5 minutes it’d take to walk to the sports center. When the weather permits it I take this run out doors. It is one of my favorite things to do when it is nice out, run to town and back. Sometimes running is the one thing that can maintain my sanity at times.
And I know this does not work for everyone. Sometimes sweating in the hot sun or in the confines of a gymnasium is just a bit gross. For those in need of other methods of escaping the heavy loads of work or the constant sight of housemates and their dirty dishes there are other outlets. Sometimes talking alone is useful. If not your friend then maybe a resident assistance– there are RAs on every floor of the dorms or why not the counseling center when things are feeling a bit tough. Here, the counseling center offers 8 free sessions per year. http://cms.skidmore.edu/counseling/index.cfm
Maybe it is help organizing school work. A professor can help; because of the size of this campus professors are always willing and able to offer time to their students. The Office of Student Academic Services is also available when looking for help scheduling/ managing a schedule that works best or finding a tutor to help make things make some sense in class. http://cms.skidmore.edu/academic_services/
Some students maintain their sanity by meeting with friends at particular club meetings. Maybe its one during the week that a student waits for or four clubs per week. Students have the option of joining as much clubs as they want. Without the obligation of having to attend all meetings.
Maybe your thing will be attending religious services or joining religious groups. The Skidmore College campus Office of Religious and Spiritual Life provides leadership, services and programming in matters of religious and spiritual concerns. There are also numerous off campus areas for worship. http://cms.skidmore.edu/campuslife/religious_life/religiouslife.cfm
And this is all just to mention a few. Whatever is needed to prevent the hair pulling and lower the levels of stress- I mean come on, this thing called college is no walk in the park- there is something here for you. Just explore and find.
My friends, including professors, have helped me maintain my sanity. A nice chat or a some chill time in helps to do this. When things get a little out of control, and it has this semester, I will let a professor know and they are often very understanding.
Things are also a bit different for me now that I am a senior because I know what to expect and I am much better at managing my time and understand what are the best study habits for me. If I ever did need any additional help I do understand and know that the right resources such as, Student Academic Services, are available to me.