study skills in college students

Executive Functioning Issues Affect Study Skills in College Students

Some people argue that study skills matter more than knowledge when determining college success. It isn’t until after graduation where life experience becomes valuable in terms of job skills. In college, having a strong foundation of study skills help students succeed academically, especially in classes outside their field of interest or their major. College students who struggle with executive functioning issues have a particularly difficult time applying these study skills. 

Why Are Study Skills Important for College Success?

High school students are often overprogrammed and follow highly structured routines with supervision from parents, teachers, and other adults. When they transition to a college environment, living independently, it is common for college students to struggle to find a balance on their own. 

The efficient use of time—key to managing activities, classes, and friendships—helps students fully engage in college opportunities. Time management is just one skill college that students need. Executive functions are the central control processes located in the frontal lobe of the brain that coordinate and manage time as well as the ability to set goals, self-regulate, and think critically. How well students plan, prioritize, initiate, and complete tasks throughout the day reflects their ability to use their executive functions.

How Do Executive Functioning Issues Affect Study Skills?

Strong executive functions enhance the ability to balance options and make healthy choices and form the necessary foundation for academic success.  Executive functioning issues, such as ADHD or learning differences, affect working memory and compromise other processes that involve the capacity to sustain attention, organize, persevere, problem solve, and think flexibly. Students who struggle with executive functioning issues are more likely to procrastinate assignments, focus too much on the details of an assignment without understanding the greater themes, and struggle to carve out time to focus on assignments. 

Having trouble with executive functioning skills isn’t a reflection of one’s intelligence or academic potential, but rather a reflection of one’s unique learning style. Knowing how to advocate for one’s needs and receiving adequate support can help college students thrive in the classroom. However, many students that acknowledge their executive functioning “deficits” internalize self-doubt and shame instead of looking for creative solutions to help them succeed. 

Academic Support in Transitional Living Programs

At Journey Home Young Adult, residents have the opportunity to develop and work on their educational goals while in the program with the support of our mentors. Mentors act as life coaches by helping students select the best classes for them to take, apply to college, and their next steps after the program through career counseling. They also help residents manage their time, getting organized, complete school assignments on time, and look for additional resources on their school campus if necessary. These skills are necessary for success in adulthood, beyond a college environment. 

Mentorship at Journey Home Young Adult is all about building rapport with residents, nurturing them through difficult moments, and role modeling practical life skills. Mentors walk alongside young women as they navigate the challenges of adulthood.

Journey Home Young Adult Can Help 

Journey Home Young Adult is a transitional living program for young women ages 18-23. This program addresses emotional, behavioral, and mental health disorders that young women may face. Common presenting problems include depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, body image issues, ADHD and other learning issues, academic struggles, and low self-esteem. Journey Home creates an environment conducive to healing where young women can learn healthy coping skills while becoming more well-equipped to launch into adulthood. Students leave this program feeling empowered, happy, and healthy.

To learn more about executive functioning issues in college students, contact us at 801-444-0794. We can help your family today!


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