College is a fun, exciting, and challenging experience for most students, but for some, it is simply too much to handle. Few high school students are aware of what college life is like. Unlike in high school, college classes usually require a large amount of time spent outside class, working for the class, and some students do not understand the importance of this. A surprisingly large number of college freshmen have extremely poor time-management skills, which can lead to more time spent partying than studying, which is the main cause of failing tests. All of these are causes of the students ultimately flunking out of college.

Many students entering college have extremely poor time management skills. One major problem is procrastination. Some students will wait till the night before a project is due before starting it, quickly rushing through the project, making careless errors, and getting little rest that night. Another self-destructive habit many college students have is cramming for tests. Often this cramming session takes place the night before, or even the morning of, the test, wherein the student tries to cover many weeks worth of material in a few hours. This method of studying is almost worthless because the student will never retain any of the knowledge he or she "studied. Yet another sign of poor time management is lack of proper rest. Fatigue can cause loss of concentration during lectures, and careless errors on exams increase greatly when a student is tired. Sometimes students may be so exhausted they actually fall asleep while studying; nobody can learn through osmosis. With all that time already devoted toward class and study, some students add additional pressure to their schedules by getting a job. 'While this job may be necessary, many people will schedule themselves for more hours than they can handle, not leaving enough time for study or homework. Supervisors will sometimes threaten to fire a student if he or she is unable to meet the assigned hours, so some students will work 8 or 10 hours after being in class in the morning. After hours spent in class, then a full day spent at work, many students are simply too exhausted to productively study or do homework. But the most obvious sign of poor time management is attending parties instead of studying.

As a result of bad time-management skills, students will sometimes attend parties instead of completing necessary assignments. Partying, undoubtedly, is one major attraction of college, but time spent partying is time not spent studying. Many incoming college freshmen think they can get by without studying, so they decide to party instead; this attitude can be suicidal for the student's GPA. Unlike high school, college classes move quickly through large amounts of material, and students can quickly become overwhelmed with the work load. Those students who chose to party instead of work can easily fall behind. When out partying, students can easily lose track of time, staying out till the early morning hours instead of getting their much needed rest. Everyone knows "time flies when youre having fun"; this is doubly true when spending time with friends. When alcohol is added to the mix, it only makes keeping track of time harder. Often times students decide to stay out "for a little while," but they quickly lose track of time, and before they realize it, morning has come. Even worse than simply losing track of time is passing out someplace, not waking up till late next morning, and possibly missing a class. The aftereffect of drinking, hangovers, can also take a heavy toll. It is almost impossible to concentrate with a pounding headache and a super sensitivity to light and sound, and the desire to sleep through this agony can cause students to miss class entirely. Those who are actually able to attend class, despite the hangover, will have a mind so fogged they will never be able to concentrate properly, causing a much higher incidence of careless errors. Thus partying, and poor time management in general, can quickly result in failing test grades.

The tangible result of such bad time management is when exams are handed back, often with failing grades. Even a single failed exam can severely hurt a student's GPA. Most college courses only have three or four exams, which can count as much as thirty-three percent of the final average. Instructors do not take pity on students who do poorly on exams; usually no extra credit is offered. Exams that are missed entirely often cannot be made up. In most cases, professors do not schedule makeup exams. The few makeup exams that are given are rare, and usually require proof that it was for reasons beyond the control of the student that he or she missed class. Students who do take makeup exams face a revised version of the original test, which can be much more difficult. Students who are-barely passing a class can end up failing that class entirely with one bad test. Many students are required to take classes that are difficult for them; these borderline classes require almost constant work just to maintain a passing grade. In these classes, the student's average is usually just barely above passing, making each test crucial to the student. So if a test is missed entirely, the student has little hope of passing for the semester.

College is a new and challenging experience for all incoming students. Few high school students are aware of what college life is like, and some are totally unprepared to meet the demands of college life since most classes require a significant time investment outside of school. Poor time management and heavy partying lead to failing tests, which ultimately can cause the student to flunk out of college. Nobody wants to fail college, but some students simply do not realize what is necessary to pass.

Arthur Amann