The Disadvantages of Not Being Prepared

Taking an inventory of academic strengths and weaknesses in middle school can lead to academic success in high school and college.
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Life needs constant preparation. There is no one way to be prepared for everything that comes at you; however, not being prepared in important areas of a person’s life can cause adverse effects. One main area that has disadvantages to not being prepared is education. Middle school, high school, college and nontraditional students who do not prepare may have more disadvantages than those who do.

1 Middle School

Middle school is a time of adjustment. The academic environment changes and students are expected to keep up with logistics. Students become responsible for learning the layout of a new school, getting to class on time and knowing how to do just about everything on their own. When students are not prepared to handle day-to-day logistical requirements, disadvantages as minor as embarrassment or as profound as a loss of self-esteem may occur, which could affect a student's grades and ability to succeed.

2 High School

Just a few decades ago, getting a high school education was optional, but today it is mandatory if an individual wants to get a job or go to college. When students do not take the time to prepare themselves for high school, it becomes very difficult to accomplish their academic goals. An important aspect of preparation is developing reading skills before and during high school because all subjects require the ability to absorb information and think critically. Students who do not begin an inventory of their academic strengths and weaknesses before high school have more difficulty earning high marks than those who evaluate their abilities for self efficacy.

3 College or University

It is important to be prepared to enter a college or university. A student who does not create an academic plan for college while in high school has a distinct disadvantage from those who do prepare. Students who do not master core courses, such as English and mathematics, have to take them as developmental courses in college, which do not count toward credits earned or a student’s college GPA. Students who do not prepare for the Scholastic Aptitude Test, or SAT, are at a disadvantage because they may not score high enough to get accepted into their school of choice. Students who never attend college generally tend to earn much less money than those who earn a degree.

4 Nontraditional Students

Nontraditional students are considered to be outside the normal age range and have diverse learning experiences. Many times, nontraditional students have spent many years without attending an academic setting and have a much different mode of preparation than traditional students. Technology and time management skills are areas in which a nontraditional student must be prepared. Because most academic assignments require word processing skills, students without them may lag behind or fail to turn in assignments. Disadvantages of poor time management skills are inability to attend class regularly or withdrawal from a course or school.

Based in Virginia, Susan Harlow is an adjunct English professor and writing resource coordinator. She specializes in education and technical communication. She holds a Master of Arts in English with a concentration in literacy, technology and professional writing from Northern Arizona University.