The Way to Success in College Essay

Today, the college education is a desirable goal for many students, while many students from low-income families view the college education as a chance to break through the vicious circle of poverty and low standards of living. However, students from all social classes confront numerous problems from the moment they decide to enter the college to the moment they graduate from their college and obtain their degree. In this regard, it is worth mentioning the problem of the college failure, need to attend remedial classes, which are costly and not always affordable for students, discrimination, sexual assault, and many other issues. Many factors contribute to the failure of students, but their solution requires mutual efforts from the part of educators, colleges, students, their parents, and public organizations. They should collaborate to address the most challenging issues students confront in their education. The purpose of changes in the contemporary college education should focus on the elimination of barriers on the way of students to the college education and the creation of possibly most comfortable college environment for all students that will lead to their overall success in their college education.

One of the main issues that prevent students from success in their college education is the wide social gap between the middle- and upper-class students, who comprise the majority of students and students from low-income families, who are quite few in the contemporary college education. At this point, it is possible to refer to the article “For Poor, Leap to College Often Ends in a Hard Fall” by Jason Deparle focuses on the problem of the college as an equalizer that eliminates barriers between social classes. The author reveals the strife of many representatives of the lower-class to enter and succeed in college to overcome class barriers, but the author also uncovers how challenging such strife is. Students from the lower-class face difficulties with their integration into the college community and finding their identity because of the traditional orientation of colleges on the middle- and upper-class students, who comprise the overwhelming majority of the college population. Such disintegration of students from low-income families raises the problem of their failure in college. Students from the lower class face the problem of disintegration because of their different social experience and they have to change their social experience and social relations they are accustomed to adapt to the life in the college community.

In this regard, “Learning to Fail” by Jessica Bennett expands the study of the problem of student failure in college. The author reveals the devastating impact of failure on students. The fear of failure haunts them through their learning process and has a negative impact on their learning and success. Jessica Bennett argues that students have to learn to fail since failure is a part of the learning experience and the feature of education. Students should not feel their failure as a stigma or as the end of their education. Instead, students should learn to live up with the failure and overcome their failure. J. Bennett argues that students should not stop and keep learning, regardless of their failure. They may need more time for recovery but they should become aware of the fact that the failure is provisional and comprises a part of the contemporary education.

At the same time, failure of students may trigger serious psychological problems, such as depression that may lead to long-run negative effects or even the risk of self-injuries. At this point, it is possible to refer to the article “Risk Factors Associated With Self-Injurious Behavior Among a National Sample of Undergraduate College Students” written by Lindsay Taliaferro and Jennifer Muehlenkamp, where the author explore risk factors and causes of self-injurious behavior of undergraduate college students. The authors conducted the nationwide survey to find out the major risk factors. In this regard, the college failure became an important factor that could contribute to self-injurious behavioral patterns of students. Taliaferro and Muehlkenkamp argue that students, who slip to self-injurious behavior, have mental health problems which actually urge them to commit such actions. The failure of students at college may trigger the development of such mental health problems, including the development of depression and other mental health problems. The deterioration of the mental health of students may lead to self-injurious behavior. Therefore, students may commit self-injuries because of depression or other mental health problems triggered by their failure in college.

At the same time, it is not only the failure in college or difficulties with the adaptation of students to the life in the college community but also problems in families of students that may have a negative impact on their college life. The college life of students is under the impact of their families because problems in families of students have a considerable impact on their learning, their psychological conditions and social relations. In this respect, the article “The Relationship Between Interparental Conflict and Self-Reported Grade Point Average Among College Students” by Jane Hunt, Lacy Krueger and Dodie Limberg reveals the negative impact of interparetnal conflicts on students and on their academic performance. The study conducted by the researchers reveal the deterioration of the academic performance of students, who suffer from interparental conflicts in their families. The negative impact of problems in families affects the psychological condition of students that interfere into their learning process. Often such students cannot focus on their learning. They often disintegrate from their college community. The exclusion of students from college community leads to the failure of students to learn successfully. Such deterioration of the college life and academic performance of students occur because personal, family problems become more important for them than their learning and college life. As a result, the solution of family problems should become the priority for students and their parents to help students to overcome problems and to learn successfully.

In such a situation, the creation of safe spaces, where students can feel secure and comfortable, may be helpful for the prevention of psychological and social problems of students, such as their disintegration from their college community, as described by Jason Deparle, or psychological and mental health problems as described by Jessica Bennett. At this point, it is possible to refer to the article “What ‘Safe Spaces” Really Look Like on College Campuses” written by Sarah Brown and Katherine Mangan, where the author discuss possible ways for the enhancement of college environment to make it more friendly and comfortable for students. The authors use the term that is traditionally applied in the field of politics to show that safety spaces are important for colleges because students’ problems may be very serious and they should not be left aside. Instead, they should be addressed and safe spaces can help to make students’ learning and college life more comfortable. Often students find themselves in a hostile or new, unfamiliar college environment, where they feel uncomfortable and need time for adaptation to the college life and learning process. Safe spaces can help them to complete their adaptation faster and to become successful students as well as they become an integral part of the college community and the college life is not as hostile and strange for them as it may seem to be for them at the first glance, when they just enter college. Students enrolled in the college community need the help from the part of the college community, including students, educators and counselors, if necessary, to facilitate their adaptation to their new environment, where they learn and live.

At the same time, often students face the problem of succeeding in college because of college policies like math exams which become one of the major obstacles on the way to the college education. The article “Reforming Remediation: College Students Mainstreamed into Statistics are Most Likely to Succeed” reveals the scope of the problem of barriers on the way of students to the college education and the remediation problem. To put it more precisely, the article reveals the fact that many gifted students cannot pass the math exam and such failure is very frustrating for students. Educators have to provide students with the higher education and they use exams to determine the readiness of students for the college education. However, students have different strengths and preferences and many gifted students are not strong in math. This is why, when they fail to pass the math test, they have to attend remedial classes which are costly and not always effective. As a result, the costs of education grow substantially, along with students’ frustration because the negative experience at the beginning of their college education has a negative impact on their perception of college and their self-esteem as well. Such failures may also cause the overall failure of students to obtain the college education.

Some students experience substantial difficulties in their college education because of racial biases and stereotypes which affect not only their relations with peers but also the perception of students and their academic performance by educations. The article “Fighting Long Odds” by Kelly Field focuses on problems Native American students confront in college. The study reveals the fact that students from Native American community may face substantial problems in their college education because of prejudiced and biased attitude to them from the part of educators. To put it more precisely, educators are often prejudiced with regard to Native American students because they believe that Native Americans are less capable and have lower level of the academic performance compared to white students. As a result, Native American students face the risk of obtaining lower grade because of such prejudiced attitude from the part of educators. The poor academic performance leads to the deterioration of student self-esteem and increase their frustration. The problem becomes particularly challenging, when students make a lot of efforts to succeed in their learning but ultimately they fail because of prejudiced attitude from the part of educators. Another aspect of the problem of Native American students that prevent them from success in college revealed by Kelly Field is the problem of relationships between students which may also affect the academic performance of students and their wellbeing in the college community. The author argues that students also have a biased attitude to Native American students that leads to the misperception of those students. The deep-rooted belief that Native American students traditionally under-perform leads to the perception of Native American students as inferior compared to white students. Such attitude does not mirror the actual academic performance and skills of Native American students, but such attitude has a negative impact on student’s self-esteem and social relations. The sense of inferiority urges them to conflict with their social environment in the college community. They try to prove their skills and high academic level. Nevertheless, Kelly Field argues that the impact of prejudices is still very strong and prevents minority students, like Native American students, from success in college. The prejudiced attitude from the part of students and educators is aggravated by psychological problems Native American students develop in such unfriendly environment.

Finally, one more challenge students confront in the college environment is the problem of sexual assaults. In this respect, the article “On the Campus Front Line” by Katherine Rosman reveals the broad scope of the problem, especially for students, who have just entered the college. The problem of sexual assault is very challenging for students because it interferes into the college life and may causes substantial psychological problems that prevent them from successful learning. The failure to succeed at college becomes the result of sexual assault which causes a serious psychological trauma and students cannot focus on their learning. They have the high anxiety level and need the assistance of professional counselors or public organizations, which help students, who have suffered from sexual assault. At the same time, Katherine Rosman reveals the importance of prevention of sexual assault and related problems rather than the further recovery of students. The prevention should start with education of students how to prevent and address cases of sexual assault.

In such a way, students, who enter college face numerous problems that prevent them from succeeding in college. In this regard, it is possible to distinguish several options to help students to overcome possible problems and succeed in college. First, colleges need to change their remediation policies and to make the college education more accessible to students. Students may be successful but, they may have problems with math and, thus, fail from entering college without remedial classes. The change of college policies should focus on the accessibility of college education and focus on the revelation of gifts and inclinations of students because colleges may lose and do lose many gifted students because of the existing admission system. Also students confront psychological problems because of such issues as low grades and failure, problems in their families, sexual assault, and others. In such a situation, students need the psychological aid and counseling support to cope with their problems. The involvement of public organizations may help students to cope with their psychological and social problems, including such problems as sexual assault. In addition, colleges should eliminate discriminatory practices, such as the prejudiced attitude to Native American students, for example. The prevention of such issues may involve the development of codes of conduct that define norms of conduct for educators and students to prevent numerous problems, including discrimination.

Thus, students face several major obstacles on their way to success in college, which include their failure at college because of their poor performance or psychological or mental health problems, racial biases and prejudices, sexual assaults their poor performance because of personal problems in their families, and policies of colleges that raise unsurpassable barriers on the way of students to success in college. Today, numerous problems mentioned above prevent students from the successful academic performance and college education. However, the solution of such problems requires mutual efforts not only from the part of students but also from the part of educators, public organizations, parents of students, and colleges. Colleges need to change their policies to make the college environment more student-friendly, while educators can help students to overcome their problems or prevent their emergence. Such close collaboration between the key stakeholders need to overcome problems, which students may confront on their way to the successful college education.

Works Cited:

Bennett, Jessica. “Learning to Fail”  

Brown, Sarah and Mangan, Katherine.”What ‘Safe Spaces” Really Look Like on College Campuses”

Deparle, Jason. “For Poor, Leap to College Often Ends in a Hard Fall”

Education next. “Reforming Remediation: College Students Mainstreamed into Statistics are Most Likely to Succeed.”

Field, Kelly. “Fighting Long Odds”

Hunt, Jane, Krueger Lacy and Limberg, Dodie. “The Relationship Between Interparental Conflict and Self-Reported Grade Point Average Among College Students”

Rosman, Katherine.”On the Campus Front Line”

Taliaferro, Lindsay and Muehlenkamp, Jennifer. “Risk Factors Associated With Self-Injurious Behavior Among a National Sample of Undergraduate College Students”

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: May 6, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: May 6, 2021] (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
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[Accessed: May 6, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: May 6, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: May 6, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: May 6, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: May 6, 2021]
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