15 Habits You Didn’t Realize Are Making You Do Poorly In School

There are lots of possibilities why you’re not doing so well in school. Sometimes it is one major thing, like a teacher who literally cannot explain anything. Sometimes, it’s a combination of things. Other times it’s little things that you might not even realize are affecting your school work. These things are what we like to often call bad habits.

I’m not trying to insult your habits. I’m sure you have plenty of good ones otherwise you probably wouldn’t have made it this far in school now, would you? However, everyone has habits that are better than others. That’s part of being human. You may not have any glaringly obvious bad habits, like say sitting with your back turned to the teacher or skipping glace altogether. You could just have some little habits that you might not even realize you’re doing.

The bad news is that these little things can be the reason your grades aren’t as high as they should be, but it often takes a while to figure out they’re the root of the issue. To hopefully help you recognize them earlier, I’ve rounded up some of the key ones. Check out 15 habits that you didn’t realize are making you do bad in school.

1. Skipping Breakfast



Yup, something you’re doing, or should I say not doing, at home can impact how you do at school. When they say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, they mean it. I know you don’t want to get up early to eat and that you’re not hungry in the morning, but breakfast is brain food. Hunger equals a foggy brain. And you will not learn anything when you’re concentrating on your stomach growling.


2. Working On Too Many Things At Once



You probably think you’re being super productive by working on your essay, chemistry project, and math homework, right? You’re probably telling yourself that you’ve got them all started and that is the biggest hurdle. While it might seem like a good thing, all the switching back and forth can end up costing you more time. You can still multitask, but try not to go back and forth between things constantly. Your brain will just get scrambled.


3. Obsessing Over The Small Stuff



I know you want everything to be a 100 percent perfect, but it’s never going to be. When you go over and over that art project or you spend ages rewriting the intro to your essay, you’re not leaving yourself enough time to work on the rest of the project.


4. Not Taking A Break



You heard me. I’m telling you that you should be taking a break. So many of us want to stay chained to the desk until we get something done. While that might seem like you’re being very studious, it gets to a point where you’re a few hours in and you’re not going to be very productive at all. Then you’ll just rush to get things finished and get sloppy. Go on take a breather and come back to the project with a clear mind.


5. Staying Up Late To Study



The more study time, the better, right? Not necessarily. There is a delicate balance between staying up late to study and getting enough sleep. You might not think so, but sleep is just as important as hitting the books. That’s because when you’re sleeping, your brain is actually still processing information. Plus, you need a rest so you can whiz through your work at full speed.


6. Not Asking For Help



If you need help, ask for it. Get any ideas about how asking for help can somehow wound your pride out of your head. Asking for help shows that you’re proactive and you’re looking for a solution to a tiny problem. Plus, when you get help, you get better grades.


7. Studying With Friends



Studying with friends can actually be very beneficial, but the key thing is that you actually have to study. And I don’t mean study Zac Efron’s abs. Be honest with yourself and consider whether your study sessions with your friends are actually about work or whether they’re just about gossip. You should also consider whether you’re actually benefiting from them or whether you’re just playing tutor to your friends.


8. Just Reading The Textbook



We treat textbooks like they can solve most of our problems, but the truth is that reading that big, bulky textbook from cover to cover can be a major waste of time. That’s where summary notes and any handouts your teacher gave you come in. You should be focusing on those and using the textbook to supplement them.


9. Memorizing Terms, But Not Understanding Them



This is something that your teacher has probably said when discussing the difference between a Level 3 answer and a Level 4 one. It’s brilliant if you know what the concepts are, but to really up your marks, you have to be able to understand how to apply them. They are two slightly different things.


10. Having A Bad Work Space



Where you do your homework can make all of the difference. You might think that you have a great space, when it actuality, it may not be the best for getting optimal work done. Does your work space involve having the TV on or the radio? Is your phone right next to your book? Do you have G-chat open? All of those things may be good, but they’re not great for a work space.


11. Over-Planning Things



Being organized is great. I’m not telling you to throw out your agenda, diary, and calendar. However, there is an issue when you become so obsessed with organizing and planning that it ends up taking up all of your time. When you should be working on your project, you’re probably still planning exactly how it’s going to go. Then you end up rushing through it to get it done on time. If this sounds like you, know that a rough draft is really all you need to get started in most situations.


12. Doing Your Own Thing



It’s great that you’re creative and you want to do your own thing, but there is a time and place for it. Unfortunately, that area is not in most subjects. Try to get creative in art class, but remember that in other classes, you’ve got to follow a certain method if you want full marks.


13. Trying To Do Too Much At Once



You’re only one person so you cannot expect to learn an entire course in one night. Even a robot probably couldn’t do that. You need to break things down into manageable chunks otherwise you will never understand things or remember them. Baby steps.


14. Not Listening To Feedback



Your teacher’s comments on your work aren’t there just to explain why you got the grade you did. He/she is also writing them so you know where you can improve. Resist the urge to be offended by them and ignore them. FYI: Your prof is trying to help you.


15. Not Following Instructions



It sounds like a really obvious one, but it’s still something that people don’t do. Or sometimes people only follow half of the instructions. Following the instructions is easy marks so make sure you have the rubric and checklist in front of you so you can check you’re fulfilling all of the criteria.


What are some of your good school habits? Let us know in the comments!

You can follow the author, Heather Cichowski, on Twitter.


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