Take school one step at a time

By Lovette Ajayi

This week will be used for the questions sent to me by certain readers. They will all remain anonymous, and I will answer them to the best of my ability in the allotted space. And please keep in mind that my advice should not be substituted for expert opinion. With that being said, here’s my first go. Dear Abby might want to watch out.

Dear Lovette: I’m already stressed with the prospect of a very busy semester and hectic schedule. What can I do to help me deal with it? -ÿTC, junior

Ah yes. The crazy semester is ahead, and already we feel the heavy weight of what lies ahead. Of course it all seems overwhelming when you look at your semester as a whole. You see the endless papers, projects, exams, plus the hours you have to put in outside of class, and you might want to run far, far away. However, if you break your semester into workable sections, then it all might not seem like a lot. For me, I take it day by day, or maybe even week by week. I know upcoming assignments and address those, and unless I’m ahead, I try not to look at assignments that are coming up much later. Even with all this, it might still remain in the back of your mind. So just try to relax and stay focused, and it will all get done eventually. Nevertheless, you’re not a freshman, and you’ve been through other semesters such as this, where work is piled up in front of you. But somehow, it gets done.

Dear Lovette: I’m on academic probation, and if I don’t pull my grades up this semester I might be kicked out of the University. What things can I do to prevent this? – IA, sophomore

Being on academic probation is like having a time clock ticking on one’s time at the University, but it should not necessarily be that way. It’s possible to get back on the right track and remain a student here at the University of Illinois. It goes without saying that this will take hard work, but I believe that anything worth having is worth fighting for. A bachelor’s degree is definitely worth having, so here’s where the fight must come in.

This includes getting proactive tutoring, and what I mean by this is that it might be a good idea to get tutoring before you need it. It might sound crazy, but it is good to have a tutor when you don’t NEED one. It ensures that you will stay ahead in your classes.

Also, a little-known program exists on the campus called Project AIM. It pairs you with a Counseling Center Paraprofessional (CCPs, which I am one), who are trained students, and undergraduates just like you. You can discuss your situation with your assigned CCP, and they might have resources to help you out. It might be easier talking to your peer than your graduate counselor or advisor, and the CCPs are bound by the same confidentiality agreement as the rest of the Counseling Center staff, so you don’t have to worry about anything you say being told to someone else. You can pick up an application for Project AIM at room 100 of the Student Services Building.

Use your teachers as a tool too. They are the determiners of your grade, and office hours exist for a reason; it might be the difference in whether you get a B+ or making that A. As long as you use the resources available to you on campus, you can be off academic probation in no time, and ensure the continuity of your education as an Illini.

That’s it for this week’s “Dear Lovette” section. Keep them coming folks, and I will keep using what I’ve learned in the past two-and-a-half years as a basis for my responses. Stay positive!

Lovette Ajayi’s advice column runs on Wednesdays. She can be reached at [email protected]