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6 Behaviors that Guarantee Failure in College

Published on August 17, 2014 by Staff Writer

Broadview UniversityIf you knew the types of behaviors that would cause you to fail in college, would you avoid them?

There are many paths to success in college, just as there are many paths to failure—some of which might surprise you.

Here are six behaviors that guarantee failure in college.

1.  Procrastination

If you have a tendency to procrastinate tasks you don’t feel like doing at the moment, prepare to overcome some serious time-management hurdles in college.

The truth is, you may never feel like studying for that accounting exam or writing that research paper on the history of square dancing. But if you’re waiting around for the right mood to strike, you might be waiting a long time—or at least until the night before it’s due.

Living life from one panic-induced deadline to another is stressful and unnecessary. Check out this great article from Lifehack on 11 Practical Ways To Stop Procrastination.

2.  Ineffective studying

You’ve told your family to leave you alone for the next hour while you study. You’re at your desk, textbook open, highlighters handy. You’ll just check your phone once and put it away. After five minutes, you hear your phone beep and now you’re browsing through all your social media accounts and responding to multiple status updates and messages.

Before long, the hour has passed and you’ve barely gotten through the first chapter.

Failing to establish an effective study environment could be detrimental to your success as a student. Your study routine needs to be something you do several times a week (if not every day), and it should be a quiet, distraction-free zone where you can concentrate on your coursework.

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3.  Skipping class

Skipping class might have been what all the cool kids did in high school, but once you’re in college, it’s way less cool and much more costly.

According to an article by StudentScholarshipSearch.com, the true cost of skipping class is about $20 per hour at a public university, and around $47 per hour at a private university. If your class is longer than an hour, just think of how much more money is being wasted when you skip!

The experience of being an active participant in class is a big part of what you’re paying for. The class discussions, group activities and instructor’s lectures are all learning tools to help you get the most out of the course.

Try to only miss class for emergencies. (And no, wanting more sleep does not count as an emergency.)

4.  Not being mentally present in class

It’s one thing to be physically present for class, but it’s quite another to be mentally present. Students who show up for class and then play games on their phones or surf the web are short-changing themselves on their education. They are about as “present” in class as they would be if they had stayed home.

We live in a time of endless distractions, especially those we can access via electronics. It can be difficult to ignore a text message or a Facebook notification when it pings at us. But it’s not impossible.

Choose to turn off your distractions before class starts and remind yourself why you’re there in the first place: to get an education, not a better score on Candy Crush Saga.

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5.  Cramming for tests

Although it’s better than not studying at all, cramming for tests is the lazy person’s guide to studying.

When you don’t study for weeks and then do a cram session the night before, you’re relying on your short-term memory to store information just long enough until you don’t need it anymore.

Once the test is over, the short-term memory tidbits you consumed in a 3 a.m. frenzy will disappear faster than you can say, “I need new study habits.”

6.  Not asking for help

Maybe it’s not your personality to ask for help, or maybe you think you can figure it out on your own with the help of Google and an extra dose of caffeine. Weeks pass and you’re still confused by the material. Pretty soon your grade is in the gutter and you’re researching your school’s policy on retaking a course.

Does this scenario sound familiar?

Many of us have experienced it firsthand, all because we didn’t ask for help when we needed it. Teachers expect their students to have questions about the subject matter, otherwise no one would be taking the course in the first place. Don’t feel bad asking for additional help from your teachers. It’s their job to make sure you understand the material.

Don’t fall into these pitfalls during college! Learn more about our career-focused degree programs by requesting more information or by calling 1-877-480-3335.

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The Broadview Bonus

We’re Local. For more than 40 years, Broadview University has been an integral part of the local community connecting directly with local employers.