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Intellectual wellness at its core encompasses lifelong learning, critical thinking and the expansion of world views. Being open to new ideas, experiences and perspectives are great ways to improve our intellectual wellness as well as develop stronger critical thinking skills. Exposure to these diverse experiences allows us to expand our views and creative thinking.

As with all other dimensions of wellness, intellectual wellness requires a balance. Maintaining self-care habits such as enough sleep, maintaining proper nutrition, and knowing when you need a quick break are key factors in expanding your intellectual wellness. Focus on your strengths and your abilities, rather than the limitations. Try to find creative alternative solutions when faced with a roadblock.

In the list below, you will find several resources to help improve your overall intellectual wellness.

On Campus Resources

Off Campus Resources

Testing Tips and Strategies

Study Skills

  • Note-taking Tips and Strategies
  • Try and review your notes within 24 hours prior to class to keep the class material active in your recall memory
  • While reading your course books or watching course videos, take notes
    • What stands out to you as a main important point?
    • Is there something you are confused about- if so, jot it down to bring up in class later on.
    • Use these notes to add details to the notes you took in class or the powerpoints notes your instructor provides
  • Active learning is more effective than just reading the material you need to learn multiple times. Active learning includes: 
    • Answer the review questions you typically find at the end of each chapter of your textbook; 
    • Practice Q&A on that material with a classmate; and,
    • Retrieve from your memory what you read, write it down, and compare it with your notes.
    • When taking notes from powerpoints, try to focus also on the important points the professor is talking about that may not be on the powerpoint
  • Study groups are often a different helpful way to practice and review the information.
    • Carefully read the comments your instructors make on the material they grade. It is especially important to review the comments instructors make on the draft of a paper you need to submit.
  • Try to study in an environment that helps you focus - this may look different for everyone. (i.e. reduced distraction environment, music, etc.)
  • Colors- Color Coding is often a quick way to help trigger memory, organize, and prioritize. That said, it can be easy to get carried away with color and too much coloring can lead to confusion, so try to find that balance
  • You know you best!- At the end of the day, you often already know what has and has not worked well for you in the past. Try to think about what study skills and strategies have previously been successful for you

Time Management

  • You got this. Often most students may feel overwhelmed with juggling school, social, family, and/or work life. Positive self- motivation is a good starting point. If you need a jump start on this, ask yourself
    • What are some of my strengths (small and big)?
    • What has been something I did well with in the past? 
    • Some Examples include: taking usable notes, persevering through a difficult project or test, giving speeches and presentations, being reliable, turning in the work, attending class on time, reaching out for support when needed, asking questions, having the drive to try, etc. 
  • Make a “To-Do” list and cross off completed tasks (big and small) as you go. 
  • Plan it out- When are the big things due? If it is a project, exam, or big paper, these often involve smaller steps. Plan due dates for these steps as well. 
    • Road Trip Destination Example: If it’s helpful, think of it as a road trip to an out-of-state location. The location you are trying to drive to (i.e. project due) requires some prep and planning. First you need to make sure you have the things you need for the trip such as a car and map (i.e. resources, research, project requirements, possible group collaboration). Then you need to make sure you are making your fuel check-points along the way (i.e. resources, intro, body of project, conclusion, works cited page). Allowing time to achieve these check-points beforehand allows you to get to the destination without worrying about running out of fuel. 
  • Prioritize: What is important for you to accomplish? This includes school and your personal goals. Try to tackle the most important aspects first.
  • Multi-task within your limits- You are only one person. Make sure you are engaging in self-care and try not to stretch yourself too thin with commitments.

News and Current Events

  • Keeping up with news and current events is a great way to expand our worldviews which can help contribute to our overall intellectual wellness. 
    • Access NYT - Members of the JCU community are eligible for complimentary access to the New York Times. 
    • Wall Street Journal - Students are also eligible to receive complimentary access to the Wall Street Journal.
    • - local news for Cleveland and the surrounding areas. 

Experiential Learning

  • Be actively engaged in conversation, readings, and classrooms - think about what is happening
  • Ask questions to yourself or others as you reflect. Try to see both sides of a situation. Try to keep an open mind when exploring. 
  • Sometimes things are not black and white and may be a grey area. There isn’t always a “right” answer and sometimes there are multiple. 
  • There is often more than one way to do something. That is why businesses often like group projects. Groups can bounce ideas and creativity off each other.
  • Expose yourself to differences and expand from your norm (within a safe reason).
  • Stay open-minded to new ideas, thoughts, insights, values, and expressions
  • Challenge the norm, don't take an answer for what it is without agreeing upon it yourself. Dive further into the background- possibly exploring as Sherlock Holmes would a new case in question. 
  • Try to relate it!- Find patterns and connections to examples that relate to your life

Try using a reflection framework

Brain Exercises

Art and Creativity

  • Try working another area of your brain and step out of the box.
    • Examples
      • Music- try playing a musical instrument or attending a musical performance
      • Art- painting, drawing, photography, sculpting, cinematography, graphic design, etc. (click here for possible activities)
      • Dance- dancing, taking dance classes
      • Theater- attend a theater performance or try performing as an actor in a play
      • Building/ Designing (architecture, engineering, etc)
      • Visit a museum