a yellow street sign that says "BREATHE"

Preparing for Receiving Feedback

It’s late evening when my last class of the day ends. I’m mentally exhausted, ready for dinner, and “zoomed out,” but there’s an email notification from Sakai: my professor has uploaded feedback on an assignment. I download the document and start to read through it. 
With every comment I feel my level of anxiety rising. The negative thoughts start flooding in: “There’s so much I have to revise! I’ll have to cancel my weekend plans now.” 
Even worse, I begin negatively interpreting my professor’s comments. Analyzing each sentence, I imagine disappointment and judgment embedded in every word. I shut the computer, now tired, hungry, and feeling bad about myself. 
Since working at the Virtual Writing Center, I’ve come to appreciate that feedback can have a strong emotional impact, and many factors can affect how the writer reads and understands it. 
This realization made me rethink my own approach to receiving feedback. I’ve noticed that when I read feedback in the morning, while I’m mentally fresh and more emotionally receptive, I can use it more productively. Rather than feeling too overwhelmed to even look at my paper again, I can make a plan for the revision process. 
In preparing for receiving feedback, I’ve also gained a deeper appreciation for practicing mindfulness, especially in my reactions to the reviewer. For instance, when I catch myself making assumptions about what my professor thought, or interpreting the “tone” of their comment, I remind myself that the way a sentence sounds to me may not be how it was intended. 
Even with all these preparations, it can still be challenging to receive feedback. So, I take a deep breath. I tell myself that I’m a student, here to grow and learn. And, I never look at feedback past dinnertime.