College Skills: Self-control

Put Yourself On A Leash Of Self-control


Diana Kilby


 At the college level, a student will require a set of skills to succeed in their studies. D. T. Conley describes many of these skills in “Components in a Comprehensive Definition of College Readiness”. A key component that stands out from the others is creating and maintaining a high level of self-control. The ability to organize one’s self and create a self-tailored regimen for learning and studying. The author identifies self-control as a component of academic behaviors. This component is less about the ability to understand the material and covers a broader scope in how a student approaches their education on a whole. Practice and improvement of self-control will help a student to organize their efforts to effectively complete tasks and overcome adversity throughout their education and beyond.

The ability to control and focus one’s energy and actions is an indispensable attribute that is key to a successful student career, as well as any other endeavor the student will undertake during and after their education. This time management is of great importance when striving to meet multiple goals in several subjects. The group of professors headed by Tangney “hypothesized that students with higher self-control should have better grades due to making more appropriate choices between studying and other activities, using study time wisely, and keeping emotional distractions from interfering with performance.” (Duckworth, 2012; Tangney et al., 2004). In the event the student will have an important exam in the following week, they must plan accordingly and use the time at their disposal wisely. Choices must be made and the immediate wants of the student must give way to the task at hand. This is where the importance of self-control weighs heavy on a student’s success. The urge to procrastinate must be resisted, the friends having a good time ignored. Time must be managed in a way where all responsibilities can be met while at the same time taking on the extra burden of preparation for the exam. The things the student wants to do are inconsequential and should be considered a luxury that can only be obtained after the completion of their responsibilities. Appropriate use of time and prioritizing ones activities is important at both the academic and professional levels.

In the students education they will face much adversity and self-control will be paramount in overcoming these hurdles as they arise. The Article “Components in a Comprehensive Definition of College Readiness” attributes “the tendency to persist when presented with novel, difficult, or ambiguous task” to self-control. The nature of higher education is to challenge the student at a higher level than they have experienced in the past.  This challenge at times can be daunting, self-control and the ability to keep ones goals in mind are important aspects of pushing through and obtaining the knowledge the student strives to achieve. If a student is struggling to understand an equation or a concept, the urge to give up or knowingly give the wrong answer may be the easy way out. This course of action however will negatively impact the student’s grade and cheat the student from gaining a full understanding of the subject matter. The practice of self control will help the student stick with problem through the adversity and in the majority of cases prevail over the difficulty. 

By maintaining self-control, a student is armed with key component for success in their studies and life in general. Proper development of this skill will have a long lasting positive impact on a student. By prioritizing ones education over the other distractions that a student faces, they will gain a more substantive education that will benefit them well into the future.

Work Cited

Conley, D. T. “Components in a Comprehensive Definition of College

Readiness.” Redefining College Readiness. Vol. 3. Eugene: Educational Policy

Improvement Center, 2007. 12-17. Print.

Honken, Nora B., and Patricia A. S. Ralston. “High-Achieving High School Students And Not So High-Achieving College Students: A Look At Lack Of Self-Control, Academic Ability, And Performance In College.” Journal Of Advanced Academics 24.2 (2013): 108-124. Academic Search Complete. Web. 22 Sept. 2013.





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1 Response to College Skills: Self-control

  1. Welthy says:

    Dear Kilby, I think self-control is a really good topic because when students think about college, professors, and homework; they get frustrated and prefer to do some other activities. I have experiences when all I wanted was to give up because I thought it was too much or I did not make the right choice and then I was belated with homework and the classes. As you said, self-control is one of the key ability to be a successful student and achieve your goals. I really enjoyed reading your work.

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