Finals week is coming up and many students are panicking to find time to squeeze in studying for every class, write term papers, and memorize oral presentations. When life gets stressful, students often turn to commonly alcohol for a stress relief, but research shows this habit is doing more harm than good to student’s grades.
A new survey found that besides time spent studying, time spent drinking was the most reliable predictor of a student’s GPA. Researchers surveyed 13,900 incoming freshmen from 167 schools, including institutions known for both their drinking and stellar grades, and found across the board the amount students drink is more influential to their grades than how many hours they spend in the classroom.
However, researchers did find that when students who drink are also involved in extracurricular activities they had fewer negatives consequences like ditching class, missing work, or failing assignments than those who weren’t involved in an activity.
Researchers were also surprised by how students spent most of their time. Even though social networking seems like a likely candidate to be the number one distractor from doing one’s work, students spent the 4.41 hours social networking, 5.32 hours watching TV, 7.25 hours studying, 7.61 hours working, and 14.21 hours attending class. The study warns not to get too excited about studying taking third place. In the 1960’s, college students were studying 24 hours a week.
“The main value of the study lies in using the relationships between study time, alcohol consumption, and academic success to predict student behavior so colleges can develop programs that target specific students in danger of falling behind,” writes Newsweek editor Kristina Dell.
Many schools are attacking the issue with alcohol awareness programs, community help, and online courses. Some schools have seen positive results from requiring students to take an online alcohol education test before entering the campus.
Resources: How Alcohol Consumption Predicts GPA – http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-03-31/drinking-and-grades-how-student-alcohol-consumption-affects-gpa/#