There are a number of ways to make the first move in relation to academic concerns. Maybe you are concerned about a friend who is failing his classes or is having trouble completing her work. Or you might be uncomfortable with a friend or classmate who is cheating. Typically academic issues are not emergencies, although they may be time-sensitive.
- A classmate who has been partying a lot and totally blowing off school approaches you and asks to sit next to you during the midterm tomorrow. You have been to every class, studied hard, and even attended the review session last night. You feel a little resentful but don’t want to jeopardize the friendship. What do you do?
- The situation is similar to (a), in that a friend asks to sit next to you during
the midterm. However, in this case, it is a friend who lost his sister in a car accident a month ago and has been missing class and isolating himself because of his depression. What do you do?
- One of your friends is stressed out about an upcoming exam. You know that she has not been doing well in most of her classes and has been blowing them off since she says “there is no way she can pass”. Failing will put her standing on the softball team in jeopardy. What do you do?
Make the first move:
- It can be challenging to talk to a friend about academic concerns. Be prepared for them to get upset, frustrated, or angry.
- Talk to the person about why the behavior is happening.
- Remind them of consequences of their behavior.
- Know the appropriate resources on campus to help provide them with academic support.
Check out the Academic Skills Office.
- Talk to a professor or academic advisor for assistance.
- Talk to the professor about the prevalence of cheating – be a part of the solution, not the problem.
- If you are having academic trouble, you might consider:
- Accept ownership for your academic success and failure
- Set academic goals
- Do not skip class
- Read and follow class syllabi
- Turn in all your work
- Participate in class
- Develop a relationship with your instructor
- Get help as soon as you need it
We express our appreciation to the University of Arizona C.A.T.S. Life Skills Program for allowing us to use modified versions of their STEP UP! Program content in this USI campus initiative.