- Be aware of what you’re saying to yourself. (Turn up the volume!).
- Recognize how your thoughts are predicting your emotions and reactions.
- Learn how to Stop the thoughts that are working against you.
- Replace those thoughts with a fact-based idea.
- Identify your goals. (Distinguish between immediate gratification vs long-term gain)!
- Execute actions that get you one step closer to what you REALLY want!
Self-care strategies and positive self-talk cannot alone contribute to the success of a student’s year. It is also important for students to have effective studying habits in place, particularly in the area of time management. The BIGGEST problem is procrastination!!! Did you know that procrastinators aren’t lazy, they are usually perfectionists??!! ( A big misconception out there) It’s often in the drive for perfection, that students avoid getting started, or getting through the tougher part of assignments. ADHD/ADD can also be a huge contributor to distractibility, “forgetfulness” and not finishing projects that require a lot of organization. By December, students feel TOO far behind to catch up, and worn down by the all nighter crunches the night before the due date. The dropout rate in December of the first year is remarkable! Effective time management allows students to be efficient with their time because their attention is focused and they’re not wasting time on distractions. Efficient use of time also reduces stress, as students tick off items from their to-do lists, providing a sense of control AND accomplishment. For example, having a one-day/page planner to time block tasks and applying partialization by breaking heavier assignments into smaller tasks go a LONG way towards tackling procrastination, distraction, and avoidance. When using these techniques with good self-care and good self-talk is a secret recipe for success!
Finally, addictions need to be addressed- drugs, alcohol, the internet, etc. The post-secondary culture is rampant with temptations and if not prepared the compulsive behaviors “steal” the time and energy needed for studying. Having a good relapse prevention plan to detour from addictive cycles is needed to take control.
December Drop Out can be avoided. Reach out for support before it’s too late to promote improved self-care, more realistic self-talk, time management habits, and any needed attention toward addiction recovery.