The Reflective Learning Seminar for Sisters, part of ASEC's Higher Education for Sisters in Africa (HESA) program, was held June 1-4, 2017 at the Institute for Formators, Du, Jos, northern Nigeria. It was my first experience attending this seminar. I left my community in Southwest Nigeria with mixed emotions because Jos is far from my home. As I approached Jos, the weather changed and got cooler. It rained heavily that day but the other passengers in the bus made me feel comfortable on the journey.
Thursday was the arrival day and we were warmly welcomed by the coordinators, Sisters Clementina Obembe and Clare Adelakun. This first day was a familiarization process, during which I met other sisters whose names I had come across in my email whenever a message was being sent to students. The second day started with Holy Mass Then Mr. Abraham Chunu, who anchored the next part, divided us into different groups and we were asked to introduce ourselves and to share our likes and dislikes. We all thought that was it and majority of us did not pay attention to the tiny details. Then Mr. Chunu took us by surprise by asking each sister to stand up and introduce another sister, mentioning her name, likes and dislikes and what ministry the person is currently doing. It was a great learning process as our listening skills were tested!
Later the same day, a talk was given by a religious on the topic “Stress Management and Coping Strategies in Relation to Studies”. She said that stress is a physical response to a feeling, situation, or events that interferes with our sense of well- being. She analyzed different things that cause stress for students. Some of them are:
- changes in lecture time
- inadequate supply of amenities
- inability of some lecturer to perform up to expectations,
- laziness on the part of student etc.
We also looked at internal and external stresses, like how we react to our physical environment, and how our body reacts to the external. She helped us to discover techniques that can be used to cope with some of these stresses:
- stop procrastinating
- have a study group
- take time to read
- have good health
- eat well
- exercise your body
- attend lectures
- read and annotate
- review was taught in lecture room
- ask questions for clarification
She emphasized time management to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity.
I am so happy that I attended this seminar and was able to share in other people’s experiences coping with stress and making good use of time. She adds,
"Meeting other students like myself and hearing their experience gives me encouragement to continue"