The Academic Advantage of Social Support
The start of college can be scary and lonely, but it does not have to be! Getting involved in extracurricular activities, joining clubs, and making friends outside of class can help you feel less alone and more confident in academic pursuits. A new study also shows that social support might even make them perform better in class! For example, if one is worried about test anxiety or an upcoming project or presentation, talking to friends who have experience with these concerns may boost one to feel more confident in one’s academic endeavors.
The link between social support and academic success
Students who report feeling more socially supported tend to perform better academically. A 2009 study published in Research in Community and Mental Health found that students who frequently spent time with friends and acquaintances reported receiving more emotional support, which helped them cope with stress and thus improved their performance. When students feel socially supported, they are also more likely to share information or seek help when they need it. The research shows that social support makes academic life easier; it benefits overall mental health. For example, a 2010 study from University College London showed that women who received emotional support from friends during a stressful situation had lower cortisol levels—the hormone released by the body during physical or emotional stress—than those who did not receive such support. So do not underestimate how important a little empathy can be! Not only will one get through tough assignments together, but one will reap the benefits long after one has left school
In-person interaction boosts grades, long term relationships boost GPA
Consistent social interaction can help boost academic performance in both students. Empathy and emotional support boost grades in kids, and those who regularly interact with mentors and adult role models are more likely to achieve higher GPAs. Academics should set up long-term relationships with students based on their interests so that they do not feel like isolated individuals but instead feel included in a network that will hopefully increase their self-esteem and well-being and strengthen their academic performance. Students also need to learn to be empathetic towards others if they want academic success. Students who lack empathy tend to struggle because they cannot relate to or sympathize with people around them. Suppose students have trouble feeling empathy for others. It might be best for them not to pursue academics but rather jobs where human interaction is less important such as working behind a desk or in a maintenance/janitorial position.
Adding new activities increases GPA in college (Schaefer, 2017).
A new study examined whether adding extracurricular activities to a college student’s schedule could help their GPA. The results showed that GPA increased by one-third after students enrolled in a new activity. Though there was no difference in GPA between students who joined one new activity or three, as long as one adds something to one’s schedule, it is a positive step towards increasing one’s GPA. By trying out a variety of clubs and groups, one has more opportunities to explore interests and foster social support within a community (Bryan & Zivnuska); this can be especially useful for students just beginning college and navigating academic freedom for the first time. Finding a group of people with similar goals and aspirations will make one feel less isolated and give one someone to talk to about school when things get tough.
Furthermore, though research shows that having friends does not necessarily improve grades, making friends increases happiness (Kashdan et al., 2013), which increases productivity (Tice et al., 2000). Not all extracurricular activities will boost GPA; joining organizations like fraternities or sororities may lower grades due to increased partying and alcohol consumption (Foubert et al., 2011), so if partying is not your thing, then these organizations might not be right for you. However, if they are, then go ahead! one is already going to have fun, so why not enjoy?
How does the lack of social support impact an individual’s academic achievement?
As a student, it is important to make friends and socialize. However, with so many extracurricular activities vying for one’s attention, it can be difficult to juggle all one’s commitments. Research shows that social support–or lack thereof–can significantly impact how well one can balance schoolwork and leisure activities. Make sure to look out by maintaining strong connections with friends and family; if one does not get enough social support at home, reach out to others on campus or through clubs that interest one. It may seem counterintuitive, but having someone who can understand what one is going through is often a better distraction than any Netflix binge-watch session.
- What are some ways that students might develop social support networks?
- What are some advantages and disadvantages of social support networks?
- How does not having social support impact an individual’s academic achievement?
- How does getting more social support help to improve academic performance?
- Are there other factors that might help explain why students with more social support do better in school?
There are different kinds of effective communication when expressing emotions.
Saying things like ‘I am sad because,’ ‘I am angry because,’ and ‘I feel stressed because’; are ways to openly discuss your emotions with others. Students who have supportive friends are often less depressed and have better grades than those who do not. Making friends is a good way to improve emotional support for oneself. Helping friends, in turn, makes one feel more loved and supported, which then improves the emotional state as well. Students who interact closely with their classmates or communicate openly about their feelings will benefit most from social support. However, be careful that they are not asking too much of friends; they may not be able to make all problems go away completely, but if one burdens them too much, they might become annoyed or resentful towards one instead. It is also important to note that everyone needs different amounts of social support. Some humans need more while some need less. Remember, it is very okay to get help when one needs it!
The need for universal counselors (Kutner & Olson, 2018).
The number of students attending college has been steadily increasing every year. As more students are going to college, there is an increase in demand for counselors. Colleges are becoming increasingly interested in hiring therapists and professionals with counseling experience to be available for their students (Kutner & Olson, 2018). Many colleges have a limited amount of funding to allocate towards these resources for mental health support (Kutner & Olson, 2018). Often counseling centers need additional funding from outside donors or grants to continue operating at their current capacity (Kutner & Olson, 2018). It may be helpful for these programs to apply for some government funding to help fund these services; This could also give them more credibility when applying for private donations. However, applying for grants and other types of funding often requires much paperwork, which takes up valuable time; This can make it difficult to handle all aspects of running a counseling center while still providing adequate services to students (Kutner & Olson, 2018). More counselors could allow these centers to provide better care without taking away from other aspects of running their organization. More people working within these organizations will reduce stress on each counselor, allowing them to spend more time focusing on each student’s needs rather than juggling multiple tasks at once.