How Academically Mature are you?   back

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:

1.   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”.
2.   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”.
3.   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.
4.   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.
5.   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 learning.
6.   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.
7.   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 tests.
8.   Putting off everything related to schoolwork until the last minute. Everyone procrastinates, however immature students procrastinate habitually.
9.   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 totally disorganized.
10   Always asking friends if one can copy their notes and asking such questions as “Did we do anything important in class today?”
11.   Believing that homework and outside assignments are in no way related to the grade one will eventually receive in the course.
12.   Being late for, or totally forgetting about appointments.
13.   A daily routine that includes staying up all night and sleeping until noon.
14.   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.
15.   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 university students.

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.