Firstly, how often do we hear the same repeated stories about people that have dropped out of school to start their billion‐pound company? What they do not hear is the countless people regretting dropping out of university in the past because they cannot find jobs.
How they wish they had done something different now they have a family of their own. Regrettably, some students at universities have the same ‘I’m better than this’ mentality and drop out, but there are plenty of other reasons as well…
Problem: This is mainly issue found with universities. With students coming from the north, south, east, and west of the country, mixed with an influx of international students, there are bound to be differences. I think everyone must have a few stories about living in those dreaded student halls, whether it is that one person that never does the dishes, the one who leaves passive-aggressive written notes everywhere, or that mysterious one that is seen but never heard. There are conflicts that can arise and escalate, causing students to not even want to step foot into their shared residence.
Solution: To work with the Students Union to try to accommodate students based on shared interests, or personality types, or subjects. This could be done with questionnaires before they enter the university. Also, the universities’ accommodation team can send out emails once a semester to check in with the freshers, swapping students around if needs be.
Problem: Students might not show up to lectures and it easy to quickly judge that they cannot be bothered to get up, but there may just be another darker reason, unbeknown to the class. Loneliness, this alongside exams, assignments, depression, fitting in, and many more things students have to battle with. Unfortunately, a lot of students battling these issues will keep it bottled up and will not seek help. Not always, but this might inevitably have a knock‐on effect on their studies and/or attendance at university altogether.
Solutions: Whilst the professional counselling services are there and open to all students at business hours on an appointment basis, sometimes it is better to talk to someone their own age and student ambassadors have been very fruitful in this area. It is better if they are in their final year or in their post‐graduate studies, so they can totally empathise and give worthwhile tips to the students.
Problem: Pressure comes in many forms, but the main one around campuses today is peer pressure. Peer pressure is evident from the start of higher education right through to the end of it, but students need strategies to prevent this spiralling out of control, leading them to drop out because they cannot focus on their studies. It happens a lot.
Solutions: Again, it is very important to touch base with the student union, so they can deter any initiations in societies or promote campus‐wide campaigns on the subject. What students essentially need are ways to say no, or to prioritise their activities and time better.