My blog has moved!
You should be automatically redirected in 5 seconds. If not, please visit:

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Focus on Learning : Ask Our Counsellor Q&A Column - January 20, 2011

The following queries answered by me appeared in the Deccan Herald Education Supplement dt January 20, 2011

Dear Ma’m,
I try and study hard, but forget easily. Most of the times, I end up losing marks because of my silly mistakes. My parents complain that I do not recheck my answers. How can I avoid silly mistakes?

Dear student,
Try focusing on learning and understanding what you are studying, rather than on cramming it. Forgetting something is a problem only when you are trying to mug it up. If you understand what you are learning, the chances of forgetting are much less, because you have understood the concept. If you understand something, the learning always stays with you, even if you don't get the marks.
Also, if you are over-anxious or stressed about your marks, the anxiety tends to weigh on your mind and you will not be able to concentrate while answering your papers. You will always worry if you will get the marks or not. This inability to concentrate on what you are doing may make you commit ‘silly mistakes’ . So, try changing your motivation to study — study hard to learn more, not to get more marks. It is a subtle difference, but an important one.

Dear Ma’m,
I depend too much on my friends' opinion about me. This, sometimes, affects my performance in class. How do I stop taking others’ opinion seriously?

Dear student,
You are not alone in giving undue importance to your friends’ opinions of you. It is a very common problem. We often let others’ opinion of us decide who we are, or how we should be. I am really happy that you have been able to identify this as a problem, because most people don’t have the maturity to even think that it is a problem.
You need to believe in yourself, and love yourself the way you are. You need to accept yourself for who you are, with all your strengths and weaknesses. You need to give yourself positive self affirmations. If you visualise your relationship with your friends as a see-saw, the see-saw should be horizontal (which means the relationship should be one of equality and balance). If you do not feel good about yourself, you will always feel your friends (and their opinions) are more important than yours. Your side of the see-saw will tilt downwards. If your side is down, then your friends’ side of the see-saw will always be up. You will always think they are more important and powerful than you. The only way you can bring their side down, and equalise the relationship, is by kicking your side up. So, rebalance your see-saw and kick yourself up. Nobody’s opinion of you is more important, and more powerful, than your opinion about yourself. For more on this, visit

Dear Madam,
I am an average II PUC student. My problem is, I can read only for some time. Later, I doze off. Owing to this, my preparation for my exams gets ruined. When the exams are nearing, I will be tense and unable to study.

Dear student,
I want you to analyse your motivation to study. Are you studying for an exam, which can be an end in itself? Or, are the exams a means to a larger goal that you have. If you are working towards a larger goal, that you are self-motivated to achieve, you will enjoy the process of studying, because you will view it as a means of getting what you want; as part of the journey, rather than the destination itself. If you are studying just for an exam, then that can be quite boring and it would not be unusual for you to feel sleepy. Another question you need to answer for yourself is — are you studying for yourself, or for your parents? If you are doing it only for your parents, then again it can be quite a bore. The label you have given yourself, of an ‘average’ student, is in itself like a self-fulfilling prophecy which will undermine your desire to put in your best effort. Your thought process may be something like, “In any case, I am only average — what good is my studying hard going to do? ” Who has given you that label, and why have you accepted it?
I have raised some tough questions for you, which may not be easy to answer. But think about them.

No comments:

Post a Comment