Essential features of success in college are good grades and the ability to obtain specific professional and life skills. The factors influencing the college success of a student are an important question that is a concern by both students and educational workers. The answer to the question is complex and requires a comprehensive approach. Indeed, there are many factors like outside sources (for example, transportation, income) or college resources (for example, access to a library, financial aid) influencing success in college. However, this essay argues that students’ habits and choices such as study habits, time management, and engagement with other students, tutors, and advisers have the most significant impact on their success in college.
College success has a strong correlation with a student’s self-discipline and motivation that construct study habits. The way a student approaches his or her studies is crucial to reaching success in college. A student may choose useful habits like attending lectures on time, submitting works before a deadline, having a planner, or a study routine. Such habits improve productivity as they increase concentration on the educational process and provide comfortable conditions for study. Indeed, study habits construct the mental health of a student as these practices provide control and routine rituals in a student’s life.
The American College Health Association survey investigated strong evidence suggesting that mental health needs are associated with measures of academic success (“Student Mental Health”). The survey reported that students who have psychological distress get lower grades on their exams, do not complete courses, disrupt significant practicum work, dissertations, or research, or eventually drop out of college (“Student Mental Health”). This correlation between mental health and academic performance demonstrates how developing proper habits and choices during academia is significant for college success.
One of the valuable practices that students can develop is knowing how to manage time. Studying in college requires an appropriate time management strategy to balance academic studies and personal and social life. Time management means planning and prioritizing college and personal tasks over any other endeavors. To do this, the student needs to understand his or her goals and needs in academia. When students know what time management strategy works best for them, they can succeed in doing more tasks and not stressing about deadlines. A cross-sectional study was conducted among medical students of one of the private medical colleges in Odisha (Khanam et al.).
It found that making a list of things to do, as well as regular day and week planning, positively affects students’ scores. This study provides strong evidence to claim that proper time management strategy assists students in their studies. Moreover, students can balance studies with personal life, contributing to their physical and mental well-being.
Another thing assisting a student in succeeding in college is the ability to engage with other students in class and with tutors, instructors, and advisers. If a student communicates with others in the class, he or she may join study groups where peers help each other do homework and research. This engagement improves a student’s understanding of a course, motivates them to study more, and provides a great possibility to communicate with peers with similar aims and interests. A study of 233 students in their 2-year studies about their independently formed study groups with a membership of 1-2 years (Hendry et al.).
It was found that, for students who joined one study group, the length of time their group stayed together has a positive correlation with their success in the written summative assessment (Hendry et al.). This study demonstrates the effectiveness of engagement with other students in a class. Moreover, such groups can reduce stress during exams as a student knows that he is not alone with his studies.
Despite having study groups, it is also essential to communicate with tutors, instructors, and advisers to improve performance in college. In 2016, a survey conducted to investigate the effects of tutoring on academic performance found that 76% of students never used academic support services (“The Effects of Tutoring”). Neglecting educational facilities may make studies and social adaptation harder for a student.
There is a positive correlation between the amount of academic support students receive and their ability to pass courses and stay enrolled in them (“The Effects of Tutoring”). The engagement of tutors, instructors, and advisers provides information relevant to a student’s academic and personal development. For example, a tutor can suggest study tips and methods do a particular assignment. At the same time, an adviser informs more about future opportunities and various events related to a student’s major.
Overall, success in college is not that much about being a straight-A student but rather about developing specific skills for future careers and life outside of college. There are various external factors influencing college success ranging from transportation to accessibility of college facilities. Nevertheless, the essay claims that such internal factors as a student’s time management, study habits, and engagement with other students and tutors, instructors, and advisers positively influence a student’s performance in college.
Hendry, Graham D., Sarah J. Hyde, and Peter Davy. “Independent Student Study Groups.” Medical Education 39.7 (2005): 672-679.
“The Effects of Tutoring on Academic Performance.” Research, Planning & Institutional Effectiveness. 2016. Web.
“Student Mental Health: An Important Element of Student Success.” California Community Colleges Student Mental Health Program. Web.
Khanam, Najnin, et al. “A Study on University Student’s Time Management and Academic Achievement.” International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health, vol. 4, no. 12, 2017, pp.4761-4765.