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Zielsdorf: Services Available For Students Struggling To Manage Their Time

Man with hand in his Hands working on MacBook computer stress

Editorial
By Scott Zielsdorf

Students struggling with time management, motivation or anything else inhibiting academic success: there is hope. NAIT has services available for post-secondary students struggling to manage their time in an increasingly difficult school environment.

As a chronic procrastinator, I wish I knew these services existed during my time at NAIT. One would assume that after two semesters serving as the Nugget’s lead issues editor, I would be rather adept at managing time, meeting deadlines and all-together having my proverbial “crap” together – that assumption would be very wrong.

I am now writing as a former-editor with a single message: students struggling with motivation and managing their time have plenty of help available to them.

I had the opportunity to chat with two learning strategists working at NAIT who aid students in overcoming various academic challenges.

Mandie Zhang, a learning strategist with NAIT’s learning services, describes her position as assisting students with their “learning barriers.”

“[Learning barriers] could be anything. [Students] could be struggling from life situations, or sometimes it’s a physical thing – and we work to build study skills and strategies,” said Zhang.

Now that may sound rather broad – that’s because it is. Zhang says study skills and strategies encompass many forms of what she describes as essential “school skills.”

I asked Zhang why she felt time management was important, which seems like a silly question, but I clearly had lost the importance of it during my time at NAIT.

“Time management is one of those things that gets more important the more that you do. I find that the busier I am, the more important time management becomes,” said Zhang.

“There’s so much to get done in a day, and the less organized you are, the more that time slips away.”

Zhang also noted the increased struggle students are facing with much of their schooling now existing entirely online.

It becomes much harder to manage time as a student when not able to physically compartmentalize their day.

This point especially resonated with me, as I often find myself missing the physical presence of a dedicated workspace (such as a classroom or studio).

Zhang’s coworker, Maral Sahaguian, a fellow learning strategist, has been in the student assistance game much longer and also had words of wisdom to share.

“I think it encompasses a lot of the ‘life’ kinds of skills. Things like letting go of perfectionism,” said Sahaguian.

“It also means setting boundaries with people around them.”

Sahaguian went on to explain time management really comes down to knowing and managing one’s self – a skill that I know I have often struggled with.

“Time management is like self-management, and when we can manage ourselves, we can get a really good handle on time and life,” said Sahaguian.

These powerful words of wisdom are available to all NAIT students for free. As a student who undoubtedly struggles with the concept of self-management, I encourage anyone else struggling to seek help.

Don’t let life and commitments spiral out of control, as there are always resources available during times of struggle. Certainly, the learning strategists at NAIT are happy to help, as I (and now those reading this story) have learned.

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