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.



How to Help Students with Learning Challenges Build Healthy Self-Esteem

Editor's note: This week, we feature guest blogger Samantha Kolkey, a licensed social worker and Director of Programs at Options for College Success. Please see her full bio below.

I'd like to reveal to you a few examples of conversations I have had or overheard during my six years as a social worker serving individuals with learning disabilities. 

Tutor: Why didn’t you complete the assigned reading last night?

Student: It takes me so long to read a small number of pages. It’s embarrassing, so I just don’t do it.



A Coaching Alumnus Story: How Did a Struggling Student Transform?

Editor's note: This week, we feature guest blogger Sean Potts, a student who graduated from Executive Function coaching support to full independence.

I clearly remember bringing home my report cards in 7th grade: a familiar assortment of C’s and D’s that I dreaded showing my parents. Despite the deep disappointment that I felt, I was seemingly powerless to change my situation. At the time, I had three tutors, weekly meetings with my teachers, and parent-teacher conferences on a monthly basis. Despite this, my grades still continued to disappoint both myself and my parents. How could I possibly succeed in school when three tutors couldn’t even yield improvement? In my eyes, I was a D student incapable of anything greater. What I know now is that no mindset is more detrimental to progress than that one.



Academic Anxiety: How Perfectionism and Executive Dysfunction Collide

As an Executive Function coach and clinical social worker, I have had a fair amount of experience working with adolescents who struggle with anxiety. Over the years, I have observed a phenomenon that highlights the intersection between perfectionism and executive function challenges. I call it the “comfort zone of misery.”