Noticing, recognizing, and acknowledging that you’re starting to fall behind in your education can be a pretty humbling and (admittedly) scary part of being a student. If you don’t catch up soon and start absorbing the material as you need to, then it can end in a knock-over effect that sees you behind for the rest of the year. But you don’t have to suffer in silence. Here are a few options you can take to make sure you catch up before too long.
Talk to your professor/lecturer about it
It might seem like the scariest step to take, especially if you’re used to the rather authoritarian bent of high school. In college, however, most professors and lecturers are going to be much more approachable. If you need to talk to your professor, be honest about what problems you are having and they may be able to recommend materials that can help you or provide notes. This is especially true if you need to request a deadline extension or extra time to catch up on work. The worst that can happen will be that they can’t help you, and you’re just back to where you were before.
Start (or find) a study group
For many of the more challenging subjects, you will likely find that some other students who could use a little help have already started a group specifically for catching up. If not, you can start a study group and even as your professor to announce it so that other like-minded people can join. When you’re going over a topic with people who are at the same learning level as you, it can help you engage more deeply with a topic in a way that might make it easier to get to grips with.
Find course notes online
The internet has broadly changed how we interact with our education. Not only can we engage with our lecturers remotely when we need to, now, but you will find that many past students will also have shared their experiences and notes that can help you. As such, if you need to learn something as specific as the lattice energy trend in chemistry, you can find a lecture that helps you address that specifically. In most subjects, you will find those who have effectively created and uploaded a lecture that you can sit with, so you can spend some of your spare time learning what you might have missed or struggled with in class.
Change how you learn
College-level learning is different from any kind of education you have had, so far. In fact, it’s designed to be a lot more independently driven. Your professor or lecturer won’t stop to make sure you’re always keeping up. As such, check out some tactics for learning at a college level, including using sketch notes, better interacting with the information you’re provided, and organizing your course notes as best as possible. Create a more efficient way to learn and it will be much easier to keep up.
The single biggest mistake you can make when falling behind is to think that you can catch up by simply redoubling your efforts and trying to do things the same way. You need a little help, now it’s just about knowing where to find it.
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