Lifestyle, Student Life February 06, 2020
The Enemies to Your Success – How to Defeat Them

The Enemies to Your Success – How to Defeat Them

Out of every 5 students, one is going to drop out at some point during four years of college. That is 20% too much, and since there’s such a high drop out rate, there must be some solid reasons why students fail.

If you’re a struggling student who is trying to keep up with the curriculum, read this article and you’ll learn about the biggest reasons students fail and how to achieve academic success.

Here are the main reasons for academic failure as described by the students themselves.

Source: Schoolplanner

Some of these points are doubled like a lack of organisation and time management. Some, like poverty or class sizes, can’t be solved effectively by academic efforts.

But you can fix many of the mistakes that lead students to failure. Here is how you do that.

No family support

Academics aside, every student has to pay for tuition, books, food, accommodation, and for a bit of recreation as well. It hurts when you’re doing great academically, but you have no choice but to drop out of college because your family can’t support you anymore.

Studying better isn’t a solution to this problem. But it’s not a situation you can’t get out of.

How to solve this problem?

Losing financial support doesn’t have a clear-cut solution. Solving this problem requires you to do several things, many of them in advance.

The first possible thing you can do is to work part-time. Sure, tight university schedules don’t really support having a full-time job, but there are a lot of options for you. If you’re doing well academically, you can do odd freelance writing jobs and start getting a small income.

Don’t waste it, though. Start saving money so that you have a financial buffer if things go south. Having a support network of friends who can help you out and let you sleep on their couch for a bit if your situation is really bad also helps.

You should also have a backup plan for your education. Taking out a student loan or switching to distant learning fast can be good decisions to stay in the university when you lose support from family.

Fear of failure

When it comes to academics, the number one reason why students fail is procrastination. You know you need to do this project right now or you’re toasted, but you don’t. You binge-watch Netflix, you spend days gaming, you go out. You do anything except what you’re supposed to do.

But procrastination is not something that happens spontaneously. In many cases, students start procrastinating because they fear failure. Even though they may not fully understand this, fearing that you’re going to fail a task makes you think it’s not even worth trying.

How to solve this problem?

The only way you can curb the cause of procrastination is by getting good at failure. Push yourself to try and fail a project a couple of times, and you’ll learn that failing is actually a good thing.

Understand that it’s just an opportunity for learning and becoming better at whatever you’re failing at. Keep that mentality, and you’re never going to procrastinate again.

Time management

When it comes to procrastination, fear of failure and poor time management go hand in hand. Veronica Wright from Cake HR Software says it’s amazing how many young people don’t have any time management skills whatsoever. Most employees who come to the company fresh from college have to be taught from scratch.

Here’s what basic advice she has for students who can’t manage their time.

How to solve this problem to achieve academic success ?

Write down every task. It doesn’t matter whether you carry a small notebook around where you plan your day or use an online tool like Bandcamp or Trello. The main thing is to get into the habit of planning your days and sticking to the plan.

If you’re having trouble with the latter, use treats to motivate yourself. Also, write down all the important deadlines and set up notifications at least a week prior to the date. This way, you won’t ever have to rush to finish an assignment.

Cramming

Over 90% of students cram before taking an important test. Studying hard may seem like a good idea, but in fact, cramming can be harmful to your academic performance.

For one thing, it only trains your short-term memory. When you read a passage over and over again, you can remember it for the time being. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean you can remember it later.

To keep that information in your long-term memory, you need to recall it. Paul Kelly and Terry Whatson’s study suggest that you need to recall the material at least five days after you’ve initially learned it. If you don’t, you’re not training your long-term memory at all.

Then, there’s the issue of sleep. Most students who cram do it in the late hours, sacrificing sleep for knowledge. But that can be causing more harm than good. Sleep deprivation causes you to lose productivity and its damage is measured in billions across the world.

Source: Statista

How to solve this problem?

The solution is simple. Keep your time management in check and start learning early on. Follow the five-day recall rule, and leave the night before the exam for sleeping.

Failing to rest

There are so many stereotypes about Millennials and Gen Zers being lazy that you’d be amazed they’re actually workaholics. Many young people these days are ashamed of not doing something productive 24/7, as Anne Helen Peterson’s famous article suggests.

If you’re one of those students who can’t stop and are working on the edge of burnout, here’s what you have to do.

How to solve this problem?

You need to recognise that you need rest to stay productive. Don’t plan over 40 hours of heavy studying a week and leave plenty of room to rest in different ways. Chill at home, play some music, talk to friends and family. Give your brain some space to reset, and it will reward you with increased productivity.

Get motivated & get better!

Now that you know the five main reasons students fail and how to solve them, there’s one important piece of advice to get. You need to stay motivated throughout college.

If you know what you’re working towards, be it a career at a law firm, your own business, or passion for archeology, you’re going to have an easier time pulling yourself by the bootstraps and getting through tough times.

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