How Academically Mature are you?
The University of Alabama
Center for Academic Success
124 Osband Hall
Earning good grades in college is often directly
correlated with students' level of academic maturity. Unfortunately,
some students attending college are not yet ready to handle the large
amount of freedom that exists for college students and have not yet
learned that success in college is related to the amount time and effort
that students devote academic pursuits.
The following is a list of behaviors and thought
processes commonly exhibited by immature university students:
||Blaming someone or something other than
oneself for poor grades. Immature students tend to say such
things as: “The professor made the test too hard”, “The
professor is boring”, “I can’t understand the teacher”, and
“There was just too much to learn”.
||Believing that certain parts of one’s
disposition are fixed and cannot be changed. This leads to such
statements as “I’ve just never been good at________”, or “I just
can’t do well on multiple choice tests”.
||Believing that the courses one is doing
poorly in are a waste of time and not necessary for whatever
vocation one plans to enter. This is closely tied to the belief
that the University will provide you with specific vocational
skills that will be good for the next 35 years. All other
knowledge is irrelevant.
||Believing that one can do well academically
if one does not attend class. This is closely related to the
belief that classes are a waste of time.
||Believing that some older and wiser person is
going to tell you everything you needs to know regarding
coursework, academic planning, requirements, etc. This belief
naturally absolves one from taking responsibility for their own
||Believing that students who do well
academically are either: (a) nerds who have no life, (b) just
plain lucky, or (c) in possession of secret knowledge or skills
that allows them to make good grades while studying very little.
||Finding time for socializing, playing video
games, shopping, watching TV, partying, etc., and then claiming
one does not have enough time to read the textbook or study for
||Putting off everything related to
schoolwork until the last minute. Everyone procrastinates,
however immature students procrastinate habitually.
||Never knowing when tests are scheduled, when
assignments are due, or what chapter the instructor is talking
about. Also not being able to find one’s class notes, homework,
instructions for assignments, or syllabi. In general being
||Always asking friends if one can copy their
notes and asking such questions as “Did we do anything important
in class today?”
||Believing that homework and outside
assignments are in no way related to the grade one will
eventually receive in the course.
||Being late for, or totally forgetting about
||A daily routine that includes staying up all
night and sleeping until noon.
||A lack of awareness of anything that is going
on outside of one’s immediate circle of friends. This leads to
the belief that events occurring on a local, state, or national
level are not important and/or boring.
||A preoccupation with the consumption of
alcohol. Immature students spend a lot of time talking about and
thinking about events leading up to the consumption of alcohol,
events that occurred while one was consuming alcohol, and events
that occurred after one became intoxicated.
Not all immature students exhibit all
of the above behaviors, however a good rule of thumb is that the more of
these behaviors a student exhibits, the greater the level of his or her
immaturity. Curiously, immature students do not realize they are
immature. They believe that that they are the ones who
are mature and the rest of the University community just does
not understand them. This is just another characteristic of immature
Unfortunately there is no quick and
easy cure for immaturity in college students. Development can be a slow
process and occurs at different rates in different people. Many students
end up experiencing academic disappointment in the form of low grades
before they realize that they are now responsible for their own life and
their behaviors can either help them or hurt them academically.