I remember the first day I started college at the University of Utah. (Go Utes!) I printed out my class schedule, mapped out the most efficient paths to each of my classrooms, bought new notebooks for each of my classes, had a fresh pack of pens and pencils and of course got my black and red Ute Nation hoodie. I had everything I thought I needed to be a successful student.
I had all the supplies for a rewarding semester but I wasn’t prepared to handle the physical and psychological curve balls that college was about to throw my way. The night life that left little time for sleep, cramming for tests and of course the drama that comes with dating left me at my wits end. There were times that I wasn’t sure that the whole college thing was for me.
Cue my good mother, who received frequent tear-filled phone calls from me and thankfully was able to reassure me that everything was going to be ok.
Luckily for the students who come after me, the University of Michigan released a study that names the top 10 things that negatively impact a student’s success. By knowing the biggest academic obstacles and ways to combat them students are bound to be more successful. Below is a list of the top three student obstacles with tips on overcoming them so they don’t affect your college career.
1. Stress – Is number one for a reason. Stress can actually be the cause of the physical impairments listed below. Dr. Delaplante from Lone Peak Primary Care, explains that the immune system begins to breakdown when exposed to prolonged stress, making a person more susceptible to becoming sick.
And we all know that a little tickle in the throat is justification to miss a class or two.
2. Cold, Flu, Sore Throat- With sickness comes absences which are accompanied by missed homework and class participation which is why this is number two on the list.
Dr. Stacey Bank from Millcreek Primary Care suggests when experiencing the first signs of the cold or flu not to ignore them. Don’t pretend you’re Superman. Cold and flu symptoms are the body’s way of telling you to slow down. If you can, avoid stressful situations. As mentioned above, stress lowers the immune system.
With the fall semester comes cold and flu season; remember to wash your hands frequently and avoid people who are exhibiting signs of sickness.
3. Sleep- Although eight hours of sleep is ideal, it’s not always feasible. However, make sure you are getting between 6-8 hours of sleep. Studies show that people who sleep less than six hours are twice as likely to experience a heart attack. If you need tips on winding down and getting a good night’s rest read this post.
If you’re experiencing heart attack symptoms, my advice would be to head to your nearest ER not to the classroom. I think your teacher will understand and probably excuse the absence.
So there you have it, the top three things that effect a student’s academic performance. The best thing to remember, is that all three of these factors can be controlled through our own behaviors. Hopefully these few tips will help you have a successful, stress and illness free semester.