Be a Successful College Student!

Liliana, our Academic Skills TA, has some resources for you to help make sure you are on the right track with your study skills and habits as the semester is continuing to move at the speed of light. Check them out below!


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Hi, my name is Liliana Vázquez Villagrán and I am a graduate student in the Human and Development Counseling program at UIS.  I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with a concentration in Education, from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico City (UAM-X).  For the past 10 years, I have taught English as a Foreign Language (EFL) to children, adolescents, adults, and senior citizens in Mexico City.  I am very excited for the opportunity to work at the Learning Hub because this position will allow me to put into practice my passion for teaching. I can assure you that I will do my best to help you succeed in your academic goals.

Quote: “Being humble means recognizing that we are not on earth to see how important we can become, but to see how much difference we can make in the lives of others.” – Gordon B. Hinckley

The Five Stages of Finals

by Alex

There have been many lists about the various stages of finals. At The Hub, we decided to make our own Harry Potter-themed list for your nerdy enjoyment.

  1. The Procrastination Phase

When finals begin, some students have a low key sense of confidence—that they can handle finals—that they’re ready and don’t actually need to study. But more often, students underestimate the time it takes to prepare for finals or want to put off studying as long as possible. This is the calm before the storm.

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Regardless of your motivations, you should not be deceived. You should be studying. Not sleeping.

  1. Panic Mode

When the procrastination phase ends, it ends abruptly and swiftly. It’s when the realization hits you that you may have much more to do than you anticipated.

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Panic comes in stages and in varying degrees. Some students may panic as if they’ve just heard news that there is, in fact, a troll in the dungeon.

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Some students even have full on melt downs from too much stress.

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We’d much rather you skip this phase and just move onto the next stage.

  1. Productivity

Often fueled by Panic Mode, the productivity stage allows you to take a deep breath, and calm down enough to start getting something done.

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Getting to this stage is the most crucial part of succeeding during finals. If you can get through the first two stages, or even skip them all together, you will be in much better shape for your finals. You may not even have to pull all nighters!

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  1. Grim Acceptance

There comes a point when you have done all the preparation possible. Sometimes, it may not seem like enough. Thus, we call this phase Grim Acceptance—the stage that allows you to finally stop studying and working and accept what you were able to complete, but it may not bring the relief you were hoping for.

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  1. Actual Acceptance

Upon the completion of a final exam or turning in a final paper, actual acceptance arrives—you have done all you can and relief finally starts setting in. You get a spring in your step—a breath of fresh air—new found confidence that you have just conquered your finals.

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Are you in any of these stages now? Contact The Learning Hub and see how we can help!

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April Student Spotlights – Dede Aggrey!

Spring has finally sprung. The weather is warming, the trees are greening, and UIS is teeming with student success. Throughout the month of April, we will be posting four videos of interviews we conducted with successful UIS students whom we have had the pleasure of getting to know this year in The Hub, and who we feel exemplify what it means to be a Prairie Star.

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A Prairie Star is a flower, after all… and what better way to welcome Spring back into our lives than to honor the ways our students are growing and blossoming into stronger writers, better students, and smarter professionals ready to take on their futures.
Check out the video below to meet our fourth and final student: Dede Aggrey, a sophomore Global Studies Major and member of the STARS Living Learning Community!

Do you want to find your own success? Make sure to check out our website where we have writing resources tailored to help you grow into your own beautiful, successful Prairie Star. Happy Spring!

April Student Spotlights – Kaj Days!

Spring has finally sprung. The weather is warming, the trees are greening, and UIS is teeming with student success. Throughout the month of April, we will be posting four videos of interviews we conducted with successful UIS students whom we have had the pleasure of getting to know this year in The Hub, and who we feel exemplify what it means to be a Prairie Star.

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A Prairie Star is a flower, after all… and what better way to welcome Spring back into our lives than to honor the ways our students are growing and blossoming into stronger writers, better students, and smarter professionals ready to take on their futures.
Check out the video below to meet our third student: Kaj Days, a freshman and member of the UIS Men’s Basketball team!

Do you want to find your own success? Make sure to check out our website where we have writing resources tailored to help you grow into your own beautiful, successful Prairie Star. Happy Spring!

April Student Spotlights – J’nae Agbenla

Spring has finally sprung. The weather is warming, the trees are greening, and UIS is teeming with student success. Throughout the month of April, we will be posting four videos of interviews we conducted with successful UIS students whom we have had the pleasure of getting to know over the years in The Hub, and who we feel exemplify what it means to be a Prairie Star.

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A Prairie Star is a flower, after all… and what better way to welcome Spring back into our lives than to honor the ways our students are growing and blossoming into stronger writers, better students, and smarter professionals ready to take on their futures.

Check out the video below to meet our second student: J’nae Agbenla, a senior CCJ major and PSY minor!

Do you want to find your own success? Make sure to check out our website where we have writing resources tailored to help you grow into your own beautiful, successful Prairie Star. Happy Spring!

April Student Spotlights – Ahmed Alsalman

Spring has finally sprung. The weather is warming, the trees are greening, and UIS is teeming with student success. Throughout the month of April, we will be posting four videos of interviews we conducted with successful UIS students whom we have had the pleasure of getting to know this year in The Hub, and who we feel exemplify what it means to be a Prairie Star.

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A Prairie Star is a flower, after all… and what better way to welcome Spring back into our lives than to honor the ways our students are growing and blossoming into stronger writers, better students, and smarter professionals ready to take on their futures.

Check out the video below to meet our first student: Ahmed Alsalman, a pre-dental student taking science and writing classes!

Do you want to find your own success? Make sure to check out our website where we have writing resources tailored to help you grow into your own beautiful, successful Prairie Star. Happy Spring!