There are many stories about university/college students dropping out of school. The sheer magnitude of these dropouts is overwhelming and can be very discouraging to an aspiring young student. Do not be discouraged however, there is hope! In fact, excelling in post-secondary school is really quite easy. Please consider the following points, as they are essential to any student’s success in post-secondary school.
Enrolling in a program of interest
This is probably the most important aspect of a successful post-secondary year. In post-secondary school, a general rule of thumb is such that each student should spend around 2-3 hours doing readings/assignments etc. for every hour spent in class (look it up). Now imagine a student enrolled in a program that they find of no interest. The general rule of thumb still applies, meaning that the student will be required to do copious amounts of work on a subject that they do not enjoy. Needless to say, this situation is not desirable as it generally leads to procrastination, leaving the student mal-prepared for examinations not to mention the terrible feeling they must feel knowing that they have hours ahead of mindless studying.
Now on a more positive note, consider the student enrolled in a program that they love. The course material will be of much more interest to them, and so they will be much more engaged in doing the assigned work. When the student realizes that they do not understand something, they will be much more inclined to learn it as they are genuinely interested. Furthermore, this student will tend to take the education outside of the homework and classes by thinking about and researching the material on their own time which fosters innovation and a mastery of the subject matter.
All in all, enrolling in a program of interest ensures a much more healthy/successful post-secondary experience!
Don’t be afraid to get extra help
Most newcomers to post-secondary school are under the impression that they must do all of the work by themselves. This notion is plain wrong! A couple of examples: Professor Einstein needed to collaborate with many mathematicians as the math he needed for his theories was much too advanced for him to formulate alone. The prominent Greek philosopher, Plato, believed that the best way to gain knowledge was through dialogue, meaning the verbal interaction between two or more people. Do not get us wrong, trying to accomplish things on one’s own is very good for the individual as it builds initiative and responsibility. However, there is a point when this hinders the student and many students in post-secondary school find themselves beyond this point.
A phenomenon in psychology, called “wishful thinking”, is when one believes something because it makes them feel good. A student who does not seek help may fall victim to this as they may fall under the impression that they understand the course material whereas in reality, they do not. Evidently this does not bode well on exams. Seeking help ensures that this never happens as the person supplying the help is un-bias and can provide honest feedback.
Another benefit of seeking extra help is such that it opens the student up to a much more diverse way of solving problems. This is because the professor may solve a problem a certain way in class, but a tutor, for instance, may have a completely different strategy. Seeking help exposes the student to these different techniques, giving the student both a better understanding of the material and a larger repertoire to solving the problems at hand. Evidently there are many more benefits of seeking extra help.
Get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily
With the freedoms that come with post-secondary living, it is very easy to not get enough sleep or to eat copious amounts of junk food. The only problem is that both of these factors greatly affect one’s cognitive abilities. Sleep is recognized as a time that the mind is able to solidify memory, spur creativity, sharpen attention and lower stress. With less sleep, the student does not perform at their peak as the positive side effects outlined above are not at their ideal level. Hence the student that does not receive adequate sleep is like the dog trying to catch its own tail, trying to win a battle that is very hard to win.
Equally, junk food does not have many nutrients and it so happens that the brain needs nutrients. It needs nutrients in order to stay healthy and sharp and so when the brain is not supplied with adequate nutrients the brain does not operate at its highest level. Just as the student who does not receive enough sleep is struggling to learn, so too is the student who does not eat appropriate food. Unfortunately many first year post-secondary students do not exercise adequate self-restraint and fall behind in both of these categories making their year much more difficult than need be.
And so we see that a successful post-secondary experience is not all that hard. These suggested methods help to guarantee success by ensuring that the a student loves their program, ensuring that the student seeks extra help when required and also eating healthily and receiving adequate sleep. Luckily, these are not the only ways to achieve success as there are hundreds of others! It up to you to find them.
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