My daughter is 19 and attending her 1st year in college. She has always been timid: not trying any thing new, preferring to engage in any activity with a friend rather than alone. She has come a long way by pushing herself to meet new people and socialize more. School has never been her favorite as she is not really academically inclined. During her entire school career she has experienced a high level of stress at test time, not scoring as high as she should, although she prepared well. Now, in college, she's been excited and more open to new situations. Last week, there was an unscheduled Math quiz. She made an excuse to leave class and called me crying, saying she just went blank; that everything on the test paper looked like Chinese. Next semester she has to take a Speech class and she's already strssing over it. What can we do? How can I help her?
Alot of people find that they do not perform well on tests, which is disporportionate with their actual abilities. Usually on college campuses there are test centers or tutoring services available that can assist with this kind of problem. Ask her if she could find out and contact them.
Other thoughts that came to my mind:
Does your daughter have any learning disabilities or has she ever been tested for learning disabilities?
Does your daughter have any issues with depression or does she have panic attacks? Has she ever discussed her anxiety with a counselor? She may have an adjustment disorder or an anxiety disorder.
Does she frequently call you over these kinds of issues? What do you say to her? Do you think you could be encouraging a kind of codependent relationship with her?
Hi Birch. Thanks for your response. She does know about tutoring and there is a math lab, both of which I told her to make use of before she enrolled, knowing that Math is not her strong subject. She had a couple of visits with a psychologist when she was in 8th grade for these same type issues. She was tested for learning disabilities, but was ok, except short attention span. At that time hers was 10 minutes and average for her age at that time was 20 minutes. We put her on natural, herbal supplements which did help. She quit taking them once she felt ok without them. This college math seems to have set her back again. The phone call I mentioned was the 1st time she'd called me this way. I told her to talk to the prof about taking the quiz later. He said it would not count too much towards her grade and just to let it go. No anxiety disorder has been diagnosed. as far as depression? I don't know....She's a teenager. Sometimes life is great and then at times she may be a little moody; but not in a bipolar sort of way. After she'd calmed down from the math episode I asked if was had been prepared for class. She said she probably should have studied more. Perhaps not being well prepared was a factor, but test anxiety is a long standing issue. In the younger grades, when I helped her study for tests, she'd know the material at home, then choke on test day. Codependence? I'll give it some thought...
Maybe do some research on test taking strategies will help, and learn about deep breathing and other relaxation methods will help, too.
The speech class she has lined up might be a perfect place to address many of these anxieties she has. If she is in a good situation she could discuss these issues with the prof and get some helpful feedback. Sort of change the way she's thinking about this upcoming speech class- not as a terribly scary situation but a way to help her with her problems.
She sounds pretty normal except for the extra heavy dose of anxiety. Poor kid. College is stressful.
Turns out she had a major math test today. said she felt pretty good about it. completed all the problems except for one . She said she did some of it but was unable to complete the steps. None of the drama of last week. Who knows? I think she's realizing that college is not high school and there's no room for half-hearted effort. I've told her: If you know you're nervous about tests, you have to be "extra special" prepared. I've also insisted she set up a time for Math Lab. As for Speech: Don't worry yet. When the time comes, Man Up. lol