How-to Not Fail College and Disappoint Your Family

Failing out of college is a waste of time and money.

And I do realize that folks have gone on to drop out and become super successful. Those are rare scenarios. We need to be realistic here.

No need to stress, I know that you’re not going to fail. At least, I hope you’re not.

A quick story…

I wish I could actually limit this to one story. I’ve seen this happen to a few friends (a few too many). The scenario is always the same.

You go away to college. You get away from your family. You free and on your own. So what do you do? Naturally, you get wasted. I’m all for this.

The only problem is that the party has to stop eventually. It never does for some. They go on and on. They miss one class. They miss a few more classes. Next thing you know and they’ve failed a course. Well, that’s sometimes enough for the college to suspend you or kick you out. Then what do you do?

I’m not sure. You have to claw your way back somehow.

Why do students fail?

I once wrote about why students fail college. The comments were really insightful. The reactions varied.

One reader wrote in with:

People fail for several reasons….the lack of self-discipline being the most common cause. The inability to delay gratification and prioritize what is important based on consequence not immediate fulfillment is what is at the heart of our nations problems. Until individuals can take responsibility for their actions and their lives, they will forever be reaching for the unattainable. Without self-discipline there can be no happiness.

Then another reader (left her name as “mom”) wrote in with:

I’m pretty sure my son failed for none of the above reasons. He is smart, he wasn’t partying and he didn’t have a job. Maybe if he did have a job he would have had to manage time better. I think he just doesn’t get it– but he is going to go to work and maybe after washing dishes for a living he will get it.

The reasons always vary. Students fail for many different reasons.

I don’t want you fail college. I want to see you succeed in college.

I want you to be financially free by 30. I want to see you dominate your money in your 20s. This is all impossible if you drop out of school and blow a fortune.

How do you not fail at college?

Take the right program.

This will solve all of your problems. Seriously, don’t enrol in a program just because someone tells you to. Study something that you want to study.

Please, do NOT ever do anything just to please your parents. No offence to the parents reading this, but who are you to force someone to study something for four years?

Taking the wrong problem is hell. I was always greedy and wanted to make money, so I took business. If I took social ethics or anything along those lines, I would have failed miserably.

Taking the ideal program also makes it easier to figure out what to do after college because you’ll know what you want to do. Don’t waste your time or money on a program that doesn’t excite the hell out of you.

Get your work done first.

Work first. Crush those exams. Then go out.

It never works in the opposite order. You can’t get wasted and then study. It doesn’t happen like that.

You go out to reward yourself. You can’t just feel entitled to go out whenever you want to.

Go to class.

I don’t care how productive you feel at home. You have to go to class. I could never get anything done at home. I went to every single class.

Going to class will force you to listen to what’s going on. You’ll have no choice to take things seriously. You can also get to know your classmates (I don’t have to tell you anything else).

Oh and you’re paying for it. Get your money’s worth.

Party smart.

I wrote a whole guide and included a video on how to drink without going broke. You will have a blast in college. You just need to be smart about it.

I was shocked a few months ago when I met some students that were out partying the night before an exam. I could have never done that.

Partying is what you to do celebrate doing well. Not something that’s owed to you.

Please try to be smart. And avoid jerks like me if you’re a young lady.

Get to know your professors and everyone in admin-related roles.

This is key. I ensured that every single professor and TA knew who I was. I would introduce myself. I came to every single class. I asked tons of questions.

After exams or assignments were graded, I took full advantage of the office hours. I went in to ask a million questions. I never let myself make the same mistake twice.

Most professors were more than happy to help out as well. They’re usually bored during office hours.

This will also help you crush it after college because you’ll have the connections. At the very least, you can always get a few reference letters.

If you’re not a student then I hope that you pass this message along to a student in your life.

I’m going to finish off with my favorite quote on college life. Just remember that you can have tons of fun, just get your work done.

“You have four years to be irresponsible here. Relax. Work is for people with jobs. You’ll never remember class time, but you’ll remember time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So, stay out late. Go out on a Tuesday with your friends when you have a paper due Wednesday. Spend money you don’t have. Drink ’til sunrise. The work never ends, but college does…” — Tom Petty

2 thoughts on “How-to Not Fail College and Disappoint Your Family”

  1. I think it also helps if the student has a financial stake in their college tuition too. That definitely motivated me. I had to pay for half of all of my tuition, room and board. That got me to class, working part time, and studying hard to get good grades.

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