Busy Times

We are quickly approaching the end of the semester here at Boise State and tension is in the air. Students come into the Center with their stress levels high as they are scrambling to complete their final assignments, and look us to us for help - we are after all supposed to be an oasis, right? Yet, I am wondering if our stress levels as students, impact our experiences with the students we tutor. Having recently finished my culminating activity for graduation this May, I am actually feeling quite relieved and relaxed. I know that when I was in the midst of working on my Portfolio, I was very stressed out and I am sure that parts of that came across in my consultations, no matter how hard I tried to keep them at bay. I am curious if other tutors notice a difference in their consultation sessions during different points in the semester. I know we are supposed to leave our baggage at the door when we walk into the Center but I wonder how realistic that is. How can we ever let go of all of our baggage; after all, our baggage is part of what makes us who we are.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your semesters!


  1. Here's how I look at the stress thing. I go into the writing center thinking: this is my job, I must do it, and there is no other work I can possibly get done during my time in the center. I like writing, I like talking about writing, so I might as well enjoy it. There are no long deadlines hanging over my time in the writing center, no big papers, no teachers wanting to see proof of my hard work; there are just students coming in to have a nice chat about writing.

    I used to worry about other things while I was in the center. I used to worry about other things while I was in class, always making plans for what I could be doing if I didn't have to be "here." Well, that just stressed me out. So, if I am in a class or at a job, and I cannot control the fact that I am there and not doing other things, I just let them go out of my mind until the end of my shift rolls around. Then, I know it's time to bust my butt on whatever's coming next. This has led to a sense of relief every time I go into the writing center because I can jusst check my bags for the duration of the flight. Chances are they'll still be there when I step out of the center.

  2. Anonymous3:44 PM

    I definitely know what you mean about end of semester stress. As much as I try to fight it, I'm sure some of it slips into sessions.

    In my WC, we really try to make the atmosphere as much of an "oasis" as we can. For example, the first Monday of every month is our "Manic Monday" when we have a theme and give out prizes. We also have free fruit and cold drinks for students (rather than just candy and pop).

  3. I've noticed my mood greatly affects consultations. When I am happy the sessions tend to go really well. But, when I am grouchy or upset they seem more likely to less productive.


    Like Greg, I do go into the center with a "this is my job, I must do it, and there is no other work I can possibly get done during my time in the center" attitude, and I find that it helps me mentally leave personal stuffs out of sessions. Sometimes, though, it's tough, and I just do the best that I can while I am at the Center.

    Smiling's good, too!

    Interesting post, Jen. Thanks.

  4. Anonymous12:35 PM

    There are times when I am in the WC thinking, "There are so many other things I could be getting done right now." In our WC, we're not allowed to work on homework, relax on facebook, or some other things that some offices may allow. Instead, we're either in sessions, or reading up on APA, grammar, or writing in the different disciplines.

    But I also know that the time I spend here will make the time writing that huge paper I have due tomorrow that much easier. I may retain the idea of passive voice, or maybe how to properly use a semi-colon thanks to the studying or sessions in this center. That helps me destress while I'm here. :) The WC works on a bigger picture!


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