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Most of the mistakes you make but overlook are why you fail, and your smoking friend still outperforms you academically. Below are the 21 common mistakes that students make.

As you read, remember that these mistakes are made in varying degrees of energy, and what puts you off can be an energy booster for someone else.

Read the mistakes, understand how to avoid them and become the best version of yourself.

1. Procrastination

Procrastination is a destiny killer. It is the act of delaying or postponing tasks. Students are notorious for procrastinating on anything from classes to laundry, barbering, and bathing.  This is why you are overburdened with tasks and haphazardly complete them.

You are more likely not to complete the task if you delay. Have you heard of the two-minute rule? It says you should do whatever it takes you 2 minutes to complete right away, don’t postpone it. Scholars have claimed productivity surged after implementing the 2-minute rule.

2. Exam malpractice

Many students are procrastination addicts. Oh! Do you believe that addiction is solely linked to marijuana and other drugs?

You can become so engrossed in social media that it destroys your chances of success. I’ll shed more light on that later. As I stated previously, exam malpractices are always the way out for procrastination addicts to pass exams. Naturally, they take advantage of a flawed educational system.

You don’t want to be that person, and you certainly don’t want to lose your studentship due to cheating. As a result, avoid exam malpractices.

3. Junk food

Another common mistake students make is that they should avoid consuming junk food. Students do not eat healthy foods, which makes them lose concentration when reading and become tired quickly after a few classes.

Read this if you’re having difficulty focusing in class. Junk food contributes to depression, a lack of appetite, indigestion, weight gain, and even an increased risk of cancer. These factors will negatively impact your productivity and academic performance as a student. If you don’t want that, stay away from junk food.

4. Sleep deprivation

Students lose sleep playing video games, keeping up with trends, or surfing the internet for unrelated stuff, making sleep deprivation one of the leading causes of academic failure.

To be a great student, don’t deprive yourself of sleep for whatever reason. Sleep helps the brain settle down and remain alert for the next day. Stay away from anything that causes you to lose sleep.

5. Video games

Statistics show that almost 2 million college students are addicted to video games. Do you realise how bad that is? No, I’m afraid.

See, video game addiction leads to game disorder. Because most people play video games at night, they don’t get enough sleep and end up sad and miserable throughout the day.

One of the 21 common mistakes students make that I strongly advise you to avoid is playing video games. In fact, flee.

6. Late-night internet surfing

You’ll agree that sleep deprivation is bad for you and negatively impacts your academic performance. Another similar mistake is social media addiction.

Nah! Save me from the “social media is for networking” justification.

Students come to campus to socialise and network, yet, it has been found that people are becoming less interested in networking even with the use of social media. Students should read rather than keep up with the latest social media trend.

7. Bad gang

I’ll tell you who you are if you show me your friend. One of the variables influencing your decisions is networking and association. Your buddies are the first people you turn to if you struggle with a course or topic.

Consider your pals a group of nasty guys in a school that only party, drink, smoke, and womanise. You’ve made it to the other side of success. 

What advice would you anticipate from a drug addict when you approach him with your calculus problems? There you have it: why you avoid keeping bad company.

8. Alcohol

Don’t be fooled: alcohol doesn’t make you more confident but less confident. 

If you consume alcohol before class, you’ve just injected yourself with a substance that will disrupt your system for the rest of the day and cause you to fall asleep while the lecturer is speaking.

Alcohol depletes your energy. As a result, you become fatigued easily and cannot concentrate on your studies. Because this is a common mistake students make, I recommend setting certain ground rules to make it easier for you to avoid them.

9. Smoking

As a student, you must be physically, psychologically, and emotionally prepared for the classes, tasks, and tests that life will throw at you. 


According to a study conducted in China, smoking one cigarette daily lowers students’ mathematics test scores by 0.08 standard deviations. This is because solving arithmetic problems necessitates concentration, focus, and a high degree of thinking, which you can only have when you are mentally and physically fit.

10. Drugs and weed

The list goes on: cannabis, smoke, pot, weed, and so on. You take it, and you get high for around 3 hours, which means you are not normal for 3 hours, your system malfunctions, and you are not mentally prepared for academic demands.

Imagine being an addict who repeats this every three hours, going through the day, week, and semester with twisted mental processes. 

What chance does such a person have of doing well in school? How? By all means, stay clear of this, which many erroneously see as amusing and cute. It isn’t; it slowly but steadily destroys you. DON’T USE DRUGS!

11. Stabbing classes

This is a common act among students that you should not indulge in. Do not do it at all. Just like video games and social media, you can get addicted to your bed and sleep while your colleagues are receiving lectures in class.

“I will get the note and read up” is one of the lies students who indulge in this tell themselves. Reading up is good, but the understanding from the lecturers’ explanations cannot be gotten from reading up.  This is what results in cramming instead of understanding. 

This takes us to the next common mistake students make that you should avoid: cramming. 

12. Cramming

Students who use drugs, deprive themselves of sleep, and stab/miss courses mostly cram to pass their examinations. Cramming is not a wise idea for a student, even though it helps you quickly remember certain things you can jot down as soon as you enter the exam hall.

Understanding a course or topic, on the other hand, gives you an advantage over other students who, after leaving the exam hall, will forget what they crammed because they did not have a reading plan. The next point is to read without a plan.

13. Reading without plan

Order is a superb productivity tool because it leads to planning, and adequate preparation leads to smooth execution, yielding excellent results. 

You must plan everything you do in life. If you do not, you are planning to fail.

As a student, you must create a personal reading plan to increase productivity and results. Because we all have different orientations and timetables, a reading strategy must be customised. A reading plan can help you manage how you stay on top of your studies without sacrificing social activities.

14. Jettisoning social life for academics

As I have stated, academic success does not imply that you neglect socialising and networking.

One of the benefits of going to campus is that you can meet individuals who share your interests, gain confidence in social situations, and build an amazing network of people who will be of tremendous help to you even after you graduate.

15. Parties

Even though you should socialise, don’t party all day smoking and drinking. That kind of socialising does not benefit you in terms of wisdom, knowledge, or understanding.

In reality, parties deplete your energy to the point where you cannot attend lectures. If you want to graduate with honours, you should avoid making the common student mistake of partying.

16. Studying late

This goes hand in hand with not having a reading plan. It is advisable to start reading as soon as possible to make it easy to follow your professor.

Consider a reading schedule that requires you to read before and after class; you can’t do this and then fail. So, don’t start studying a few weeks or days before the tests.

Attending class purposefully; The hack to getting good grades

17. Not taking care of your health

When you don’t start reading early, you have to burn extra candles and have sleepless nights a few weeks before examinations. 

All of these will have a negative impact on your health. This is why some students become depressed after examinations and end up in the hospital.

Health is wealth, and as a student, you must always be in good health to keep up with the demands of the academic environment. 

As a result, please refrain from doing anything that will harm your health. Many of these were listed earlier in this article.

18. Fornication

Sexual immorality is on the rise among students, and before I say anything, please do not just avoid this common mistake students make, flee! I say what? Flee! From fornication. 

This has been recorded as the major source of distraction for students, as they get carried away with the illusion of love. Many end up with STDs and HIV/AIDS; some do not graduate, and some get killed by bad gangs. In all you do, do not make this mistake. 

19. Panic and fear during exam

We can’t talk about the common mistakes students make and not about the fear and panic during exams. It’s an open secret that many students fail not because of lack of preparation but because of situations where they see a question and go blank. 

As such, you must plan ahead how you’ll deal with exam anxiety ahead. Everything still boils down to reading early in the semester and sticking to a reading schedule.

20. Poor time management

Improve your time management skills; everything is dependent on it. To strike a balance between social life and academics, you must be proactive in Order, Scheduling, and time management.

The fact is that a successful student is always good at time management; you’ll see them working with a schedule to determine which book to read, which party to go to, which class to attend, and who to see, among other things. Avoid poor time management if you want to be a good student.

21. Generalisation

If you read this up to a point, you must have been trying to compare and contrast your life with a colleague you think is doing better or worse than you.

You are thinking this is what you are doing wrong, and he’s doing right. 

I mean, how on earth will a party monk get an A and you have a C… ? There you go, do not generalise. A reading plan is personal. All these mistakes affect us, some people get away with some, and if you try them, you might not get away with them. 

So, it is up to you to look at yourself, self-evaluate and see what you need to improve on or avoid.

If this is helpful, kindly share it with your friends

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