Warning Signs You May Be at Risk

What warning signs might tell me I am a risk for making a poor academic decision that violates the Student Honor Code?

As a student, you might experience different types of situations that affect your academic performance and potentially increase your risk of making a poor academic decision that violates the Student Honor Code.  Examples of these situations include feeling the stress of an overloaded course schedule, imposing extremely high expectations on yourself for course performance, and financial, relationship, and/or personal mental health issues.

You know yourself better than anyone else so use that knowledge to proactively cope with the stressful circumstances you experience, and do not hesitate to reach out for help.  For example, pay attention if you are losing your motivation or energy to do well in class. This may be a sign that you need some additional support. If you are experiencing any of the warning signs listed below or if you notice them in a classmate, reach out to us – your instructor, your program director, the Dean of Students Office (umatter@ufl.edu), and/or the Counseling and Wellness Center (https://counseling.ufl.edu). Sometimes simply talking with your instructor can make all the difference.  We are here to help.  There are also additional resources like Talkspace (https://redemption.talkspace.com/redemption/gatorcare ), the digital mental health service with whom GatorCare has partnered. You can find our complete list of recommended academic and mental health resources on this website.  

Being cognizant of and acknowledging warning signs is important because not all students realize just how much they are struggling until they fall far behind or feel completely overwhelmed. Most students need advice and support at some point during their college experience.  Don’t be afraid to reach out for help for yourself or a classmate. Refer to the resource list on this web site.

Warning Signs – If you are experiencing these or other symptoms, reach out for assistance.


  • You are struggling to focus on your coursework
  • Your performance on assignments or exams is declining or highly variable even when you have studied
  • You don’t know how to strengthen your study habits to address concerns in course performance
  • You are having trouble concentrating in class or when completing assignments
  • You are struggling to organize your thoughts in your written work
  • You realize organizing your thoughts used to be easier
  • You realize that attempting to answer questions has become more difficult even when you know the answers
  • You are having increased difficulty clearly expressing what you want to say


  • You don’t feel like you have the energy to produce good work
  • You don’t have the energy to participate in class discussions
  • You are experiencing new or increased physical symptoms, like headaches, stomach aches or other bodily changes
  • You don’t feel like taking care of yourself so your appearance suffers; you look disheveled/have poor hygiene
  • You are experiencing rapid weight loss or gain
  • You start using or increasing your use of alcohol, prescription or over-the-counter medicines, or illegal drugs


  • You generally feel more withdrawn from class activities or from other people
  • You are missing assignment deadlines
  • You are increasingly late for class
  • Your class absences are increasing without an authorized excuse
  • Your work is inconsistent compared to earlier work
  • You don’t know how or when to ask for assistance when you are confused about an assignment
  • You feel highly anxious, especially when assignments are due or exams are coming up
  • You have difficulty working with your classmates/group
  • You have become more irritable or find yourself arguing with others more frequently
  • You have become verbally or physically abusive to others
  • You aren’t taking care of your personal belongings or the place in which you live
  • You are withdrawing from your family or friends
  • You are experiencing suicidal thoughts
  • You are experiencing suicidal ideation (call 911 immediately).