What To Do If You Are Struggling Academically

Nov 13, 2022

A good way to avoid falling behind academically is to ask for help early. You should ideally be asking for help as soon as you identify any issues you are having with the course material. By doing so, you are being proactive in your learning and making sure you have the resources you need to overcome any academic difficulties. However we understand that it's not always that easy. School is not the only thing you have going on in your life, and it's very normal for other factors aside from the coursework alone to have an impact on your academic performance. That being said, in the case that you have fallen behind and are struggling to get back up to pace, here are some steps you can take to get back on track.

Reframe Your Mindset About Receiving Support

While you may be aware of the resources available to you, you may not be taking advantage of them. Many students may feel like they don't really need the support, or that you will be able to get back on track  yourself.You might also feel that taking advantage of extra help is a sign of inadequacy, but that is far from the truth. Working hard and independent problem solving are valuable skills to have, but try not to get caught up in a do-it-yourself mentality when the resources exist so that you don't HAVE to do it yourself. Remember, support is there for a reason, and that reason is to help you. 

Speak with your counselor and/or teacher

Now, if you are not aware of the resources (or are but don't know how to use them) you should speak to your teacher or your school counselor. They will be able to help you make a plan to get back on track, identify the areas you struggle in the most, and can help you find a way to engage with the material in a way that suits your learning style. Here are some ideas for subjects you can discuss with your advisor or teacher.

class schedule, graduation path and career goals

- scheduling time to meet during your teacher's office hours

-asking about study habits you can implement to maximize your performance

Additionally, here are some habits you can implement yourself to kickstart your academic recovery. 

- communicate with your instructors, if you have to miss class, let them know ahead of time and find out how to get the material/notes you missed, you should also communicate with your instructors if you need an extension on an assignment, most are happy to grant them if you ask ahead of time

- don’t be afraid to ask questions when you don’t understand the material or assignments

-connect with your classmates so that you can have peer support as well as instructor support, connecting with your classmates allows everyone to learn from and help each other

-do your best not to cut corners with homework or classwork

Library tutoring

Lastly, look into your school and/or local library. Your school may have tutoring programs through the library, including peer to peer tutoring which might be a good option for you if you find tutoring daunting. Your local library will also most likely have tutoring programs, or at the very least the library is a place where independent tutors advertise their services and contact information. 


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