​How To Succeed In College When You Are Failing

Succeeding In College
 Succeeding In College
 Joshua David  

Are you failing your classes? Are you falling behind in a particular area? Then it is definitely time to step back and reevaluate where you are. There are four major areas where college students have trouble with: procrastination, aptitude, course load, and outside priorities. There is a plethora of other issues that could cause problems in college, but we will focus on these major four in this article.

College was never supposed to be easy.  Going to college offers many benefits for those that are freshmen right out of high school, late bloomers, transfer students, and the like.  This article is about helping you take a step back when things get tough, and reevaluate where you are. Don’t be a quitter, be a fighter.

I want to list some of the main issues students far and wide have, and offer a solution to those issues.  The first issue I want to address is procrastination.  I don’t want to hear the words “I’ll start tomorrow,” Come out of your mouth.  Instead you will start today.
One of the biggest reasons for procrastination in a college setting is lack of understanding. When a project or assignment is confusing your drive towards completion fades away.  If this is a hindrance for you, ask your professor or classmates for clarification.  I don’t care if they roll their eyes or exhale with annoyance; one way or another you’re paying for this class so do what you have to do to succeed. Another major factor in procrastination is time management.  I’m sorry to tell you this, but you might have to DVR your favorite shows and watch them later.  You just might have to tell your friends no. Listen, higher education is a big commitment, and part of that commitment is prioritizing your life. 
You need to metaphorically rip off the bandaid, and get used to practicing time management skills and saying no to things you really want to do (sometimes). The best way to handle procrastination is a schedule. You need to sit down and create time frames for your responsibilities. Each class requires for you to put in a certain amount of hours. Get a calendar and color-code that thing until every responsibility has its own place in your life. After that is complete, then you can pencil-in free time with friends or TV shows.   
Another issue students have in college is aptitude. What the heck is that you ask? Well aptitude is your natural ability to do something. Concerning higher education, aptitude builds on previous coursework and classes. If you barely pass an introductory course (or maybe you did well), and have trouble with any higher level courses of the same nature it’s because your aptitude for that course falls short.
In most college courses (either high level or intro) the information builds upon something you have previously learned.  If you find yourself, for whatever reason, struggling in that course, don’t be afraid to reach out for tutoring or a study buddy.  Just because you struggle with something (or seek help from a tutor) doesn’t mean you are not intelligent. It only means that you must develop new ways of learning specific material. Bouncing ideas off someone who does well in the class or a tutor will help you develop new ways of thinking towards that specific subject.  Remember, don’t give up.
The last two issues I want to address in this article are course load/outside priorities. These two issues, for the most part, go hand in hand. For those students who believe that they can take 24 credit hours of classes each semester and not sacrifice anything…be warned. Another reason for failing or falling behind in classes is too much on the plate.  I get it, you want to get your degree in six months instead of four years. But your attention must be divided properly in order to succeed.  Plus, this type of decision making makes for bad professional habits along the way. 
Slow and steady wins the race, unless you’re speed dating.  For everything else, that stands true. Don’t bury yourself in a mountain of work.  A note on outside priorities: If you have a full time job, or a family (which can be a full time job), and you go to school full time. Be careful not to overload yourself. This is where time management comes in. Don’t be afraid to reduce your course load when needed.  You have to take care of you first, then everything else will fall into place. The best word that comes time mind for these two issues is balance. 
In closing, if you are struggling with meeting the demands of your classes, you must reevaluate where you are.  Take a step back, and ask yourself if this is helping you or hurting you. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to someone about your particular situation.  Career counseling is a fantastic option for those that are struggling. Counseling is not just there for traumatic life events, deciding to stay in or go to school is a major life decision and one that should be taken seriously.  Set yourself up for success, and remember “You is kind, you is smart, and you is important.”    



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