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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


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