College Freshmen and Grades: The Sobering Statistics
College requires a big adjustment. Sudden independence, the availability of new distractions, a harder curriculum, excess drinking and partying — all can have an affect on a college freshman’s ability to cope.
It’s no wonder that even the brightest students may struggle to maintain the grades they are used to. One of the biggest challenges of going to college is learning to be productive rather than abusing independence.
School Isn’t As Easy
Many bright students were able to coast through high school, getting As with a minimum of effort. These students are often in for a rude awakening when they get to college. College coursework usually requires about three hours a day of study, and teachers hold students to a higher standard than they are used to. As a result, students may get Cs or below until they learn to apply themselves.Many students don’t accept these changes right away. At first, they may blame the instructor for poor grades or refuse to listen to suggestions because they are used to getting As. As the semester nears its end, these students may become stressed out because they are not getting the grades they need to remain at school.
Many schools offer study skills classes students can take in order to adjust to college’s new academic demands. Even so, some students end up on academic probation each year due to low grades.
The availability of alcohol on most college campuses poses significant risk to college students. The combination of extra stress and lack of supervision may encourage students to experiment with alcohol. 4/5ths of college students drink alcohol, and half of those engage in binge drinking.Excessive drinking can harm students’ grades; this is the least of the consequences of alcohol abuse in college. Students who drink can get into legal trouble if they are caught drinking while under the age of 21, behave violently towards other students or drive drunk.
Driving while intoxicated, or DWI, is a serious crime. Working with a lawyer to plan a proper DWI defense is expensive, and eats into class and study time. Moreover, there’s no guarantee a student’s DWI defense team can defeat the charges. A drunk driving conviction can affect the student’s ability to attend classes, his or her continued acceptance at the school or even employment after graduation.
Coming to Terms with Responsibility
For many students, college life represents their first extended stay away from home. Students are completely responsible for every aspect of their lives, from when they go to bed to who they hang out with. In addition to being responsible for making life decisions, students are completely responsible for class attendance. Most professors don’t take attendance, so students have to decide whether or not to go to class.Some students have trouble adjusting to this. Students may stay up all night and sleep through class, socialize when they need to study, drink too much and wind up on the wrong end of a drunk driving arrest, or otherwise sabotage their success because nobody is telling them what to do.
College students may need help adjusting to college life so that they don’t end up needing a DWI defense and seriously harm their grades, their futures or the lives of their fellow students. Most colleges offer free counseling to students to ensure their mental health during the adjustment period.
Nadine Swayne can commiserate with fellow college students having completed her BFA. The adjustment can be daunting and frustrating, but all the hard work definitely pays off. Letting a DWI get in the way of your future is a no-brainer, don’t do it!