University of Southern Indiana


While you might not think about academic issues as something you might need to get involved in, a friend who is struggling may need your help!

You might be 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.


  1. A classmate has been partying a lot and totally blowing off school. He 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?
  2. 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 academics. Be prepared for them to get upset, frustrated, or angry.
  • Talk to the person about the things that concern you. Use concrete examples.
  • Remind them of the consequences of their behavior.
  • Know the resources on campus to help them get academic support. Check out Academic Skills for extra tutoring, writing assistance, and learning better study skills.
  • Talk to a professor or advisor for assistance.
  • Talk to the professor about the prevalence of cheating. Be part of the solution, not the problem.
  • If you are having academic trouble, consider:
    • Accept ownership for you academic success and failure.
    • Set academic goals
    • Don't skip class
    • Read and follow your class syllabi
    • Turn in all your work
    • Participate in class
    • Develop a relationship with your instructor
    • Don't be afraid to ask for help! Get help as soon as you need it.

Contact Christine Johnston


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