Mount talk aims to reduce anxiety related to writing

November 05, 2018

Mount Saint Mary College’s Writing Center, the Office of Disability Services, and Counseling Center recently presented “Writing with Anxiety” to help students succeed when crafting stressful assignments. 
Orin Strauchler, assistant dean of Student Support Services and director of Counseling; Alisha McCorvey, Director of Disability Services; and Gina Evers, Director of the Writing Center, helped students cope with anxiety caused by writing assignments, and discussed how writing can help reduce stress.

Strauchler discussed what anxiety is, how one feels when anxious, and the effects anxiety has on the body. He played videos of anxious body language, and he discussed what can make someone anxious.

Evers gave tips to feel less anxious when writing: Keeping organized with deadlines and not waiting until the last minute; embracing – not fearing – grammar; talking through paper ideas with a friend or on a recording; crafting a working thesis; and allowing oneself enough time go to the Writing Center for help if necessary.

According to McCorvey, with more than 40 percent of college students experience anxiety over writing assignments. Sometimes it’s best to fight fire with fire, she said.

“Writing [such as journaling] could be used as a tool to help combat anxiety,” McCorvey suggested. “Writing is helpful in that you can focus that anxiety on something other than what you are anxious about.”