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Are You Undermining Your Own Education? Five Bad Habits to Break

May 1, 2013 Jennifer Williamson, Distance Columnist | 0 Comments

College isn’t cheap—chances are if you’re in college, you’re spending a lot of money on your education. You’re also investing your time—and you may have to do some difficult juggling of jobs and childcare to get the time you need to study. Especially for adult and nontraditional students who invest a lot in their education, it’s important to make sure you’re doing everything you can to ensure your own success.

But many people have bad habits that can directly undermine their efforts to finish, either at a traditional or accredited online school. Here are a few bad habits that may be hurting your chances of academic success.

Not asking for help when you need it

Whether it’s asking a spouse or family member to help with childcare or asking your boss for a change in schedule to fit in study time, you’ll never know how much easier you could have it unless you ask. If you’re really struggling at school, don’t let your investment in college go down the drain because you’re too afraid or proud to ask for help. Do everything you can to help yourself—including asking others for what you need.

See Also: Good Study Habits

Not taking care of yourself

You need certain things to function well. You need enough sleep, for example; healthy food; occasional down time; and a quiet place to study. Make sure you’re getting those things. If that means there are certain times of day when you have to put yourself first, do it. Your family will understand—if not now, then someday when you have your degree and a great new job.

See Also: Online Medical and Health Care Degrees

Putting off studying

Don’t leave all your studying until the last minute. Putting it off is a major reason why many students fail or struggle to pass certain classes. If you find yourself always strapped for time, see if you can organize your schedule better—spread out studying tasks during the week so that each time you study, you get a small, manageable chunk done.

See Also: Breaking Bad Study Habits

Letting yourself get distracted

If it’s too distracting to study at home, get out—go to a library, coffee shop, or even a friend’s house. Don’t let your chaotic family life or the pull of daytime television interfere with your studies. The beauty of online education is that you truly can study anywhere—you have plenty of flexibility.

Not talking to your professors

If you’re having trouble in your classes, your professor can help. Talk to him or her during regular office hours if you’re a traditional student—or send out an email if you study online. Tell your professor you need extra help in a certain area. It’s possible he or she can hook you up with a student who can help tutor you, point  you toward helpful academic resources, or provide the help you need directly. It’s also possible that your professor may be willing to move certain deadlines for you in extreme circumstances.

It’s not easy getting your degree

But you don’t have to do it on your own. Always ask for help when you find yourself struggling—from friends, family, classmates, and your professors. Make sure you’re giving yourself the support you need—get enough sleep, schedule your study time so that it’s not overwhelming, and be sure you get a little down time every so often. And don’t hesitate to leave the house if you’re finding it too distracting to work from home—this isn’t uncommon. It still won’t be easy to get your degree—but these tips can help you make life a little easier.



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