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What to Do if You Are on Academic Probation: 5 Steps Towards Overcoming AP into Success

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You may have had a crappy 2008-2009 school year, but do not faint, because next year can and will be better for you!  So your GPA plummeted, you got a letter or email that your school is placing you on Academic Probation because of your studies, or perhaps you partied hard last year.  Well, whatever happened, it can catch up with you. Have you had your mini-anxiety attack yet?  Chances are, you probably did.  Your parents may feel disappointed, you feel like you have failed everyone,  and most of all, you feel like you wasted money.

The good thing about it is, academic probation is a "WAKE UP CALL"!  You have to prove the university that you are worth the investment, they admitted you into this school for a distinct reason, because of your academic abilities and to get an education.  Roll up your sleeves, wipe your tears, cancel the pity-party, and get to work.  These are 5 awesome steps to getting out of academic probation and into academic success.

1.) Review your study habits.  Do you study at all?  Many people don't feel that they have to review notes or study because they think they've remembered everything.  In 2003, University of Minnesota found that students studying 15 or more hours a week, dropped (http://blog.lib.umn.edu/pblog/parents/2006/03/effective_study_habits_help_st.html).  Although this statistic may be long ago, there is a huge decrease in studying among college students.  Take time to know how you study.  How you study has an influence on how effectively you do it.

2.  Once you have figured out how you have study, make provisions to improve it.  Visit the library.  Sit in a chair instead of your bed.  Take frequent breaks, study at the times you are most alert and motivated.  Go to a well-lit area, turn on soft music to stimulate your mind and take in the information.  REVIEW INFORMATION AS SOON AS YOU STEP OUT OF CLASS OR WITHIN 24 HOURS.  Doing this will help you retain the information much better. 

3. Go to class everyday.  You should be doing this everyday, but of course in college, you must take responsiblity for your own actions.  Mommy is not going to be at your every beckon wake up call.  Discipline yourself to go to class and come equipped with writing tools, recorder, books, paper or notebook.  Sit towards the front and try to sit in the same spot so that the instructor will associate you in that seat.  Get to know your instructors.  Attend after hours study groups, stay on task.

4. Volunteer.  Instead of running to the frat house on saturday for midday drinks, consider going to a local community service event.  This will help you focus better and a huge resume booster.

5. Put parties on hold.  This is a huge sacrifice for the party hearty.  Roomies are going to try to suck you in, friends will attempt to drag your heels, but if you have mid term coming up in a few days, it pays to say no.  You may feel like you are missing out, but you will really miss out, if you bum your exams and get sent home because you have been expelled.

Appreciate your collegiate journey.  This is the place to have fun, get to know people, and it's also a place to get into a little trouble.  Remember what you went to school for.  Your education.  Get in gear, get serious, and get those grades up.  Your education and FUTURE depends on it. 

Email: jbutler@purposeandplan.org for more information on study skills, academic probation recovery, academic planning, and more.

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Jayna Butler

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