Dealing with Academic Distractions
Setting big goals is very easy. The real deal is to actualize your set goals. Every student wants good grades. No one starts a semester with an intention to fail. Studies have it that about 91% of students enter the University with the goal of graduating with First Class Honors, but only 13% achieve such goals. What then happened along the line? Academic Distractions! When you enter the university, there is a degree of freedom and many side attractions that WILL always fight to pull your focus off the prize. How then can you manage these academic distractions? Well, I know a few things!
1. Pick your friends wisely
The kind of friends you keep has a way of grooming you. I need you to do some deep thinking now. What kind of friends do you have? What are their impacts on you? Do they push you to be a better version of yourself? Do they elevate or belittle you with their words? Now, don’t get me wrong. Your friends will always tease you. That is different from them belittling you. In fact, “friends” that do not tease you are not your friends.─ Do they remind you of your goals when you seem to have forgotten them? Are they the kind that will scold you when you are being unreasonable? Which of your friends actually help you? Are they just for laughs, partying and lavish spending? Think on your answers, you might discover the reasons for your academic distractions.
If your friends do not encourage you to read or go to class or stay healthy, think twice please. Iron sharpens iron, so the kind of friends you have gives you a picture of who you really are. Your companions are the “family” that you are privileged to choose, so do not be sentimental about picking your friends. Have friends that challenge you positively and make you a problem solver and a critical thinker. Have friends that will benefit you on a long run if not, you will waste time chasing fantasies and when you get back down to reality, it may be too late to make amends. Have friends that will present opportunities and not distractions!
2. Learn to manage your time
Let me let you in on a secret. Everybody has 24 hours in a day, but some people are more productive daily. That is because they have learnt how to manage their time. I get that you may be in school and have to enjoy your youth; no one should have a boring life. You have to learn how to allot time to everything you want to do daily. If it means getting a to-do list to ensure that you have a productive day, do that! Those that go into business and/or start working while in school can only excel at both when they learn how to manage their time. Having good extracurricular activities like sports, business, and various political and non-political assignments in school is still not enough reason why you should graduate with poor grades. Academic distractions can come in form of opportunities sometimes. At SchoolMetro, we only advice you learn how to distinguish between distractions and opportunities. Having good extracurricular activities while in school is a good opportunity, but if you don’t have the capacity to merge it with your academics, it becomes a distraction. Academic distractions will definitely come. It is inevitable really. Your ability to know what is good and bad for you is what matters. If you know you cannot apply moderation to certain things, the wise thing to do is to avoid it entirely.
3. Learn to say, NO and stand by it
This is where most people fail. The yearning to be “among” can be so strong that students make really bad choices due to peer pressure and low self esteem. Most academic distractions come from this angle. Know yourself. Be firm and confident. You must not follow the trend. Students have even lost their lives as a result of this. Have a clear cut vision for your academics and pursue it till you get it. If it means you have to give up some luxuries and friends, you just have to. You have to pick which is more important. Saying, ‘No’ may not always be easy but think about 6 months or years from now. It is worth it right?
4. Set your priorities and make deadlines for them
We have established the fact that everybody wants to succeed but many find it hard to overcome academic distractions. Setting short term goals will help you achieve your long term goals. Give yourself targets. You can always set the amount of hours in the week you wish to dedicate to your books, the hours you wish to sleep and the set time you wish to wake up. When you set these goals, give yourself a deadline and if/when you surpass or hit your target, reward yourself with something. You deserve it. Setting short term goals may be new to you and you may not be able to hit your target every time. That is okay. Rome was not built in a day. Give yourself incentives so that when you feel like giving up, you remember there is something to look forward to. This will help you to rearm yourself and “fire down”.
5. Let God Lead
I saved the best for last. You do not just set goals without putting God in the equation. He is the one that will help you get to your destination, so let him lead and direct you. Never underestimate the power of faith. Don’t depend so much on your human capacity, rely on God’s strength and you’ll see yourself overcoming academic distractions and attaining unimaginable heights.
Food For Thought
You must understand now that the university is different from high school. Your competition is bigger and the academic distractions you’ll face will be fiercer. You just have to be consistent with your studies. Water doesn’t cut the rocks because it’s heavy or sharp but because it is persistent. You will only hit that goal if you are persistent. For most people, the university is a once in a lifetime experience, so if you want to do it, do it right. The truth is that everybody wants good things but it takes deliberate cultivation to get these things. The hard part is that you have to sit and strategize ways to make these your dreams and wants come to reality. It is a step by step thing. If you are just starting the university and you are reading this, good for you. If you are half way through and you know that you have not been doing as well as you wanted to do, this is a wakeup call. Start from somewhere. Plan and strategize. That means you have to be willing to go the extra mile and most times, it is not convenient but that is a fair bargain.