Your grades are a very good reflection of how much time and effort you put into your classes and studies.
I’d make a wild guess. You were a great student in secondary school, and did really well in your Senior School Certificate Exams. In fact, you were excited to continue on that path and to make your parents proud in the university too – except your grades aren’t reflecting that.
Your grades in the university has not been reflecting who you were as a secondary school student. You’re even ashamed to admit your grades to your parents and friends.
Whatever happened to you? You were such a stellar student not too long ago. Did you suddenly become inept? Are your classes just that much harder? Are you losing your self in the university?
Well, let me cut you some slack. In truth, there are a lot of things going on in the university that can affect your grades and make you seem like a joker. Let’s get to the bottom of why you may not be doing as well as you’d like. Here, I give you five reasons you have not been the student you hoped to be in the university.
1. You Don’t Attend All Your Classes
This seems like a blatantly obvious reason for having poor grades in the university. But what you need to understand is that whether or not your lecturer enforces attendance, it is in your best interest to go to class.
Given, sometimes you will yield when tempted by the thoughts to indulge and take a nap or do something else, instead of attend your classes. After all, you can always copy your mates notes right? But you need to know that this cannot be your primary source of education.
Copying down notes is not a substitute for actually learning the course material, studying and applying the concepts. The university requires you to apply yourself to your studies. Missing a class or two because of circumstances beyond your control is quite understandable. But when you willfully miss your classes and depend on the notes that others make, how do you expect to be at par or even better than you were in secondary school?
Apart from sitting in to hear the lecturer, it is also wise to attend classes to get to know your lecturer. You’ll know what they like and don’t like. They might even say a few things in class about how they mark your papers and what they expect from you during exams. You’ll miss out on all that if you don’t attend classes.
2. Not Making Enough Time For Study
A whole lot of university students I know make this mistake. If in secondary school, you were used to studying a night before your test/exams and still make an ‘A’, well the standards are different now.
In the university and depending on your course of study, you’ll find out that your course work has quadrupled, and you’re held to much higher standards now. It is in your best interest to begin studying at least three weeks before an exam. And that is assuming that you read your notes/lecture materials every day after school.
Re-reading your notes from the class everyday after school may seem like common knowledge, but you’d be surprised by how many students don’t take this crucial step. When you’re trying to learn chapters of information a couple days before the test, it will seem impossible – because it actually is. And this puts you under pressure. Trust me, that pressure is not good for you days just before an exam.
3. You Have Poor Study Habits
You might have told yourself, “I attend all of my lectures, I do what’s expected of me, why am I not getting good grades?” And the answer to that question might simply be that the quality of your study sessions is poor.
Spending hours highlighting your textbook and course materials and re-reading notes is only one aspect of successful studying sessions. For you to have been accepted into the university, it is clear that you can learn, memorize and recall information.
In the university, learning is no longer about spending the most time memorizing facts. The most hardworking students put in a valiant effort to analyze information, apply skills and fully grasp material outside of a classroom’s context.
According to experts at Lehigh University’s Center of Academic Success, “forming study groups and setting hourly study goals” are some of the most time effective ways to study. A lot of students spend hours in the library and get little work done. You should also be testing yourself on the course material. This practice helps you learn to recall information, and gives you enough practice time for the real thing.
Many students don’t know about these strategies. And if they did, they don’t have the motivation to implement them.
4. You Procrastinate A Lot
We’ve all been there. Choosing to socialize or chill out with friends, instead of finishing up on an assignment. I totally get it, social media is not helping matters either. You dwell on your phone screen and move your school work for later instead of finishing it now.
Procrastinating is a dangerous habit that most students are well aware of having. It is even the most intelligent student’s undoing. You can acknowledge what must be done in order to receive good grades, but not have any motivation to do it.
For some students, studying is hard, and I totally agree that it is not the most fun activity you can think of doing. However, education is all about the long term goals. The ability to put off immediate gratification for long-term success is a rare quality in young students today.
The university is not necessarily about being the smartest person on campus. It’s mostly about being the most hardworking and motivated. You’ll be tempted to do fun, ridiculous and scandalous things because you’re young, and the consequences might seem tiny in comparison to your entire academic career.
I’m certainly not here to tell you to give up on adventures and happiness, and no one should. But don’t let late nights and partying become your entire life in the university
Think of something you can do today that you would thank yourself for tomorrow. University is the time to figure out how to achieve a social and academic balance, and what works best for you. Take this from me; your grades are somewhat of an indicator of how much time and effort you may have put into your studies.
5. You Might Be Having Too Many Distractions
After convicting yourself of procrastinating, you’re finally setting out time in your day to get stuff done. You’ve made the right decision to study rather than go out, but now you can’t help but stare at your phone and think of all the excitement you’re missing out on.
Next thing you know you’re switching between every form of social media and the hours you set aside for schoolwork have just been wasted on liking and commenting on Facebook.
My advice? Turn your phone off and set it in a place it would be a hassle to reach. I know how difficult this might be for you, but do it. The phone (and social media) accounts for much of the distraction university students face. If you’re truly that serious about studying and you know you’re the type to get distracted, you’ll thank me later for this one.
Find out other things that are a distraction to you, and take them all away when ever study time comes.