EQ & School: Why Should You Care?

Emotional-Intelligence-DirectionI know, I know, you have spent so much time over the years learning how to “suck it up”, “keep a stiff upper lip”, “fake it until you make it”… essentially ignore that you may be feeling something and just keep moving forward. Emotions don’t matter, logic does…right?

Well, not according to many years of research in the area of Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Recently, an awesome professor at Trent University, Dr. James Parker, conducted some pretty great research (I have seen him lecture…amazing!). He wondered “Why Smart Students Fail?” and if there was something he could find out that would be helpful. What he found was the following cool facts:

Most Common Reasons Students Drop Out:

*Problems developing new relationships

*Problems modifying existing relationships (living apart)

*Difficulties with learning new study habits

*Problems learning to be independent

One of the remarkable researchers in the area of EQ is Dr. Daniel Goleman (still on my bucket list to meet someday), says that “the ability to identify, appropriately express and manage our emotions, forms the foundation for learning and making decisions. It is the platform on which other essential skills, like reading, writing, math, even social skills are built. As it is a skill, (EQ) has to be taught and continually practiced”.

Yes! EQ can grow and you can learn new skills!

Dr. Carole Robin teaches graduate Business students at Stanford University and she has a pretty great perspective around emotions. She comments that “our ability to be in touch with and express our feelings is slowly socialized out of us. Though we’re trained to tamp down our emotions, it’s an illusion, because emotions don’t go away unless addressed. If you’re not aware of your emotions you can’t manage them and when you don’t manage your emotions you encounter all manner of unintended results.

Learn to understand what your emotions are telling you…

…learn the language, use strategies for navigating the difficulties and make different choices.

Do I have you convinced that maybe developing your EQ would be a good thing for your academic and life success?

Really, if emotions are not faced, they become distractions. These distractions lead to you not getting work done, doing poorly on tests even though you studied and possibly leading to you dropping out of school.

Remember the 15 Areas of EQ that I talked about recently? Take a quick Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire to see where your EQ strengths are and where you need to grow. Think about how each of these 15 areas can help in your success as a student. Over the next few weeks I will be providing tips to help you grow your EQ in all 15 areas..


I will give a few Stress Management Tips to get you started. I have 12 Tips in total, but I will only provide 3 today to keep you curious 😉 Managing your stress, means growth in EQ Flexibility, EQ Stress Tolerance and EQ Optimism.

Here are some strategies to think about and start adding to your life:

Managing Stress Tip #1


Laughter is one of the most effective ways to manage stress

Psychoneuroimmunology: This science says that laughter can help boost your immune system and make you less prone to colds and the flu. 

Managing Stress Tip #2


Being more flexible helps you manage stress by allowing you to try different ways of talking to people and dealing with events rather than acting out of habit or doing what makes you feel safe. Try new ways, methods, approaches. Watch other people for tips on doing it differently.

Managing Stress #3

SAY “NO!” and Prioritize…

Reduce the demands that are placed on you by being assertive and saying “no” when needed.

Are you a “yay-sayer”? : “Sure I’ll do all the work for the group”, “Certainly I can work overtime anytime you need me to.” Maybe you need to protect your time a wee bit better.

Oh I know you are curious about the next 9 tips!

You will need to check back this week as I upload all of the EQ Tip Sheets.


Again, thank you so much to those who have emailed me comments or “liked” my blog post!

If you have any ideas or questions, please pass them along.

I want to make this as helpful and relevant to you as I can. 


Dr. Heather Drummond, C.Psych.

Psychologist * Passionate Advocate for Flourishing * Human Muddling Through



  1. This has given me some huge, ginormous insight! ;-D thank you for doing this!
    I don’t understand some things but I’m I will once I read more about EI. :-j

  2. Just found your blog. I’m not sure if you’ve addressed it before and I’ll be sure to look around but do you think there’s any connection between technology and the slower development of EQ, specifically with younger people? I find from an interpersonal communication standpoint, there are often issues because so many young people think/write/talk in text language as opposed to paragraphs for lack of a better way of putting it. Just curious.

    1. Hi Chris! Thanks so much for your questions. I haven’t found anything specific regarding EQ, Human Development and Social Media/Technology; however, there has been some recent research around this generation in the post-secondary environment and a lack of preparedness. They have been described as “failure deprived”, “the helicopter generation”, “the tea cup generation” and having “snow plow” parents, as an explanation for the lower skill set/resilience/coping ability. Julie Lythcott-Haims, former dean at Stanford University, has recently released a great book called ‘How to Raise an Adult’. I am happy to pass along more information if you are interested. This is the primary reason that I have created this program, eSuccess-Coaching, as a way to meet them where they are, Social Media, and to help build the skills that are so needed in academic and life success. Feel free to email me and we can chat more! I would love to hear your perspective.

      1. I would certainly like any other information you have. I think snow plow parents is an accurate description based on my experiences in higher education. Kids don’t learn basic skills like making an appointment to talk about a grade or an assignment. The parents just call and often try to bully their way on behalf of their child. I’m interested to see which direction the research goes in the near future since social media is still in its relative infancy and we are just starting to see some of the long term effects. For one research project, I found some studies focusing on parents posting baby pictures on FB and the effect that had on the longterm relationship with the child. I’m sure we will have lots to learn in the coming years.

      2. Hi Chris! I am definitely not ignoring you. Your comments are so valuable . I will be able to pass along more information in the new year once my college counselling office slows down a wee bit. I would love to connect further and learn more about what you do with Evenflow.

  3. I love your blog Heather! It is helping me to refocus my mind for the rest of the semester!!! Much needed!!!:)

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