A little bit of positive reinforcement can go a long way | The Triangle
Opinion

A little bit of positive reinforcement can go a long way

Photograph by Isabella Mancini for The Triangle.

The stress of Week four brings an abundance of midterms, major projects, flu season, and Family Weekend, leaving most students drowning in anxiety and stress. Family weekend is supposed to be a nice, relaxing break from the overwhelmingly stressful 12 week quarter at Drexel. It is safe to say that what every college student, especially those struggling, needs right now is a small token of positive reinforcement to encourage them to power forward.

Seeing your family can be either the best or worst thing for you right now, depending on your personal circumstances. Regardless, every student could use a confidence booster and moral support. Family weekend is treated as an important event on campus because seeing loved ones is supposed to alleviate the negative stressors and create a positive environment that cultivates academic success.

Positive reinforcement has been shown to enhance academic performance and relieve stress.

According to the New Hampshire Department of Education, “Schools, parents, and the community should work together to promote the health, well being and learning of all students. When schools actively involve parents and engage community resources, they are able to respond more effectively to the health-related needs of students.”

It is incredibly beneficial to implement and promote family involvement on campus. Having the moral and emotional support of loved ones at a time when it feels like everything is falling apart can be so impactful to a student’s mental health. A simple compliment, congratulations or hug could be the best thing we get all week after feeling defeated from quizzes or exams.

The last thing any of us want to hear at this point in the quarter is badgering, arguing, questions or an itinerary with definitive plans for the weekend.

According to Inside Higher Ed, students who receive more emotional support from their families were 19 percent more likely to have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, 19 percent more likely to accumulate at least 24 credits during their first year and 24 percent more likely to finish a second year of college. Financial circumstances were unrelated to each of these potential outcomes. Regardless of a family’s financial status, a student can excel given the proper amount of emotional support from close family or friends.

Many students who feel encouraged and uplifted feel more inclined to study, get involved on campus and engage in conversations with fellow students and faculty. Low-income households or family dynamics that are not considered “normal” should be just as supportive and motivating of their students because the effect can be even greater on these particular individuals.

With the colder months arriving swiftly, it is in the best interest of parents, relatives and close friends to show as much support and love as they possibly can to students to help them avoid laziness, procrastination and even depression.