Executive Function Strategies Blog

Dan Messier

Dan Messier

Dan Messier is an Executive Function coach with Beyond Booksmart from Holbrook, MA. He received his bachelor's in English from Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Mass., and his master's in English composition from the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he has taught first-year writing as a member of the English department since 2010.

Recent Posts by Dan Messier:

What Will College Look Like This Fall?

Every new college semester is a transition: New classes, new teachers, sometimes even new friends. This coming fall, however, will compound all of those changes with another one: A new way of learning. Yes, students do have a few months practice with the skill of learning-during-a-pandemic, but the spring semester was cushioned by lenient (and sometimes required) pass/fail options. With a much clearer picture of what to expect this fall, those safety nets will not be quite so forgiving.

So, how should students prepare for the upcoming semester? Different schools are taking very different approaches to the Fall 2020 term, each with its own benefits and potential Executive Functioning challenges. I’ll cover the major options below and let you know what to expect and how best to prepare for that style of learning.



The Anxious College Student: An Executive Function Connection

College students have plenty of fuel for anxiety. They’re in a social and academic environment that’s significantly different than any that they’re used to. They’re often trying to balance course work with a job - in addition to social and family obligations. And they’re doing all this while also trying to chart out a plan for their entire future (and trying not to think too hard about all the student loans they’ll need to repay upon graduation). While that is a lot to handle, some of that anxiety can be mitigated with upgrades to the way that they manage their demands, or their Executive Functioning. The two students you’ll be reading about show the connection between anxiety and Executive Function - and how learning more effective self-management techniques can help to lighten the emotional load.



Are You Setting Up Your High School Student for College Success?

College freshmen don't always go on to become college seniors. In fact, according to CollegeAtlas.org, 30% of students don't return after their freshman year.

That's a startling statistic to grasp for any parent of a high school student. What's behind those numbers? How can a parent ensure their soon-to-be young adult won't be in that 30% who don't make it to sophomore year?



Not Ready for College? Essential Tactics for Gap Year Success

We all know the typical trajectory. It’s what most of your friends are doing: graduating high school, enjoying summer, and moving directly on to college.

But that’s not the path for you. Some of your peers know exactly what they want to be and others are just going to college because it’s the next step... and that’s fine for them. But it’s not who you are. You need some time to get out of the school grind and to reflect before jumping into another grueling four-year scholastic experience.

So you find yourself staring at a gap year and wondering to yourself: How can I make good use of this time? What can I do to make sure that I’m not in the same uncertain, up-in-the-air place next year?