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Intellectual Well-being

photo with text reading tips for financial stabilityIntellectual well-being refers to the ability to open our minds to new ideas and experiences that can be applied to personal decisions, group interaction, and community betterment. It is also using your mental abilities in a way that is meaningful to you, along with feeling satisfied and proud of your educational and intellectual journey. Especially in college, this can be a big part of life satisfaction as you have access to an endless array of subjects and life experiences to learn.

Studying techniques.
Everyone studies differently, and there is no one "right" way to study—you have to find what works for you.

  • Group Study Sessions. Get together with a group of focused friends and write out a study guide, quiz each other, and ask each other questions.
  • Getting Tutoring. Tutoring is one way of asking questions that can help you learn more details or go through your class notes again to make sure you understand the material.
  • Find a good place to study. Do you need background noise, complete silence, somewhere with visual stimulation, or something completely distraction-free? Some student favorites are Clemson Library, Nau Hall, New Cabell Hall, the top of the Rotunda, the Engineering School, and the Student Activities Center in Newcomb Hall.

Get to know your professors.
Getting to know who is teaching you will help you understand their teaching style, and will help create a bond so you are more likely to ask for help in the future. 

  • Get coffee. Getting coffee or a meal with a professor will help you learn more about them, and them about you. Some schools even have a “Take your Professor to Lunch” reimbursement program.
  • Go to office hours. This will let the professor know that you care about their class and that you take your academics seriously. It also is a great opportunity to ask questions you are not able to ask in class, whether it be about the course material or regarding their experience in their field as a professional. 
  • Engage in class. Your professor will be grateful that you are paying attention and helping to further the conversation, and you can find that you deepen your understanding of the course content. 

Be intentional in choosing your classes.
Taking classes you expect to enjoy can help increase your motivation for the work in the class. If you find yourself having to choose between classes that you may not enjoy, look for ways to appreciate them. For example, you are broadening your academic horizons. 

  • Choose a major you’ll find meaning in. If you already have a major chosen or are in a required class, look for meaning in that. Focus on how it will further your education. Don’t be afraid to try something new or out of your comfort zone; you may find a great new interest!
  • Learn about your professors. Looking at what your professors’ areas of specialty or experiences are can help you find common ground and know what you can ask them more about.
  • Schedule your classes. Scheduling can be overwhelming, but you do not need to make your entire semester overwhelming. Give yourself a balanced and realistic schedule. For example, keep in mind when you can focus best, professors you would love to have, and scheduling in time for down time, travel getting to/from classes, and food.

Expand beyond academics.
There are many ways to enhance your intellectual well-being outside of academics or your intended major.  Find ways to stretch, grow, and find intellectual joy outside of the classroom. By allowing your brain to experience different states of being you may experience an overall sense of greater self-awareness and fulfillment, along with increased performance when you come back to your classwork.

  • Do something interesting and new. Listen to a podcast, read a book for fun, learn a new game, or pick up a new hobby or instrument.  
  • Take a class outside of your major that you’re interested in – art, psychology, personal growth classes, music, the choices are endless.  
  • Join a club or group for fun. Choosing to join a club or group that’s outside of your comfort zone just for fun can provide new experiences and serve as a form of self-care.

"Intellectual/academic well-being to me means loving what you are studying while also making sure that you don’t stress yourself out too much doing it." - M.H.

"1515 is one of the most underrated study spots on grounds!"  - A.Z.