It being crunch time and all, it’s not a bad idea to think about why students sometimes give up or just ‘never fail to fail’. If you’re stressed and overwhelmed, help is available!

Studies show that that a prime reason why students fail college is a lack of study and organizational skills:

http://cop.hlcommission.org/Teaching-and-Learning/cherif15.html

It might seem surprising that students get as far as they do without these basic skills but when asked what the main culprit was, teachers in this study cited a lack of preparedness and an inability to complete tasks. While the underlying reasons might vary, the basic problem is clear: students aren’t sure “what to do” or “how to do it,” as one educator in the put it.

My experience also shows this to be the case, especially the “how to do it” element. (The “what to do” is sometimes a problem and in particular for international students, whose language skills might not be up to the task or who come from cultures with different educational styles and expectations.)

If you’re not confident that you know how to perform the task, whether it’s an essay or a research project, the worst thing you can do is procrastinate. Sometimes students go into avoidance mode in order to escape the stress. This feels good at the time, but we all know what the consequences are when you do this, and they’re not pretty. As uncomfortable as it is, the best thing you can do is attack the project head on, break it down into manageable pieces, and then figure out a work schedule so you can get things done on time.

That sounds like a lot of effort, and it can be, but the sooner you start developing these kinds of practical and proactive study skills, the better you’re going to do and the better you’re going to feel as you move towards future. A little procrastination here and there is ok. However, if it’s your main mode of functioning, and if you’re doing it because you’re not sure HOW to approach the tasks you have to finish, it might be time to talk to a professional tutor.

When you’ve got your assignment in front of you, and you’re overwhelmed or filled with dread because you’re not sure how to proceed, contact a tutor – someone who can help you get organized and map out your strategy for the project. You’ll feel better and the future will look brighter as well!