MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
For Advisors
The First Year at MIT

Advising Right Now: Recognizing Signs of Stress

We all know that MIT is a stressful place, but there are things we can do as advisors to help our advisees better cope. Here are some things to be aware of as the term begins.

Identifying Stress Symptoms

MIT Medical has a printable brochure called When You're Worried about a Student, which includes a list of symptoms of stress. These include:

Help Your Students Help Themselves

Early intervention will get positive results! TAs, faculty, and tutors are all available to help. If you have a student who appears depressed or overwhelmed, now is the time to refer him or her to help.

Academic Problems

The student's TAs and/or instructors, subject review sessions, departmental tutoring, the Talented Scholars Resource Room or TSR^2, and the staff in Undergraduate Advising and Academic Programming office are all great resources for students seeking to improve their academic performance.

If you want to be in direct contact with your advisee's teachers or TAs, please see the list of Freshman Lecturers.

Time Management and Study Skills

Many freshmen run into academic problems because they lack experience in managing all aspects of their lives. This typically includes poor time management and organizational skills.

For information on improving performance, refer your advisees to the Center for Academic Excellence (ACADEX) site for tips, tools, advice and resources.

Personal Problems or Extenuating Circumstances

Sometimes students are unable to focus on schoolwork because of personal mental health issues like depression, illness, serious interpersonal problems (roommates, new or failing romances), or family crisis (death, divorce, illness).