How do students waste their time?

Waste of time in a company

It doesn’t matter what type of college or university you attend. There are very common factors that decrease student retention rates in higher education. They can be individual problems or a mix of factors. Therefore, faculties must work on them in a proper way to reduce attrition.

Some universities already have technological solutions that allow, among other things, to detect which factors are specifically affecting attrition at a given institution or campus. Here are the most common causes.

For example, according to Times Higher Education, 1 in 4 students in Germany tend to drop out due to money problems, a bad relationship with the professor or lack of motivation.

According to, some students “underestimate the costs of college and realize too late that they lack the funds to cover it. Others decide that it is more convenient to earn money by working full time than to continue pursuing an expensive degree.

Loss of time at work

To begin with, the first barrier to overcome is that there is usually no time management class, no exams, no grading. However, it is a skill that is put into play every day and if it is not learned well from the beginning it is more difficult to correct the defects and also affects the subjects that do have a grade.

There are many theories and above all many techniques that can be applied and about which we will talk in other articles. Here I want to focus on the fundamentals behind all of them. They are human nature and the nature of time.

Throughout history there have been many theories and techniques that can be used. Not all of them apply to everyone so I recommend that you read them all and draw your own conclusions, it is possible that what you need is a little bit of each one. We have dedicated a blog post for each one so you can learn more about time management for students.

Waste of time that is

The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Of all the factors mentioned, school motivation is one of the most decisive. This refers to the taste for study and the energy put into it. In a word: effort.

To use the analogy of the automobile: if aptitudes are the engine, effort is the gasoline, so no matter how much engine there is, if we do not feed it well, it does not work. Or mimicking Einstein’s famous formula, academic performance is equal to the student’s ability times his motivation squared: R=cm2.

However, in secondary school, this group accounts for 25%. In other words, between primary and secondary school, practically 70% of students experience a clear drop in their levels of school motivation.

In short, in Primary Education the vast majority perceive homework as a non-negotiable duty. However, in Secondary Education these same students have tastes and interests far removed from academics, where it is difficult for them to find incentives to make an effort in school, beyond grades.

Waste of time examples

Young people spend an hour and a half a day studying, while they spend an average of four hours in front of a screen (console, television or Internet), times that increase at older ages and decrease at younger ages. The technical advisor of TNS Demoscopia, Jorge Clemente, emphasizes that the study shows that the more time spent on the Internet, the higher the failure rate in ESO.

Parents’ help to their children in their studies is reduced by almost half in secondary school. Forty-five percent of secondary school students are helped by their parents when they have problems in their studies; but 52% of those who fail their father has not gone beyond primary school (which only happens to 20% of students who pass). This support rises to 81% in primary school students.

Regarding the relationship between parents and children, it also stands out that the application of punishments is common when getting bad grades (55%), while only 25% of parents say that they reward their children when they obtain good results.