Starting a new life as a college student can be intimidating. As colleges open and students try to get their footing, many people are likely to make mistakes along the way. After all, college life is a culture shock for most students, particularly those who attend school out-of-state or overseas. Understand that there is no problem with making mistakes as they provide learning opportunities.
That said, it is always better to avoid some common mistakes. Today, the rates of college dropouts have spiked, showing that students are facing more challenges than ever before. According to a recent survey, about 40% of undergraduates terminate their studies before graduation because of challenges that typify student life. Unfortunately, you don’t have to become a part of the worrying statistics.
Getting used to life in college may take some time, and mistakes may happen, but there are ways to successfully navigate this part of your career. Become a successful student by avoiding these common mistakes in college.
Not Attending Classes
One of the most common mistakes students make in college is not attending classes. This affects their grades in the long run. Understand that missing a class ought to be a rare occurrence — something that only happens almost once or twice in an entire semester.
Missing more than three classes in one semester can interfere with your grades and academic performance. Of course, you can get professional assistance from college essay edit service companies online. However, it would be best if you were still prepared for significant tests on your own.
Note that showing up is a requirement to success in any undertaking. Failing to show up to class means forfeiting an opportunity offered in the classroom. We have to reiterate that attending class does more than offer your credit for attendance. Being present supports learning in numerous ways.
First, real-time instructions complement reading projects. There are concepts taught in class that you may not be able to discover on your own. Even students who feel that they already understand the class material should attend classes.
Your professor may provide some exciting examples or highlight some applications with which you are unfamiliar. Understand that concepts are always presented in class differently than what you can get in the text. Your classmates may also ask questions and trigger discussions that may offer additional elaboration on material and offer extra insight.
Another reason to attend class is that professors take advantage of classes to teach critical thinking. Therefore, attending class can allow you to engage with the course material differently, with the direction given by the professor. In addition, professors offer guidance in ways that allow learners to link concepts and assist students in thinking about course material in unique ways.
Other benefits of attending class include:
- An ability to make connections between concepts;
- A chance to benefit from professors’ experience;
- An opportunity to learn from peers;
- A chance to anticipate exam questions;
- A way to get clarity on course assignments.
Note that showing up for class is only one step of the process. To benefit from classes, you need to complete all assigned readings and review your notes before a class. Also, it is an excellent habit to arrive early to class, avoiding causing disruptions to others. Most importantly, listen actively and be present during the lesson.
Trying to Accomplish Everything Alone
The stress, worry, and anxiety that typifies college life can leave one feeling overwhelmed. You may be trying your best to finish all projects as soon as possible, but there may be times when you stray into a state of self-doubt and despair. There will be instances when you feel that all your hard work is not leading to the desired outcomes. You may even start to feel so helpless and depressed that you retreat to your shell away from your friends and loved ones.
It is no secret that college can be a challenging period for most people. Whether trying to survive classes and assignments or fit in, understanÅd that college life can never be perfect. So when you feel unmotivated and exhausted, understand that you don’t have to do it independently.
Having a social support system allows you to navigate the life of being a college student successfully. But, of course, isolation is often an issue among students, primarily those who find it hard to meet the right groups.
That said, your success as a student will depend on your ability to find people you are most comfortable around. It does not matter whether you like hanging around people or not. It would be best if you pushed yourself to go out and interact with people.
Your social support system in college is the network of individuals you can trust and reach out to for guidance whenever you face challenges. Your immediate social support system may include your family and friends. However, you could also reach out to your classmates, counselors, and professors for additional support.
Note that college is the ideal place to formulate meaningful relationships with new people. We all face tons of challenges throughout our student lives, and it helps if we can find others we can depend on when we need support.
Not Prioritizing Sleep
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a college student is not prioritizing your sleep. Research shows that quality sleep is linked to improved cognition and memory. Sleep also facilitates learning, allowing you to focus during lessons and recharge your physical and mental faculties.
Generally, getting a good night’s sleep allows you to make the most of your days in college. However, as one tries to squeeze all-important tasks into a limited schedule, the temptation to pull all-nighters may become appealing.
Please note that sleep is crucial in helping human bodies and minds rejuvenate and recover after busy days. The result is that quality sleep contributes towards improved learning and enhances regulatory functions. Yet, according to a recent survey, 50% of college students report feeling sleepy during the day, while about 70% report not getting enough sleep.
So, how much sleep does a college student need? According to research, a typical college student requires between seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Note that uninterrupted sleep promotes a healthy cycle, during which the human brains transitions through active and inactive states.
Also, remember that the schedule you set for your sleep will also affect your sleep quality. This means that, to get enough rest, try to go to bed and wake up around the same time each day. Here are other ways to optimize the quality of your sleep:
- Schedule enough time for sleep;
- Keep the bedroom dark and cool to help with falling asleep;
- Exercise regularly;
- Make sleep time a priority;
- Avoid using technology close to bedtime.
Procrastinating and Not Managing Time
Procrastination is another mistake college students make, with evidence suggesting that around 80 to 95 percent of college students procrastinate. When faced with complicated tasks and hectic schedules, some students choose to put off getting started on projects until when the tasks are almost due.
Procrastination comes with serious costs. Evidence shows that the longer students wait to get started on their assignments, the worse their performance in those tasks. Also, teachers deduct marks for assignments that arrive after the submission deadline. Studies also link procrastination with higher levels of anxiety, stress, fatigue, and depression.
Students procrastinate because such issues as anxiety and exhaustion outweigh their motivation and self-control. Procrastination is primarily a problem when students are meant to study or work on bulky assignments. Such tasks demand self-control to get work finalized on time. Fatigue, lack of motivation, and anxiety interfere with students’ ability to start tasks, resulting in procrastination.
To fight procrastination, you first need to identify the smallest task you can accomplish right now and start working on it. You will also need to improve your work environment to make it conducive enough for studying. For instance, when preparing for an exam, you can start by going through your notes. Improving your environment means removing distractions and organizing your study materials.
Improved planning can also help prevent procrastination. For example, students should create goals for themselves, breaking large tasks into smaller chunks to improve motivation. Also, set clear goals and milestones for yourself.
Wrapping Things Up
Students make tons of mistakes as part of their learning process. The key is to understand that your mistakes don’t define you like a leaner. The solutions offered in this article, including greater self-compassion, improved organization, and social support, can help with most mistakes. College can be challenging, so don’t hesitate to seek help whenever you need it.