Ready for school to be out, finals got me stressed out

By Nate Kahn

As the Whatcom community transitions from fall into winter, final exams are inbound. There are many on campus resources available for students, in order to help them study and succeed. One of those resources is The Learning Center in Cascade Hall.
The Whatcom Math Center has drop in tutoring hours ranging from Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m, with extended hours on Tuesday and Wednesday that take place in the library from 6-9 p.m. The Math Center has extended their hours on Fridays. The previous hours were 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. however, The Math Center is now open until 4 p.m every Friday.
Students can visit the math center and receive help from the center’s math tutors. Patrick Taylor is a Math major at Western Washington University. He works as a tutor for all levels of mathematics at The Math Center.
“As a tutor I have been through almost every class they are taking or have taken before, so I know how I prepared and I can give advice.” Taylor said
He explained that the tests and quizzes students take during the quarter are all based on a single topic, while the final tests are a combination of everything they’ve learned throughout the quarter. “All these tests are basically focused on one subject, while their finals their going into are mostly accumulative.” Taylor said. “That’s the biggest stress, how to prepare for an accumulative final.”
The Math Center offers drop in tutoring as well as scheduled one-on-one sessions with tutors. The Math Center also provides helpful workshops on test preparation.
“Other than offering free tutoring we also offer math anxiety workshops or test anxiety workshops, on how to prepare for tests throughout the quarter.” Taylor said.
Math anxiety is a symptom that many college student struggle with. Students often ignore or refuse to receive help from on campus resources due to a sense of pride.
According to Brown University’s Supporting Student Study Habits web page, “Students can fail to seek out help because they do not realize that they need it or because of feelings of intimidation, shame, etc.”
Tutors at both The Math Center and The Writing Center can able to assist students with any level of test preparation and essay composition, as well as help students cope with the stress and anxiety stemming from their workload.
Palena Lopathikov, a tutor at The Writing Center says that students experience stress during the process of writing college level compositions.
“They aren’t used to having college essays.” Lopathikov said.
She explains that students struggle with “The formality and formatting, different citation styles or they haven’t written in a while.” The Writing Center also offers help with resume writing and college applications as well as assignments for class. The Writing Center has tutors that can meet weekly for secluded tutoring. “You can schedule one-on-one sessions, you can even meet with them every week and have a scheduled time that’s yours.” Said Lopathikov.
The Learning Center has a team of tutors that can assist with assignments, as well as provide resources such as graphing calculators, textbooks and computers for all students. The center’s extended hours make tutoring availability accessible for students with different schedules. There are a lot of resources available at The Learning Center and they’re all free. It would to students’ advantage to make use of them. According to Lopathikov a lot of students she helps at The Learning Center didn’t know about the resources available to them, now those students, “use them over and over and again.”

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Phi Theta Kappa

By Cailean Mcleod

Whatcom’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) club helps students pursue their career and educational goals.
19-year-old PTK member Ryan Kussmann said, “Having access to all these different resources from advisors to apply for scholarships and write college applications is pretty helpful.”
Carol Reed-Jones, advisor for PTK, said PTK is a support organization for students with strong educational motivation and solid work ethic.
Reed-Jones said that each college has its own specific PTK chapter. Whatcom’s chapter is called Alpha Xi Nu (AXN).
Reed-Jones said PTK honors four core values called Pillars. Those four pillars are service, scholarship, fellowship, and leadership.
Reed-Jones said because highly capable students can feel very lonely in their academic journey, supporting them and letting them interact with similar students is the key.
“This is an organization where students can meet like-minded people,” Reed-Jones said.
Kylie Terpsma, co-president of AXN said to become a member students need to have a 3.5 GPA or above. Students also have to pay a $70 one-time membership fee, which covers access to the scholarship websites and chapter activities.
“We have specific scholarships, leadership skills for careers, and you also gain a little more fellowship among students; it’s really amazing,” Terpsma said.
Terpsma said The Jack Kent Cook Scholarship is a scholarship that PTK routinely gives out, and the PTK Transfer Scholarship is available for students who want to transfer to Western.
In addition, PTK has its own scholarship called the Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship. On the website, the scholarship is offered in categories pertaining to degree tiers: associates, bachelors, and masters degrees.
“Being able to connect with individuals that you might normally not be able to connect with is really helpful,” Kussmann said. He added that he met another person who shared a similar career path during the beginning of his membership in fall.
Kussmann seeks to major in Computer Information Systems next year at Whatcom.
“At one point the students formed groups of similar majors to check in with each other and see how they were doing in meeting their goals,” Reed-Jones said.
Reed-Jones said the club is beneficial for networking and support among students.
“There are a number of resources which PTK has on it’s website; there are links to scholarship websites, some of which are available for anyone to apply to, such as CollegeFish and WashBoard and others as well as scholarships specific to members,” Reed-Jones said.
Reed-Jones said scholarships that specifically encourage service learning and public service, such as volunteer work, help students build skills and work ethic. They can then add that scholarship work to a resume, which gives them a greater chance of finding a job.
“It’s my belief that PTK also has a fifth pillar, and that’s Community. Community service is something that we live by,” Terpsma said.
The students of the PTK club have done various projects to fulfill their pledge of community service.
Reed-Jones said the PTK club did a food drive for the Bellingham Food Bank last year and collected over 400 pounds of food.
“We also had Project Santa where we joined with Whatcom’s Criminal Justice Club and the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office to help low-income families get food and clothing last December,” Reed-Jones said.
“It would be nice to see more people in PTK because of the people who support you and the resources you can get from other members and advisors,” Kussmann said.

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The official student newspaper of Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Washington