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Common College Freshmen Study Problems

written by: Jason C. Chavis•edited by: Amanda Grove•updated: 3/25/2010

There are a number of common college freshmen study problems that greatly impact the success of students when they first enter into post-secondary education. Basic task management and general responsibility are shown to be the best solutions to these problems.

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    Task Management

    Oftentimes, with the newfound freedom of college freshmen in dorm rooms away from families and traditional surroundings, staying on task with their studies can be a major challenge. Many college freshmen study problems originate from a lack of understanding of the basic tools designed to keep an organized structure in one's day-to-day activities and a manageable workload. A notorious problem freshmen experience during their first year of college is procrastination, putting off projects until it is too late to properly complete them.

    Some suggestions researchers have found work for most freshmen is to create a schedule of responsibilities designed to help students pace themselves during the busy school year. The student can create an outlined schedule of each class, combined with work load and time periods which work the best to accomplish the necessary tasks to stay ahead of schedule. If the freshmen does not properly schedule, disorganization can ensue, ultimately making school work suffer.

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    Personal Responsibility

    The University of Oxford has found that despite the good intentions of tutors and student counseling to help with task management and overall college freshmen study problems, sometimes their influence can impact them very negatively. According to the university's study, many times tutors and others can feed into the student's weaknesses by not assessing the overall issues with learning.

    Oftentimes, these people take too much responsibility from the student, particularly with things like essay writing. In terms of a solution, Oxford found that by avoiding a segmented approach at teaching proper study methods, better results were achieved. Essentially, college freshmen have a responsibility to use less of the assets that help in guidance for fixing study problems and simply take greater accountability for their actions. It is up to the student to find the best study solutions that work for them, rather than rely on the efforts of others.

    The best study solution that can be recommended is to create a process of learning that works for the individual. Avoiding distractions and allowing themselves proper down time can create better studying standards over time. Once the student finds a program that works for them, they usually find that their study problems go away.

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    Binge Drinking

    According to a six-year study of college freshmen alcohol consumption conducted by the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, it was found that binge drinking created a very serious problem for students. Using data from high school transcripts and aptitude tests, it was found that many of the college freshmen study problems that greatly impacted success stemmed from excessive alcohol consumption. On average, grades dropped by roughly one-third when a student was engaged in binge drinking. Peer pressure and a first taste of independence can often result in deviant behavior that negatively affects freshmen.

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    "College Study Skills Provision" University of Oxford:

    "Binge Drinking in College" Center for Science in the Public Interest: