Habits That Could Hurt Your College Success

Jul 27, 2011

Everyone has some bad tendencies, but there are certain habits that could get in the way of a student's college success. It's important to identify these habits and address them so something like being late doesn't hurt students' grades or get in the way of them doing the best they can in school.

By Jessica Lyons

student

Procrastination

When someone knows they have a couple weeks to accomplish a task, most people find it very easy to put off doing it, whether the chore is a homework assignment or paying a bill. You definitely don't want to let this bad habit get in the way of your coursework. If you're rushing to finish assignments at the last minute, it could hurt the quality of your work and result in a lower grade then you're capable of earning. Assignments that are completed after the due date might not even be accepted by some teachers, depending on what their policies are.

To help address your procrastination issue, get a planner that is small enough to carry in your bag. As soon as you get an assignment, write down when it's due. Seeing when everything is due for your different classes will help you realize that when you have multiple things to work on you can't leave them all for the last minute. It will also assist you in planning out the best way to use your time to get everything done.

Constant Cell Phone Use

We've all seen that person walking around who seems to have a cell phone glued to the palm of his or her hand and who doesn't want to stop using it even for a second. If this is you, you could have a problem for a few different reasons. First of all, when you're in class you need to focus on what your professor is saying and not on what's going on with your phone. You also don't want your cell phone to be a constant distraction when you're back in your room trying to get your coursework done.

Before your cell phone addiction starts to cause a problem, work on cutting down on your use. Put it away and resist those strong urges to pull it out and see what's going on. Slowly but surely you'll find yourself adjusting to not having it out as often and won't even miss it.

Skimming Instead of Reading

Another bad habit shared by many people is skimming rather than reading everything from e-mails to articles to books. This definitely isn't the best strategy when it comes to your class readings because you might end up missing valuable information that could appear on a test.

If you are used to skimming it could seem like a daunting task to have to complete some of your lengthy college reading assignments. Once you get the assignment, try to plan it out so you can read small sections at a time so it doesn't seem as bad. For instance, if your professor assigns you 50 pages to read in time for a class that's a week away, you can read fewer than ten pages a day and still get it done on time. It won't be as overwhelming as reading all 50 pages the night before class.

Being Late

It's one thing to be late to meet your friends for lunch. Although that can be annoying to your friends, it's not something that will have much of a negative impact on your life. But making a habit of being late to classes could have a negative impact on your studies. Missing part of your class means that you'll need to find out what material your professor covered before you arrived. Also, there are some professors who make it a policy not to even admit students who show up late into their classrooms, which results in missing an entire class and not just a few minutes. For class periods where you're taking a test, being late cuts down on the time you have to fully answer all of the questions.

To correct this bad habit, think about what's making you late. If it's because you always oversleep, start setting your alarm to go off earlier to give yourself more time to wake up and get going. If it's because you tend to stop to talk to friends on your way to class, try to say hi quickly and then make plans to talk later.

Being a full-time student can be stressful. Check out these tips for staying sane as you pursue your degree.


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