It’s not an uncommon story. A student has a stellar high school career. Honor roll, advanced placement classes, student government, National Honor Society, and acceptance letters from the best schools; it seems like they have it made. Then they go to college and everything falls apart.
Every high school class has at least one of the stories. In the worst of these cases, college simply never works out. The student drops out to go back home or simply move on with their life elsewhere. They become the subject of ‘whatever happened to so and so?’ inquiries.
Why does this happen? Why do kids who shine in high school struggle in college? Here are four reasons why, and some tips prevent this unfortunate issue.
- Smart Student Privilege in High School Doesn’t Always Translate to College
Once a student earns a reputation for being smart and talented, they are often given certain privileges. For example, if they fall behind on a few assignments, teachers often assume that they must be working hard on other projects. So, they get a pass.
Then they get to college, and that privilege doesn’t carry over. They’re no longer the stellar student that all of the teachers know. They’re simply another student who didn’t do well on an assignment.
- Emerging Adulthood Can Interfere With College Success
Whether it’s more responsibility or more freedom, adulthood can be a factor in a college student’s struggle to succeed in college. Nothing, other than self-discipline forces a college student to go to class or to stay home and study. Add work responsibilities or activities, and it’s not too surprising that grades might slide.
- Early College Years Are a Prime Time For Mental Health Issues to Arise
Anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses frequently begin to show in late adolescence. There’s also loneliness and situational depression due to being homesick and adjusting to a new environment to consider. These can cause a student to lose focus, struggle to get up for school, or simply lack energy to function.
- The Best And The Brightest Often Lack Resiliency
Stellar students rarely fail. That’s a good thing for the most part. The only issue is that these students often have a harder time recovering when they do fail. For them, a few assignments that don’t go well, a lecturer who just doesn’t click with them, or a project that becomes an overwhelming struggle can really throw them off their game.
Conclusion: Tips For Success
Ensuring that students are able to perform as well in college as they did in high school is an effort that should involve the student, parents, and the school. Some of the tips below can be applied as the student prepares for college, others after they have already begun.
- Students should be given increasing responsibility in high school to communicate directly with teachers over assignments and grades.
- Parents and early college students can agree that parents will have access to grades so that conversations about academic struggles can happen before things hit a crisis point.
- Students should be encouraged to consider the stress of adjusting to college when choosing challenging courses.
- College staff should be trained to recognize when students are struggling and refer them to campus resources.
- High school students, no matter how talented, should be allowed to fail at times. This helps them learn resilience and responsibility.
Educational blogger, writer at topwritersreview.com. Luisa Brenton graduated from Chicago’s Public Research University and now works to become a professor. She sees her mission in helping students to find their own way to a balanced lifestyle and cope with everyday assignments with success. You can find her on Facebook