highschool student

Why Many High School Students Are Struggling to Excel Academically

  • Lack of motivation and engagement and poor study habits make high school students struggle academically.
  • Mental health issues and an unsupportive home environment can also lead to low academic performance.
  • Strategies such as setting goals and finding inspiration can help students overcome these challenges.
  • Enrolling in a public charter school and practicing mindfulness can also help high school students to excel academically.
  • Addressing these issues requires comprehensive approaches from all stakeholders involved, including teachers, parents, students, and policymakers.

High school is an essential chapter in every student’s life. For most students, it’s the time to prepare for college, learn vital skills, and find their passion. However, recent studies have shown that many high school students struggle to excel academically.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, only 37% of high school students are ready for college-level math and reading, and these numbers are even lower for low-income students. So, what’s causing this trend? Here’s why many high school students are struggling to excel academically.

A Lack of Motivation and Engagement

One of the primary reasons why many high school students are struggling to excel academically is a lack of motivation and engagement. Most high schools teach the same concepts over and over again, which makes learning dull and tedious.

However, there are ways to push through this lack of motivation and engagement and find success. Here are some techniques and strategies to help students overcome these challenges and get back on track.

Setting goals

Setting goals is a great way to help overcome a lack of motivation. Students need to clearly define what they want to achieve and then set smaller, achievable goals that will lead to their larger goals. This helps to break down the larger, more daunting goals into achievable steps.

Finding inspiration

Inspiration can come from many sources. It could be talking to a favorite teacher or mentor, reaching out to positive friends, or even seeking inspiration from successful individuals in the same field. Whatever the source, seeking inspiration can help to motivate students and increase their engagement.

School Environment

student in the library feeling bored

As a high school student, succeeding academically can be a daunting challenge. Often, the school environment contributes significantly to moderate or low academic performance. With large classroom sizes and limited one-on-one interaction between the teacher and students, high school students may feel lost or left behind.

However, there are options to consider. Enrolling in a local public charter school could be the solution that you need. Public charter schools create an ideal environment that promotes academic excellence with smaller class sizes, individual attention from teachers, and a tailored curriculum.

Poor Study Habits

Poor study habits are another significant factor contributing to poor academic performance among high school students. Many students procrastinate and don’t manage their time effectively, leading to missed assignments, incomplete homework, and low grades. Moreover, some students study at the last minute, leading to inadequate preparation and not retaining the information properly.

Mental Health Issues

Going through high school can be one of the most challenging experiences that a teenager can have. It is a time when many changes happen in their lives, and they can be overwhelmed by academic, social, and personal pressures.

Given that, it is no surprise that high school students are among the most vulnerable groups regarding their mental health. Mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, can manifest at any point and can severely impact a student’s ability to succeed in school. Here are some ways to overcome them:

Create a Routine

Creating a consistent routine can reduce stress and anxiety when studying in high school. Make sure you get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and eat healthily. Also, avoid overloading yourself with too many activities and responsibilities that can cause burnout.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is an excellent way to cope with mental health problems. It involves paying attention to the present moment, thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. Slowing down and focusing on the present through mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga, can help reduce anxiety and stress.

Unsupportive Home Environment

sad teen boy while parents are arguing

Finally, an unsupportive home environment can contribute to poor academic performance. Some students come from families that don’t emphasize education or do not provide the necessary emotional support. Without support from family members and loved ones, it can be challenging for high school students to stay motivated and engaged in their studies.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, high school students’ poor academic performance results from several factors. Significant culprits are a lack of motivation and engagement, poor study habits, mental health issues, and an unsupportive home environment. Addressing these issues requires a comprehensive approach that involves all stakeholders, including teachers, parents, students, and policymakers. Improving high school student’s academic performance is essential for them to reach their full potential and prepare for their future.


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