Mentioning that undergraduate academic activities could be monotonous, tedious, challenging and demanding is stating the obvious. Without a doubt, one could easily come to a conclusion that formal education is difficult and so requires personal decision to take up the challenges that comes therewith.
Undergraduates at the tertiary level of education often lay complains of virtually every curricula activities they are assigned to do in school including project based tests such as their final year projects, seminar presentations, mock press conferences, mock consultations and advertisements to state a few. However students seem to forget so easily the school stress when they receive invitations for social events in school or outside school; why is that so? That may be a question for you to answer but our major focus here is to discuss simple principles that final year projects students could adopt in dealing with curricula activities which they may consider tasking while in school.
Before we go heating the nail, it is needful we slate out the actual issues that could be ‘students’ nightmares’ and what in this nightmares is a concern for reflection.
Meeting with difficult curricula activities
I have been there too as a student and understand quite well how easy it is to tag a course, a topic, a project and even a teacher ‘difficult’; it happens so fast before you ‘say Jack’. No one is promising you a smooth sail through school as an undergraduate student or even as a final year projects student but then the impression that accompanies students to their first day in class, especially those spread by their predecessors who didn’t find their moments in school favorable, beats their academic imagination and confidence to 0% leaving them at the mercy of their self-will and self-determination. This bad emotion beclouds their sense of approach towards the courses they have been told about.
On normal bases, the following are academic curricular activities that students must do but still consider difficult even when they are mostly monotonous:-
Impromptu test and assessments
From the kindergarten level of formal education, academic institutions put students through continuous assessments, sometimes announced and impromptu in some cases. These does not sound new at all for anyone who has been through school but the act of putting yourself into it as a student makes it fearful to confront especially when the test is impromptu. In that case, only the prepared mind can beat the task.
‘The worst fear’ every student must face is examination – the term that is accountable for malpractices and academic misconducts in the world of academic education. Let’s look at this, exams are announced to allow students to prepare for it, yet many of them come along to the examination halls with micro-chips and brain supports; some end up not reading at all to the examination hall after much advice to study hard. In the end, some perform quite impressive than others.
Final year projects
Continuous assessment questions or practical tasks may be unpredictable neither will examination questions turn out as always predicted but final year projects are often times monotonous in their research procedures, structures and guidelines. Final year projects give students an edge over other academic curricular activities where they have performed poorly. Students naturally see project research as fund-sucking, breath-taking, time demanding and totally frustrating even when they haven’t had an experience yet.
This particular academic exercise involves public speaking so does academic seminars and the likes. This is the plus side of final year projects that throws students off balance even when it isn’t their first time facing a public.
Yeah, we have come a long way, appraising the seeming difficult academic curricula activities.
Now the icing on the cake…
Without a doubt, there are probabilities that the bone of contention is not really in the difficult academic activities; there could be other factors that fuels the difficulty. What could that be?
When a topic is perceived as boring from the first instance, the students’ interest in the topic is already lost to the wind. When examinations and assessments come from such topics or courses as the case maybe, it becomes difficult to confront the questions even when they are simple to attempt.
Poor concentration or Lack of it
Again, poor concentration or lack of it can fuel academic difficulty. When your attention is lost to something else aside the classroom discussion, it will only take a miracle to have you perform better in class.
Difficulty recollecting facts and figures
If you have issues trying to remember what you read, you may never be poised to study again and in a long run causes student to give up easily on their studies. Caught in such situation, student can be forced to think that formal education isn’t their calling; they had rather followed their fate and pay less attention to class room ‘fairy tales’ and logic.
Students have had enough of the blames over their poor performances academically but teachers approach should also be considered. Not all lecturers are trained teachers and so they lack understanding of how to extend the knowledge to undergraduates bearing in mind their psychological differences.
Simple principles final year projects students can adopt to deal with academic difficulty
Stating the obvious is to re-emphasize that many undergraduates have been in this web for long, especially those preparing to undertake their final year projects. To bring the siege to an end or atleast curtail the mess, here are easy principles that work:-
Never see learning as a challenge; accept it as a another chance
Your perception about learning chooses the way you embrace it. With a good impression, it works out, and with bad impression you get frustrated even in the most simple of them.
Map out pre-study plans for difficult topics
Consider asking for the semester or yearly syllabus the next time you go to school. And when you do, map out pre-study plans for the topics you do not really find friendly and work on it. What I mean is this, you could study every next topic before you attend the class do that especially with the seeming difficult topics. This practice will not only make learning easy, it will upgrade your level of understanding of the topics each time the teacher discuss them before the class. You will stop being passive to become active in class.
Consider dropping plus courses that are not necessary
To cut down the work load, consider your willingness to step-up your academic curricular performance, you have to consider dropping plus courses that aren’t necessary for your graduation in your field. This is important so that you can face the main courses squarely and make the most of it.
If you are a teacher reading this … make students develop interest first
As a teacher, if you’ve lost your students’ interest, trust me you have lost their attention and them too. Consider going back to your drawing board to trace out the strategies that work with your students.
The psychology of students and their differences is necessary to understand what does and doesn’t work for them. When they lay complains about academic difficulty, there is reason behind it and that reason you must find; am talking to you the teacher and the students themselves if they could be honest. Again, formal education at all level is not a bed of roses, but you must bear in mind that a smooth sail does not make skillful sailors.