Executive Function Strategies Blog

Talking to Teachers: Building Self-Advocacy in College Students

Visiting a professor during office hours in college can be a daunting task, especially for freshmen. Students wonder if they should just stop by to introduce themselves or if they must prepare specific questions. Anxiety might take over, with students fearing they won’t sound smart enough or seem like “college material.” Students often think: “What if I make things worse by meeting with my professor?” and “What if I totally blank out and embarrass myself?” All of these concerns are valid, but avoidance tends just to perpetuate the vicious cycle of fear, and students lose the valuable opportunity of one-on-one time with their professors.



When Anxiety Hurts Academic Performance at College: How Parents Can Help

Editor's note: This week, we feature guest blogger Marcia Morris, M.D., a psychiatrist with 20 years of experience working with college students. Please see her full bio below.

If your child is not doing well at college, there could be many reasons why – poor organization, too much partying, challenges with time management – to mention just a few. But did you know that one of the most common causes of poor academic performance is anxiety? In fact, students rated stress and anxiety as the top problems negatively impacting academic performance, according to a 2017 survey by the American College Health Association.



How to Have a More Successful Semester at College this Fall

Editor's note: This week, we feature guest blogger Elizabeth Hamblet, a learning consultant in Columbia University’s disability services office. Please see her full bio below.

“I honestly don’t know.” The student is looking at a grid showing the days of the week broken into hour blocks that she’s filled in with her classes, sleeping and meal times, and rehearsals. This is her response when I ask her what she did in all of those empty blocks representing unscheduled time instead of her work. And it’s true – she really doesn’t know how she spent those free hours. I get it.



A Day in the Life of a College Student with Executive Function Challenges

Picture this: You go from 6:30am wake-ups to 10:00am ones. You go from four intense hours of learning to a 50-minute class followed by a three hour break. You go from abiding by a curfew to having no curfew at all. These are the kinds of transitions that college freshman eagerly look forward to (and make me wish I were still in college…). But the awesomeness of these transitions is often coupled with the loss of some strong support systems.