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Chapter 19. Learning Ladder

RUNG 4: READING SKILLS

YOU TRY IT!

Read the paragraphs on the following page, and then underline or highlight and add recall phrases in the left margin. To save time, underline and mark only the second paragraph.


  ACADEMIC PRESSURE [*]
RECALL CUES Of course academic pressure is not applied evenly during the semester or quarter. There are times (especially during midterms and finals) when all your professors will expect special work from you at once. Themes will be due and examinations will be scheduled all within a few days. These demanding periods produce unusual pressure and strain, especially if you have made the mistake of getting behind in your work. The pace picks up, frustrations increase, fear takes a firmer grip, and students appear haggard and drained. It’s a period of too much coffee, too many pills, and too little sleep—a desperate time with a touch of madness.
  Not only does it hurt your physical and mental health, but when the pressures force abnormal behavior, you can make foolish mistakes and jeopardize your academic progress.
LOOK FOR A TOPIC SENTENCE. READ WITH A QUESTION IN MIND How can you keep the peak period madness from hurting you? How can you avoid becoming too tense and frantic? Here are three suggestions: Stick as close as possible to your regular study and work schedule. Avoid late hours. Get some extra work done, but get enough sleep to avoid the tension merry-go-round that spins some students into a state of chaos. Avoid stimulants. Stay away from excessive coffee and drugs that keep you awake but destroy your ability to think clearly and logically when you need to. Assume an air of detachment from the whole crazy rat race. Look at it from a distance. Float through it with a calm head and confident manner. Watch the behavior of others who fall prey to the pressures, but refuse to become overinvolved yourself. But what if the pressure builds up too much despite your preventive measures? Is there a last-minute safety valve? Physical exercise is a good antidote. Jog. Play ball. Go bowling. Physical activity is one way to reduce stress resulting from a heavier-than-usual academic load.
  


[*] Reprinted with the permission of the author, Elwood N.Chapman. College Survival: A Do-lt-Yourself Guide.


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