Did you know that most students who eventually fail a course start struggling by the second week of the semester? These students set themselves up for failure when they fail to take action from day one. But not to worry – we’re here to help stop that cycle!
According to a nifty term that we’ll call “F.L.A.M.,” or The First Law of Academic Motion, students at rest remain at rest, and students in motion remain in motion unless acted upon by an external force. (Sound familiar? Probably because “F.L.A.M.” was ripped off from Newton’s famous laws that you learned about in middle school science class!)
F.L.A.M. explains how student fall so far behind so quickly. Picture this: It’s syllabus week, but instead of reading through your syllabi, you go out late, sleep in late, and start the second week of school exhausted. By week two or three, you’re already missing quizzes, and your grade is quickly dropping! Miss an 8:00 a.m. class? What you didn’t know (because you didn’t read the syllabus) is that every unexcused absence is one point off of your final grade! (You know, just the grade that you’ll be fighting to raise even a hundredth of a point when finals week rolls around.)
So how do we get the ball rolling now and put your academic success in motion?
- Find “external forces” to motivate you!
If your goal is to make all A’s this semester, remind yourself of what made you decide to commit to that goal in the first place! Are you trying to raise your GPA, make your parents proud, or just show yourself that you can do it? Identify your “external force,” and let it become your rally cry when the going gets tough!
- Just get started!
Often times, the hardest part of studying is just getting started! Tell yourself that all you have to do is go to the library and open your book. When you get off the couch and into the library, you’ve started the academic motion!
- Make realistic to-do lists!
“Note to self: Today, I will study for chemistry for eight hours to catch up on all of the homework that I missed last week!” Probably not going to happen. Don’t let yourself get this far behind, and instead make reasonable to-do lists in your agenda each day, and do your best to stay on track. If you find yourself with a to-do list that is longer than what is humanly possible to complete, consider cutting out some extra-curricular activities or revising your goals!
- Set a routine!
It’s easier to stay in positive academic motion when that motion just feels like habit. Plan days that you will let yourself sleep in so that you have something to look forward to during all of the days that you have to wake up early and study. Instead of taking a nap between classes or between school and basketball practice, use that time to finish up your homework so that you can chill later!
For more tips from the original creator of “F.L.A.M.,” Dr. David Leibow, visit his blog!
To find a tutor to help set your academic success into motion, visit us at www.apollotutors.org!