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September 8, 2021

The U.S. college dropout rate is about 40%. Higher learning can be tough. Take steps now to stay on track and graduate as planned. Here are 10 things to avoid while getting your college degree.

1. Being Vague About Goals

What do you want to be when you grow up? Now is the time to decide. Suppose you don’t plan on graduate school, major in something interesting but marketable. With a nursing or education degree, you can quickly learn the skills you need to be competitive. A degree in psychology, however, may require a doctorate to be competitive. It’s easier to keep moving forward when you know which way you’re going.

2. Studying by Yourself

Students learn more effectively in groups than alone. With the help of classmates, you can absorb the material on a deeper level and thereby make it your own. A better understanding of what’s learned can improve your grades, and having scheduled study times with others combats procrastination.

3. Activating Student Loan Repayments

Here is an excellent reason to avoid becoming a college dropout. The first payment on your student loans will be due six months after you drop out. According to the Brookings Institution, college dropouts are more likely to default on student loans than students who complete a degree.

4. Staying in the Wrong College

If you’re not resonating with your school, consider attending another one. Not all colleges are created equal. A different school might have an academic environment that’s more compatible with your interests and goals.

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5. Dropping Out Instead of Taking a Gap Year

During a gap year, you can travel, tutor, perform community service, work or follow a course of independent study. A gap year can give you some time to find yourself before you resume your studies.

6. Carrying Too Many Credits

If you feel exceptionally stressed, consider taking fewer classes for one semester. It will give you a chance to slow down for a bit and resolve the issues that make you feel anxious.

7. Living Off-Campus

Higher graduation rates correlate with living on campus. It’s exciting and fun to share an off-campus place with roommates. However, the shenanigans can distract you from your studies. Living on campus gives you easy access to classmates, friends, faculty and resources.

8. Ignoring a State of Imbalance

Cramming for exams is part of being a student, but try to keep regular hours the rest of the year. A healthy balance between school, social activities, eating, sleeping and exercise can help you stay fit.

(Dr. Jubbal, 2019)

9. Neglecting to Ask for Help

Sooner or later, you’ll encounter a subject, a paper or a project that has you completely flummoxed. Don’t waste time beating yourself up. Instead, schedule an appointment with your professor immediately, and get the help you need.

10. Hanging in Is Easier Than Coming Back

If you feel challenged now, imagine returning to school in five years with a family and a high-stress job. Get your degree now, and you won’t have to deal with it later.

A college degree is an investment in yourself. It will always work in your favour.