There’s no denying students make mistakes, but when they do, it’s important to learn from them rather than dwelling on them.
Central Michigan University success coach Bethany Bacheller, who is in her third year as success coach, has noticed a pattern of mistakes students make. She said the most common mishaps take place within the first few weeks of classes.
“Some common mistakes freshmen make are not buying their books from the bookstore and skipping class,” Bacheller said.
She said it is sometimes not beneficial for freshmen to get advice from upperclassmen, because the advice is not always correct.
“I do think sometimes getting advice from upperclassmen is harmful,” Bacheller said. “You have to be sure you’re getting advice from the correct people.”
She said one of the biggest mistakes freshmen make is not getting involved on campus. Other mistakes include lack of organizational skills and an inability to find a balance between the social and academic aspects of college life.
“Not talking to your professor and getting to know them is a big mistake,” Bacheller said. “Many students don’t go to their professors until they need help.”
Highland junior Lauren Smith said time management is one of the biggest problems she faces as a student.
“Time management and procrastination are some of my biggest problems,” she said. “If I was to change anything, it would be to do things on time and not put anything off until the last-minute.”
Bacheller said upperclassmen sometimes tend to become more complacent than underclassmen. This is one of the biggest mistakes upperclassmen make.
“You procrastinate more. You get more comfortable. You live off-campus, and that makes it harder to set priorities,” she said.
Upperclassmen tend to become more career-oriented, and often forget about the experience side of being a college student, she said.
“You start to think more about what you need to do to get your degree and less about what you need to do to build an experience,” Bacheller said.
As a success coach, Bacheller and her colleagues help students learn to recognize and correct their mishaps.
“We help out with students who need help with their time management or their study skills. We make sure that they’re on track. It’s that accountability that helps them,” she said.
Success coaches also work with students to improve their financial planning, memory enhancement and exam preparation, among other things. There are numerous resources on campus for students to help improve their academic success. That is, if students are willing to seek these resources out.
There are four success centers on campus, specified for the East, North, South and Towers areas, where students can make appointments with success coaches. There is also an academic advisor and counselor in residence available at each location.
“If (students) don’t utilize these (resources), that’s their own fault,” Bacheller said.