Students usually start their undergraduate degrees with every intention of taking the prescribed three or four years to complete the course and most manage to graduate within that time-frame. However, there are occasionally challenges that come up to prevent them from finishing school on time. Some of the more common challenges, and therefore factors to look out for, include the following.
*Poor exam and assignment results
For some students, moving away from home and being independent for the first time may go to their heads. Poor time management, possibly coloured by too much partying, may result in poor exam and assignment results and the student may either be prevented from completing the course, or may drop out or choose to postpone finishing on time.
Most illnesses will be temporary and over within a couple of weeks; it may be a challenge, but it is perfectly possible to catch up. However, occasionally, an illness or injury may ensure that the student has to take a substantial amount of time out of college. In cases like this, it is often advisable for the student to recover properly before returning to college, even if it does mean not finishing school on time.
Sometimes, students may find themselves in a serious relationship that either leads to marriage, pregnancy or both. In most cases, it should be possible for the student to continue with their studies, but sometimes the distractions become too much and the only option becomes to take time out of college, or to drop out completely. Of course, it is possible to go back to school later, but often it is worth sticking with the course even if it is difficult.
*Mental health issues
Going away from home for the first time can be incredibly stressful for a student, particularly if shy and lacking in confidence. Homesickness coupled with other problems can cause the student to become depressed. Exam stress can also hit some hard. Most students with these issues manage to cope, but in serious cases, it may be necessary for the student to take some time out, or to investigate other options for study.
Most students will know within the first term whether their course is appropriate for them; if it isn’t, they have the option of changing course. However, some may not realise until it is too late that the course is simply not right for them. Others may struggle because the course structure or the lecturers are poor. In cases like this, it is often better to drop out and pursue other opportunities.
Finishing school on time is obviously the ideal scenario. However, there are simply times when dropping out or postponing final exams is the only sensible option.