When Study Gets Difficult

Even the most anointed, faith-filled, students sometimes wonder why they ever started the course. Sometimes they just need a break

SATS students can seem to be quite independent and don’t really want to ask for help. Perhaps they feel that they will be judged if they admit to feeling demotivated and wanting to give it all up; after all “aren’t Christian students supposed to be super-spiritual and buoyed up by the Holy Spirit?” It may be difficult to admit to being “only human” after all. It’s at times like these that those closest to them need to come on board with love and understanding to help them regain their perspective.

A good strategy may be to suggest they write what they are experiencing down in a journal. Sometimes this helps to clarify their thinking and the remind them of the reason they originally decided to study.

Sometimes your student just needs to be reminded that their tutor or study adviser is available to help with their difficulties relating to assignments, course materials and study skills. This is part of a tutor’s role and they are always happy to help.

Talking to other students on the course can be very reassuring for students feeling generally overwhelmed; others often have good tips for dealing with specific problems too. Online forum discussions can help them see that many fellow students have very similar difficulties, so even if time is tight it is worthwhile taking part.

Anxieties about administrative matters such as fees, qualifications or arrangements for students with disabilities can also put pressure on study and motivation. If they are undergraduates they can phone Grace Sikhosana on the Help Desk. Grace has worked at SATS for many years and will assist them in a friendly and competent way. Postgraduate students can also phone Leschenne, our postgraduate registrar and long-time staff member. She will happily assist students in the postgraduate programme with all their queries. Each member of the SATS Team is committed to ensuring that our students succeed with their studies, so encourage your student to contact them.

Sometimes circumstances make it too difficult for a student to carry on with a particular course. SATS staff know how painful it is to come to this decision and will help your student with good advice and to sort out the necessary administration. Encourage them to get in touch with whoever they know best – usually their tutor.