Lack of focus delays graduation

Getting caught up in everything and anything that won’t help students graduate is common for those entering college. Some have seen it happen. Some have experienced, or are still experiencing it for that matter.

At FAMU it is known that hanging on the Set, constant partying, having too much fun, and spending too much time with boyfriends or girlfriends contribute greatly to students getting caught up.

Upper classmen agree that a lack of focus is the primary source for those who stray. It seems that students believe a lack of focus includes being undecided about a major and career plans.

Ebony Yarbrough, a senior Spanish student, said being unsure of a career choice or soul searching as it is defensively called, can lead to multiple changes of majors and subsequently add more years to one’s college experience.

Advisers on campus believe that the mental state has a lot to do with the performance of first time students.

“They think they are still in high school and have the same study habits,” said Julia Brunson, adviser in the office of scholarships and recruitment.

Robert Malone, also an adviser in the office of scholarships and recruitment, agreed.

“Students are not ready to leave the structured environment where they have a set schedule between 7:25 a.m. and about 2:25p.m. to the unstructured environment of college where they may have classes on only Monday, Wednesday and Friday that start at 10 a.m.” Malone said.

Malone said the freedom that college offers is another factor; and there are not parents or guardians monitoring your performance. There is no one to wake you up, make you adhere to your bedtime and curfew or make you go to class.

Student Government Association President Virgil Miller said some students have uncontrollable circumstances that they have no choice but to deal with, such as a lack of finances for living and other expenses also. This forces them to get jobs that can and possibly will come before school and assignments.

Miller said students also have to rearrange priorities when families begin unexpectedly and childcare is added into the equation. This of course can add more stress to the student and often time results in the having to post-pone their education, Miller said.

Brunson said one must manage his or her time and plan wisely first and foremost to avoid losing their way. Students accustomed to college life believe the crowd of people you surround yourself with contributes greatly to one’s success.

Yarbrough said one should seek a mentor upon arrival to campus. She personally avoided getting caught up by learning from the college experience and having a balanced social and academic life.

Miller agreed and said that a mentor should be someone who is on the right track. Miller said the student should develop positive relations with their professors and college advisors.

“Students should build relationships with classmates and utilize student aid tools such as free tutoring; the proper mental state in which one looks forward to success and graduating help as well,” Brunson said.

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