Ancient Civ.

First-Year Seminar Readings

Lesson 3: Intellectual and mental wellness and well-being

Taking care of your brain

Read through and consider each of the following:

·     What is intellectual or mental wellness and well-being?

     Examples: commitment to learning, ability to manage your learning and learning activities, involvement in activities that help you learn and grow, curiosity about others and the world around you, analysis of information and use of evidence in decision making

·     Strengthening intellectual and mental wellness and well-being

     Intellectual Wellness | Mental Health

     How to Increase Your Intellectual Wellness

Of special interest:  Let’s deep dive into  PROCRASTINATION

Procrastination is a behavior where an individual puts off a due task, and replaces it with something else. This something else can be productive (like cleaning) or can be one that avoids the feelings that come with procrastination (many people describe how they feel about their procrastination behavior with terms like shame, anger, sadness, and helpless).

Procrastination can affect any area of wellness- but it certainly affects your mental and intellectual well-being.

Some reasons why students procrastinate:

Focus on costs vs benefits: For example, if you need to do a reading for a class, you could focus on the cost- how long it will take, the level of difficulty of the reading, what you are missing out on as you do that reading. Or you could focus on the benefits, how it will feel to do well in class, how much you have to gain from the reading and the class, and the fact that this is part of a degree program that you’ve chosen to complete.

Expectations vs reality: For example, you may need to complete a paper for your biology class. You haven’t really look at the assignment adn thought about it in detail working through a timeline. So you naturally rely on previous experience- for example, how you long it takes to write a paper fora  different course, or how long a biology report took in high school. Both of these set your expectations (how long you think it will take) and as a result, your expectation of difficulty and time is not accurate to the actual assignment from the professor. This also commonly happens when we do not understand the assignment, we do not have the prior knowledge or materials we need, or take into account what other work has to be done. This leads to us overestimating our ability to complete work and underestimating time and difficulty.  

Overwhelm and disorganization: For example, you want to get the work done but it is overwhelming. Maybe you left parts to be done and now you have more work than you think you can accomplish. Maybe the task is more than you think you can handle. Maybe you do not have the materials you need. In this case, feeling overwhelmed and being disorganized can lead to you putting things off- and taking control by seeking assistance (for example, from the writing center or tutoring or a professor), making a detailed list of what needs to be done that you can check off as you complete it, and reading and understanding the task and gathering material before you begin can be helpful.

Lack of resources: For example, you are in school for 5 classes and working a part-time job. This is doable as long as everything stays under control. The moment you have less time (maybe your job wants you to add 10 more hours, or you need to take care of a family member, or a class is harder than you expect) you may find that you don’t have the resources (in this case, time) you need. This is a hard situation because you may want to do the work and not be able to figure out how to get the work done. Also in this group are things like not having the technology you need or access to readings and materials (like textbooks). When faced with this type of situation causing procrastination, it is important to talk to your professor.

Notice I don’t discuss laziness here. That is because laziness is a description but not really a cause. You chose to attend college, take these classes this semester, and work towards your future. Read about this here:

·     You aren't lazy. You just need to slow down

·     Laziness Does Not Exist, But unseen barriers do

Managing procrastination (and completing your work)

·     Procrastination: Ten Things To Know
Is your procrastination hindering you? Ten things you should know.

·     Eat That Frog! A seminar on Brian Tracy’s famous time management book

·     Time Management Theory

·     Time Management Reality