Advice from Sally Seahawk 12/5

Sally Seahawk, Staff Writer

For one of my classes the final “exam” is giving a presentation in front of the class, but I’m super nervous about it. How can I help calm my nerves?

Public speaking is a weakness that a lot of college students face, especially if you don’t have to do it often. Getting up in front of a class can be hard and nerve-wracking. The best thing to do is practice, practice practice! The more you practice, the more comfortable you will be with the material that you are presenting. When you become more familiar with your presentation material, you will feel more confident in your presentation abilities. I would first start by reading over your presentation to yourself a couple of times. Then, practice giving your presentation to your roommates or some of your friends, so you get comfortable presenting in front of people. Also keep in mind that everyone in your class realizes how hard it is to get up and speak in front of a class, so they are not going to be tough critics of you.

One of my classes requires a lot of group projects. This is my third project with the same group and three of the members have noticed that the fourth member is not contributing to the project. How should we handle this?

This is the main reason that students dislike group projects. It is so hard to find a group of four students who are all willing to put in equal effort to complete the project. If professors graded these projects on an individual basis then it wouldn’t be a problem. However, most professors give a grade for the whole group so if a group member is lacking, it is not considered. I would start by trying to encourage your fourth group member to put more effort into the project. If this does not improve their efforts, I would bring it to your professor’s attention that one of the members of your group is not contributing as much as the other three members. Most professors will take this into consideration when grading your project. They typically will assign the three of you a group grade and then individually grade the fourth member who did not pull his or her weight on the project. I would recommend trying to address it with your group member before bringing the situation to your professor.

I’m trying to bring my grades up before the end of the semester, but I feel like no matter how hard I study it doesn’t help. What can I do?

Trying to raise your grades at the end of the semester is hard and can create a lot of stress for yourself. Most of us students feel like a bad grade instantly changes our grade, but we have to get five good grades to even see an increase in our grade. I would start by figuring out what is weighted the most for each class, whether it be exams or papers, etc. Whatever is weighted the most is what I would focus on doing my best work on. If you are spending a lot of time studying for exams, but still not seeing improvements I would consider scheduling an appointment with your professor and talk about your studying techniques. Most professors are super helpful when it comes to helping you succeed in their class. They will be able to give you study tips and maybe even give you tips on which topics to focus on when you are studying. You could also ask your professor if they are going to offer any extra credit opportunities. If they are, take advantage of these! This is a great way to help raise your grades. Try not to stress yourself out about it and just try your best on the remaining assignments in the semester.