Preparing for Academic Success | Counseling | Therapy

Preparing for Academic Success

Preparing for academic success: college counseling in society hill, art museum, ardmore, mainline, philadelphia image

Are you struggling with achieving academic success? The semester is winding down and your grades are being posted. This may prove to be an exciting and validating time if the grades are what you expected. You may feel a huge sense of academic success. If the grades are lower than anticipated, you may be feeling great academic disappointment. In order to start off the next semester right, you will need to explore what made this past semester difficult. Below are some questions that may help you reflect on your past academic experiences to better prepare for future academic success.

Academic Learning Environment

What does your academic learning environment look like?

Your academic learning environment is both the time in class and the time you devote to completing school work after class. If you are having trouble answering this question, you may have not consciously thought about your academic learning environment. Reflect on ways you have effectively learned in the past. Think about the classes you had the most success in. Think about the class size class and style.

  • Were these classes lecture style with a hundred people, or small discussion classes with 6 students?
  • Do you work with the learning support team?
  • Do you reach out for a tutor or editor to help you with your work?
  • Are you allowed to tape your classes so that you can hear the lecture again?
  • Is it an online class?
  • Where do you sit in relation to the professor and class material? Are you in the front of the room? Back of the room? Do you have full view of the class material?
  • How accessible are your professors? Do you have access to their office hours? Do you seek out support from them?
  • What does your communication with your professor or other students look like? Is it through text, phone, email, or in person?

Learning not only happens in the classroom, but also on your own time. Your professor spends lots of time deciding on an effective academic learning environment in the classroom. As a student, you will also need to spend time in developing your own successful academic learning environment outside the classroom.

  • When setting up your own environment is there a certain place that makes it easier for you to learn?
  • Do you prefer background noise or no background noise?
  • Do you like being part of a study group or learning more independently?
  • Do you like studying or writing papers in big chunks of time or in short intervals of time?
  • Do you like studying on a bed, or does that make you fall asleep?
  • Have you tried different types of learning environments on for size? Library? Coffee shop? Kitchen table? Desk?

How do you protect your academic learning environment?

It is not always easy to dedicate time to your academic commitments. It is important to reflect on your ability to set boundaries with yourself, friends, family, and other activities so that you can protect your academic learning environment.

  • Are you able to say no to friends or family when they intentionally or unintentionally bombard your academic learning environment?
  • It is okay to say no to people and stick to your plans.
  • Can you say no to using technology while you are researching articles for a paper?
  • Are you able to place your phone away from you and/or put it on silent?
  • Are your forced to work to pay for school?
  • Do you have a full time job, a volunteer internship?
  • Are you on a sports scholarship?
  • What else is competing for your free time?
  • Are you structuring your world to have enough time to actually do the work?

Time Management Skills and Scheduling

How does your time management skills and scheduling prepare you for academic success?

One of the most valuable lessons you will learn through your academic experience is how to manage your time. Time management does not come naturally, but is something you have to practice to make it work for you. Proper time management techniques can lead to increased academic success. Think about your current time management and scheduling routine.

  • How do you organize your time?
  • Do you use an academic planner, your phone, a calendar?
  • What types of events are you prioritizing? Where does your academic workload fall on your list of priorities?
  • Did you schedule enough time to realistically complete all your assignments and class requirements? How are you juggling family, friends, work, and school?
  • Did you hand assignments in on time?
  • Did you miss due dates?
  • Were you cramming last minute?
  • Did you miss classes? Show up late to class? On time?
  • Did you schedule in your classes like you would schedule in other mandatory or important events?
  • Did you schedule homework time?

Academic Interests

Are you pursuing your academic interests?

College is a time of self-discovery. Many people go in to this process with one interest and come out pursuing something completely different. It is okay to be unsure and use this time to figure out your academic interests.

  • Did you enjoy you classes?
  • What did you learn about your interests during this past term?
  • Are you still interested in pursuing your current major or degree program? Have you mapped out what classes you need to take for your major and what order?
  • How have your professors impacted your interest in your major? If not, are you able to have a choice in the professors for your classes?
  • Are you undecided about a major? What is your time line for deciding? How far away are you from needing to decide?
  • Have you taken up opportunities outside the classroom to gain real world experience in your major field?

Outside Influences

What is the impact of outside influences on your academic success?

Many events can happen outside our academic experience that make it difficult to concentrate and perform to the best of our abilities. Many times these experiences occur without you even knowing that they have impacted your academic experience. These events could include romantic break-ups or beginnings. Both the beginning and the end of relationships can require lots of emotional energy an attention, taking it away from studying, attending class, or receiving the grades you had hoped for. Other life events that may make it difficult to focus your attention include having children or being a parent, caring for sick or elderly parents, your career or job responsibilities, medical conditions or disabilities, financial pressures, conflicts with friends or family, and/or mental health concerns. It is helpful to understand how these outside influences impact your academic success.

  • Is this outside influence or issue something that is new or have you experienced it for a more prolonged amount of time?
  • How have you handled this type of situation successfully in the past?
  • What aspects of the outside influence make it difficult to be academically successful? Time commitments? Emotionally or mentally draining? Physical limitations?
  • Are there any support systems available to help you? Financial aid office? Learning support? Mental health professional? Financial aid office? Professor? Family? Friends?
  • What would it be like to reach out for necessary supports?
  • What happened when you have asked for support in the past?
  • How do you feel about asking for support in the future?
  • Have you started to pursue new interests or activities?

Pursuing a college degree is an exciting process. This process can also bring up feelings of anxiety, nervousness, stress, difficulties with time management, and a tough time adjusting to a new life experience. Sometimes you may find it helpful to have support through this process. If you are interested in working with someone from The Center for Growth/ Sex Therapy in Philadelphia to better prepare and handle this life transition, call 215 922 5683 x 100 to schedule an appointment with a therapist. We have offices in Center City Philadelphia, Ocean City NJ. Mechanicsville VA, and Santa Fe NM. And we work with clients virtually.

InPerson Therapy & Virtual Counseling: Child, Teens, Adults, Couples, Family Therapy and Support Groups. Anxiety, OCD, Panic Attack Therapy, Depression Therapy, FND Therapy, Grief Therapy, Neurodiversity Counseling, Sex Therapy, Trauma Therapy: Therapy in Providence RI, Philadelphia PA, Ocean City NJ, Santa Fe NM, Mechanicsville VA