Have you ever experienced this sort of embarrassment during a college lecture before?
It’s one of those lectures that everybody but you seems to understand. You’ve tried to follow on but can’t seem to catch up. Then, you raise your hand to ask a question (for the fourth time) and the ambiance of the lecture hall is disturbed by the indistinct hullabaloo from your coursemates. Amongst them are Critics, Laughers, and also your friends who are trying to put you through.
Situations like this often result in a case of dented self-esteem and the creation of beef amongst peers.
This is one clear indication of the need for emotional intelligence within the college setting.
In this blog post, we discuss the characteristic nature of college environments that warrant emotional intelligence and also highlight several engaging activities that can exercise your emotional intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence in college.
Schools, alongside families and peers, are a primary agent of socialization.
They inevitably influence how we interact with other people and help us understand the social world in which we have a role to play.
However, the college setting is a system that encourages academic competence over emotional intelligence.
A descriptive analysis was carried out to measure the effect of college stress on 123 students across five domains; Academics, Environment, Physiology, Psychology, and Social.
Results were that Academics and Environment contributed majorly to college stress experienced by students than other domains.
So it is not undue to have butterflies, skip a heartbeat or feel moody and exhausted when the thought of college comes to mind.
The college environment remains a source of stress for students, Academic staff, and Non-Academic staff. Exercising emotional intelligence in college can enable you to think and act in a socially skilled manner and also help you better manage school stress on a daily basis.
7 practices of Emotional Intelligence in college
1. Daily reflection
Because the majority of collegial activities are done in groups, it is easy to lose your sense of self; your separate thoughts, perspectives, and feelings.
Without a degree of self-awareness, it would be difficult to exercise emotional intelligence in college.
Though, one way to improve self-awareness is to elucidate individuality within group interactions.
Build a habit of practicing daily reflections.
To exercise emotional intelligence in college, take out some time after the seminars, lectures, and group assignments, to look retrospectively at how you turned up that day.
Make it a habitual practice for winding down after the day’s work.
2. Write a letter of appreciation
The notion that “emotions make you weak” has been reinforced, in recent culture, by toxic masculinity as well as generational disputes.
In a bid not to appear ‘weak’, a lot of post-millennials today learn to bottle up soft feelings and resent comments or gestures that embody them. It is one idea to unlearn.
I want to express these soft emotions and if they prompt, tell any person, irrespective of gender, “I appreciate you, you mean a lot to me” and not be perceived wrongly.
Do you have people that put in the shift to refine you whether directly or indirectly?
Of course, you do. They proliferate the college space. Some of them are your peers, teachers, and non-teaching staff.
Break the macho front, pick a pen or your mobile device and draft a message that genuinely esteems him or her. (See Romans 12:10)
In your letter of appreciation, Let them know
- How they are great people (their character traits and deeds).
- What they mean to you personally.
- How they have helped you grow.
3. Lead a coursemate across the finish line
It gets to a point in self-leadership, where the scope goes beyond self to selfless.
While we run our race or walk the walk, let us try to keep an eye out for those who are struggling.
Many times, our search will have to be backed with restorative actions because there will always be people who are struggling. Be ready to help.
It is a misconception to think or say you have nothing to offer cause we all do. Find the unique way God wants you to do it.
Here is the beautiful thing.
You get to be that friend to a struggling person and also let someone be a friend when you’re struggling. That’s Give and Take fully in effect.
4. Get with the right crowd
Peers, an agent of socialization, can influence our personal development and our perspective of the world.
As a double-edged sword, it can serve both good and bad.
Roll with a group of friends who racially abuse and bully people, it is very likely you would follow suit.
Roll with an ethnically-diversed group of friends, you’ll learn about cultures other than yours and gain a more accurate sense of how the world is.
The inability to navigate the social world healthily is an indicator of the absence or lack of competent emotional Intelligence.
Exercise emotional intelligence in college by populating the social environment with a circle of friends who truly value you and have good values that you have or want to emulate.
5. Volunteer work
Admittedly, it was only recently I learned that there is truly a divine reward for any selfless beneficial service to man or God’s creation. (1 Chr 15:7, Gal 6:9, Luke 6:38)
There is more. Wait till you see the facial expression of those who, through your service, have been empowered to run the life race better than they used to.
Take up National service, or a volunteer position in a church or non-profit organization you believe in.
Emotional Intelligence has run its full course when your actions have made an observer or a recipient experience and, by extension, grow in the understanding of a particular emotion.
Talk to well-meaning college personnel about vacancies for volunteer work. Or, on holidays, you might as well hit up your good old friend, Google, with the search term; “Volunteer jobs near me”.
Want to volunteer for Chieflings? Leave us a line here.
6. Practice Mind reframing
With the right frame of mind, any college student can practice emotional intelligence even when tense.
If a conversation or situation triggers negative feelings within you, choose to disengage from it.
You can try this; detach the emotion-provoking thought from the emotion itself and attach the negative emotion to any trivial thought.
Remember our opening story? Here’s what to do if it ever happens.
Reframe your mind by seeing the Critics and Laughers as being envious of your tenacity to learn. The feeling of embarrassment can be reconnected to the thought of that childhood experience your parents love to tell your friends about.
7. Internship programs
Internship programs are a great avenue to increase your emotional intelligence in college. One of its objectives is to equip students to be able to navigate the workspace.
Building social skills is a highly rewardable goal as we see from this research article. Social incompetence impedes the accomplishment of academic and occupational excellence.
The common saying, “Your net worth is in your network.” holds.
Put yourself out there. Be present in discussions. Share funny moments with Colleagues and look out for opportunities to grow in self-leadership.
Below are some ways an internship program could improve your self-leadership.
- Interning will expose you to people outside of your immediate social circle and teach you to work with them.
- Help you find a mentor within your career discipline.
- Getting some job done, however little, could boost your confidence.
- Puts you under management where you get real-world feedback on leadership. You could learn for yourself, the strengths and weaknesses of others in leadership positions.
8. Take Wholesome breaks
I am a strong believer in the quote;
All Work and No Play make Jack a dull boy.
Jack is intelligent enough to understand that ‘Work’ requires resources. It demands a lot of mental power and physical execution that often leaves the reserve depleted. ‘Play’, on the other hand, recharges the reservoir of his internal energy.
According to Mayoclinic, spending time with family and setting aside time for hobbies help to manage stress.
In addition to this, practice the following to exercise emotional intelligence in college;
- participate in departmental social activities such as dinners, competitions, etc.
- Prioritize your sleep and acknowledge body signals of fatigue.
- give yourself the permission to have wholesome(not noisome) fun.
Final thoughts on Emotional Intelligence and EQ practices in college.
College is a social environment. It is a platform where you’re constantly interacting with different people, in a wide range of emotional states, at all hours of the day.
Through agents of socialization, we can become socially adept which helps us become more emotionally intelligent.
Find ways to incorporate the ones that resonate with you into your schedule per time. I know Activity number 8 will always make the selection.