Director’s Corner: Stay focused

Hello CASE scholars, supporters and families:

At this point in the semester, the routines are setting in (whether they are beneficial for success or not), however, it is important to remind ourselves of some vital strategies for staying focused and maintaining balance at this point in the semester. Therefore, I submit the following tips for keeping you focused during the homestretch of Fall 2021:

Eliminate distractions: The recent outage of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp reminded us of how tethered we are to our technology and how social media can become huge distractions and time wasters. When needing to focus, do not check your phone every few seconds. Keep your phone out of sight and on silent to avoid the “alerts” so that you can focus on the important task at hand.

Maintain a positive attitude: Do your best to avoid negative individuals and surround yourself with supportive, positive people who “get you” and uplift you. This can be useful in protecting your peace and keeping the focus on positivity, rather than those other aspects of college life, or life in general that can stress you out. Positivity and support is the key!

Ask for help: There are a plethora of services and resources on campus to assist your academic (Learning Center) or mental health (Counseling/Wellness Center) challenges. Just reach out to them and make an appointment or you can contact us at CASE and we can make a referral.

Stay organized: Clear your workspace before each study or homework session by removing clutter from your desk and clear your thoughts for the task at hand.

Take a break!: If you reach the point where you are staring at the page and not making progress, it’s ok to take a break to regroup and come back to it later.

Engage in Cardio: Aerobic exercise is a good way to get oxygen to your brain, which can assist in improving your memory and concentration.

Sleep is essential: It is amazing to me how many student don’t get even close to eight hours of sleep per night. If you are lacking adequate sleep, consider taking a power nap to give your brain the boost it needs to focus!

Self-Care: It is important to have a holistic approach to wellness. Make sure you’re drinking enough water, not skipping meals, managing your stress (de-stressing), practicing mindfulness and paying attention to and managing your own mental health.

As always, feel free to reach out to the team at CASE for ways of effectively dealing with the rigors and realities of the long semester.


E. Andre Thorn, Ph.D
Director, Center for Academic Success & Excellence (CASE)
“Serving Students Since 1995”
110 Student Success Center, 909 Lowry Mall
Columbia, MO  65211
P: 573-882-9208
F: 573-884-4353

Indigenous Peoples and Lands Acknowledgement:
I would like to acknowledge that I work in what is colonially known as “Missouri,” and that these were the homelands of the tribal nations of the Nutachi (Missouria), Jiwere (Otoe), Wahzhazhe (Osage), Ogáxpa (Quapaw), Chikasha (Chickasaw), Illini, and Báxoǰe (Ioway), among others.