Failing college: Top 10 ways to screw up before graduation

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Being an epic failure in college is easy. Getting back on your feet is another story. Truth be told, there will always be those who burn out once they get there or who can’t hack the academic pressure to perform. Of course, there are a myriad of ways for us to screw things up — just choose your poison. To get the point across, we thought we’d come up with the top 10 ways to screw up before graduation. Think of it as a “not to do” list. For everyone else, these are tried, tested and 100 percent foolproof ways to tank. 

  1. Never study – This is a no-brainer. Group study sessions? Studying in a quiet library? Find what motivates you to study and stick with it.
  2. Cheat your way out – This includes plagiarism, hacking, copying your friend’s answers and having someone else write your term paper. These are all great ways to get expelled. Professor Cram in “Best Ways to Cheat in College,” a post in Good Study Habits published by, helps guide students in the “right” direction.
  3. Get in trouble with the police– this can also be another quick and tidy way to end a college career. Earn bonus points if you make the evening news. What started as an innocent frat party can easily turn ugly, so always be cautious and think your actions through.
  4. Take the easiest classes – Looking for the easiest way to graduation may seem like a great game plan, but we’ve all heard of that slippery slope and laziness has a way of catching up with you. Just because a class may sound easy doesn’t necessarily mean it is, not to mention the money that is being wasted on your tuition. Take Luke McKinney’s advice in “7 Tips for not screwing up college,” a September 9, 2009, post to “The point of college is to get better at things, and while only one of those is your degree, it’s still important,” McKinney said. “If your only priority is screwing around, that tuition money can buy far better times than falling asleep in lecture theaters.”
  5. Violate academic probation – This is a great way to look a gift horse in the mouth. Take that second chance to boost your GPA, or it’s ciao. Better yet, save yourself some trouble and avoid getting yourself onto probation all together.
  6. Bother with drugs – Recreation or prescription, either way you are bound to screw up academically and worse yet, find yourself also accomplishing point #3. It’s a great twofer to take yourself down. ADHD meds are popular amongst college students to get through finals, but the consequences are long lasting, according to a February 11, 2013, post to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Dosing underachievers; our view; are ADHD drugs right for academic problems?” “According to the reports, college kids long have used the drugs as study aids,” the article states. “But now high school students seeking a competitive advantage as they apply to colleges are dipping into the same pharmaceutical stash.”
  7. Procrastinate – Waiting until the last minute to finish a project or paper is like playing Russian roulette. Risk-takers, beware.
  8. Party as much as possible – What’s school? If you find yourself missing more class than you do parties, you may want to reassess your priorities.
  9. Start a long distance relationship – Nothing is a bigger distraction than spending hours on the phone or traveling across the country to see “the one” at all costs.
  10. Be late for exams and finals – There are only so many excuses to get out of this. Set extra alarms if you tend to oversleep. Be sure to triple check which classroom your exams are being held in, as sometimes finals are in different rooms.

Of course, to succeed academically in college, doing the opposite of what’s on this list would be the wise course of action. For some, this may be easier said than done. For more information on college life, check out Questia’s topic page on education.

Do you have any other tips for failing college that we should know about? Please let us know your suggestions.

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2 replies
  1. Mohamed Kumro says:

    Academic difficulties are also frequent. The symptoms are especially difficult to define because it is hard to draw a line at where normal levels of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity end and clinically significant levels requiring intervention begin. To be diagnosed with ADHD, symptoms must be observed in two different settings for six months or more and to a degree that is greater than other children of the same age.


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