(Im)possible

Problems with your studies

Clarify your doubts and find the motivation to move forward
(Im)possible
Image: Kathleen Bergmann / Pixabay.com

Recognizing and solving problems in your studies

Are you having difficulties, but you still want to complete your studies successfully? The following approaches can help you overcome your problems.

Performance problems & exam anxiety

Desperate female student Desperate female student Illustration: Designed by pch.vector / freepik.com

Look back at your previous exam experience. If you are new to studying, it helps to look back at your school days. When and how has learning worked particularly well? Observe exactly how you best absorb new knowledge. If even the best preparation is not enough to cope with the stress you experience before exams, the competent contact persons of the student services organization Studierendenwerk Thüringen in the KuBIS building will be happy to offer you advice.

Too much to learn

Try to structure your everyday life better. Diaries, to-do lists and a good balance between work and rest are just a few examples which can help to organize your studies better. Often even a learning environment free of disruptions and disturbances can help.

If you are still at the very beginning of your studies and need support with learning or improving your learning techniques, you may want to raise your concerns with the tutors responsible for your subject. They offer workshops during the extended introductory phase in your first year of studies and provide advice. Here, you can find out who the tutors in your subject are. If you are already more advanced in your studies, you can also ask the student representative committee for your subject for offers on this topic. Many subjects also offer introductory events on developing academic skills. In addition, we have compiled some tips for you on how to prepare for the exam de

Writing issues

To some extent, writing is a creative process, whether it is a term paper, a degree thesis or an internship report. Experiencing a writer’s block can easily make you feel frustrated. The University’s Writing Centre de and the (preventive) offers of the student services organization Studierendenwerk Thüringen might help.

Time management

Time management Time management Illustration: Designed by pch.vector / freepik.com

Sometimes the amount of tasks and assignments is so big that you don’t think you can do it all. The to-do list is getting longer and longer, you cannot keep up with important tasks despite good intentions and deadlines just keep coming: this makes you feel frustrated and overwhelmed. Time to make some changes! There are various techniques that can help you with setting priorities, working consistently and with discipline, estimating the time required for each task, and leaving buffer time. The tutors and student representatives from your subject can help you with this. In addition, the Central Student Advisory Service offers workshops on the topic of time management.

Lack of motivation

Motivation is what drives us to achieve the goals that we have set. Think about your expectations and goals: Are they realistic? Set achievable goals and reward yourself afterwards!

By the way, there are also courses on this topic!
The student services organization Studierendenwerk Thüringen offers interesting courses on the aforementioned difficulties on a regular basis: exam preparation (‘Stark in die Prüfung’), mindfulness during your studies (‘Achtsam durch’s Studium’), a group for students about to graduate (‘Studienabschlussgruppe’), academic writing tips (‘Ins Schreiben kommen’), and others. You can find the current programme here.

Financial difficulties

Money is an important part of student life. Especially if you have too little money, things can get difficult. It is important to find a good balance between the time spent on your studies, your free time and the time you spend on your job. In the long-term, you could check how you can perhaps lower your own financial requirements or whether you can take on a full-time job during the lecture-free period, for example. You can find different options for financing your studies here.

It is even more difficult if you find yourself in financial need suddenly and unexpectedly. In this case, you may want to enquire at the Studierendenwerk about hardship loans.

The student services organization Studierendenwerk Thüringen provides you with more information about how to finance your studies.

Family and health problems

Medical consultation Medical consultation Illustration: Designed by pch.vector / freepik.com

Do other things demand your full attention at the moment? Is your ability to perform substantially limited—physically and/or mentally? Then a semester on leave can be a way to continue studying, but to avoid the consequences of not being able to study. Taking some time off or studying part-time can also be options.

When and under which circumstances can it make sense to take some time off my studies? Expand entry

Taking time off can help if you are currently unable to study. This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as

  • overcoming an illness,
  • sorting out family matters,
  • finding yourself,
  • working in order to build a nest egg,
  • orientation internships.

The time off can take different forms: a leave of absence or an adapted study plan for short-term timeouts, or a de-registration from your study programme and a later re-enrolment. To find out what is the right path for you, a consultation at the Central Student Advisory Service is the best way.

Which possibilities are there to take some time off during my studies? Expand entry

There are short-term and longer-term leaves: These can give you complete or partial time off from your studies. If you need more time for certain things, reducing the number of modules often helps. If you are in need of more time at short notice, register for fewer exams or withdraw from some. This will create some free time for you. However, you have to bear in mind the provisions of the examination regulations and of BAföG. If you need to take some time off, but still want to continue studying at a reduced pace, part-time studies may be an alternative. If it is not possible for you to study at all in your current situation, a leave of absence is another option. Let us advise you on which path is best for you.

Part-time studies
Leave of absence

When can a leave of absence from studying make sense? Expand entry

There are situations in life in which you might not want to or be able to study for a certain time. Taking a leave of absence from studying may then be the right choice. As a general rule of thumb, you must be absent from your studies for at least six weeks of the lecture period to apply for a leave of absence. Possible reasons may be, for example, bringing up a child, own illness, caring for family members, an internship or semester abroad, participation in organs within student bodies or student services organizations, or military service / social service.

Can I change from full-time to part-time studies? Expand entry

It is possible to change from full-time to part-time studies and back again each semester when re-registering. To find out whether your study programme is compatible with part-time study, please refer to the Study Programme Database.

In order to request a change to part-time studies, you need to provide reasons that allow and justify part-time studies. You can find more information and the application form here.

Uncertainty about life after university

You don’t really know what to do after your studies and are worried that you might not be able to gain a foothold in the tough labour market? This is a common problem for students, because it is usually the first time they enter the working world, with all the associated advantages and disadvantages.

What can I do with my degree? Expand entry

This is a tough question because no matter what degree you have, there is always a wide range of opportunities on the labour market. These can be very closely related to the subject, but can also be more cross-disciplinary and method-oriented. In addition, you will be working for about 40 years, and this period will be very dynamic and is therefore difficult to predict.

This is why it is helpful to not focus on the options available, but on what you actually want to do. What do I want to do after my studies, how and where? Envisioning your future is a stimulating and inspiring process. At the end, you will arrive at a career goal that suits you and that you can already work towards achieving during your studies, e.g. through relevant internships.

The Central Student Advisory Service will be happy to support you in your career orientation process, which can begin long before the end of your studies.

I have the feeling that I will not be capable of anything after my studies. Expand entry

The feeling of not knowing what you are actually qualified for after your studies often comes up in counselling. One reason is that you have to individually transfer the extensive knowledge acquired during your studies into (job-related) competences. This is not a theoretical but primarily a practical process, which takes place on the job. However, the basis for these new competences is the theoretical and methodological knowledge acquired at university.

The other reason is that the feeling of not being able to do anything often has to do with not knowing what to expect from the working world later on, not knowing what will be expected from you, and with a lack of self-confidence. Internships in areas related to your subject allow you to gain experience, grow with your tasks and get confirmation of your competences.

Tracking your academic progress in Friedolin

Traffic light illustrating academic progress (Friedolin) Traffic light illustrating academic progress (Friedolin) Screenshot: Friedolin

In Friedolin, all students in single and multi-subject Bachelor's programmes can keep track of their progress by looking at the graphical representation of their academic progress (traffic light for short). The goal should be for the light to be as dark blue as possible. 

In short, the traffic light is made up as follows: At the beginning of the semester, the yellow portion increases by the average number of credit points to be achieved per semester (usually 30 ECTS). After you have registered for the examination(s), the corresponding yellow area becomes light blue. When you have passed your exam(s) and the results have been entered in Friedolin, the light blue becomes dark blue.

If the traffic light does not turn (dark) blue, this could be due to subconscious doubts or other problems. On the following pages, we will show you possible solutions and advisory services.

Guidance and services
Then you might consider talking to an impartial person to explore further options and alternative paths. Many different institutions, both within and outside the University, are there to lend you a sympathetic ear and offer personal advice.
Information

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research offers you another way to identify and narrow down the motives for doubting your studies.

Central Student Advisory Service
Office hours:
We offer consultations and the handling of your concerns in person, via video chat or telephone. Appointments can be made by phone or via service desk.

Consultation hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:00 to 12:20, Tuesday 14:00 to 18:00 and on Wednesday and Thursday from 14:00 to 16:00.
Video chat:
Videochat Zeiten
Monday to Friday 12.30 to 13:00
Videochat Passwort
ZSB2020