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Student Struggling in College

Toddler and Teenager Expert Advice from Carleton Kendrick, Ed.M., LCSW

Q: I dropped out of high school in the 10th grade and received my GED later. I'm going to college now, this being my 3rd semester, and find it difficult to deal with the college curriculum. I'm also questioning whether I should be attending college considering my withdrawal from high school. Need advice.

A: First, congratulations on your perseverance in not giving up on becoming a more educated person. You are not alone in questioning whether you can handle a college curriculum. You may not have picked up enough basic study skills and practical skills (e.g. how to write a research paper) to feel confident in your studies. It's also possible that your GED requirements did not include enough learning in the various subject areas (history, math, science, English, etc.) to prepare you for what you are being asked to do at this collegiate level.

Rather than just bail out of school because you're having a tough time, please go to your college's counseling office and have some long talks with some counselors/academic advisors. Maybe some additional tutoring and/or courses are what you need to feel more knowledgeable and capable academically. You need some professional help, which your college should be more than willing to provide you, to find out the basic reasons why you are struggling. It's smart to realize when we need help and go get it.

You have been a fighter up to this point. Don't give up on yourself. Get the people and the pathway to keep on succeeding. Thanks for writing.

More on: Expert Advice

Carleton Kendrick has been in private practice as a family therapist and has worked as a consultant for more than 20 years. He has conducted parenting seminars on topics ranging from how to discipline toddlers to how to stay connected with teenagers. Kendrick has appeared as an expert on national broadcast media such as CBS, Fox Television Network, Cable News Network, CNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio. In addition, he's been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Reader's Digest, BusinessWeek, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and many other publications.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

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