Get a head start on preparing for the difficulties you might face if you’re headed off to college.
For young people, college is an exciting time, but it can also be very difficult and overwhelming. Undergraduate studies are a time for students to focus on their academic objectives while exploring their interests in groups and activities offered on campus.
What makes college life challenging? We’ve listed the top 7 challenges that today’s college students must overcome, along with suggestions for how to do so.
Problem: Not all students are equally prepared for college. The academic demands of university classes are significantly higher than those of high school. You need to be much more self-reliant, to begin with. In general, professors won’t bug you to read your notes and turn in your assignments on time.
Students who lack self-discipline consequently frequently lag behind. Students from underprivileged backgrounds whose education did not adequately prepare them for the demands of higher education may find this adjustment to be particularly difficult. Here are some solutions to these problems.
Solution: In an effort to aid students, some colleges are testing out a range of tools. For instance, Georgia State University has put in place a ground-breaking program to aid incoming students in adjusting to the demands of college life.
Even though they provide assistance in areas like study skills, the main objective of these programs is to integrate students who are having trouble fitting in with the rest of their college community. In addition to these services, colleges frequently provide tutoring, instruction in effective study techniques, and enhancement of time management abilities.
Problem: Academics in college are difficult. College courses often demand much more work than high school courses. Colleges, unlike the majority of high schools, frequently cram two years’ worth of material into one.
Many students enroll in a full 15-credit semester, but some attempt to cram up to 18 or even 21 credits. Keeping up with everything can be difficult at times.
Solution: Be aware of your limitations; if you can’t handle 18 credits in one semester, it would be better for you to take only 15 instead. Even though the goal of a college education is to learn as much as you can, this does not require constant study. Making time for leisure activities and taking breaks is crucial for maintaining a sharp mind.
Problem: The rate of tuition price growth is alarmingly rapid. A recipe for overwhelming debt can be made by including the price of housing, food, supplies, transportation, and textbooks. Most financial experts advise borrowers to take out no more debt than they anticipate making their first year out of college.
The rising cost of tuition makes it challenging to abide by this rule. The cost was cited as a major deterrent to nearly 50% of high school students attending a four-year institution in a CNBC article about the survey results.
In addition, more and more students are quitting college because they cannot afford the costs. To make ends meet, some people are compelled to balance demanding academic schedules with full-time jobs. It’s almost unheard of to graduate debt-free.
Solution: Obtaining student loans is a fairly simple process. Nevertheless, a lot of students are unaware of how loan repayment operates or how long it could take them to repay their debt. The stress is only increased by this ignorance.
Self-education regarding the loan terms you take out to pay for your education is a crucial component of the process. To get a clear understanding of the debt you’re taking on, sit down with a financial advisor.
Take into account a job on campus. Working on campus will save you on potential transportation costs and encourage academic focus. See if you can continue working while in school if you had a job in high school and are attending a local college.
Ask about moving to a job location close to your school if you plan to attend a distance learning institution. Additionally, establish and adhere to a spending plan for dining out and shopping excursions.
Emotional and Mental Health Challenges
Problem: A person’s ability to concentrate on their studies may be affected by emotional or mental health issues. Psychological disorders like depression, anxiety, and suicide are becoming more common among students, according to mental health professionals.
The second most common cause of death for college students, according to Active Minds, is suicide. These difficulties are not always distinct from the other difficulties that college students deal with. Issues with finances and education can contribute to or worsen mental health problems.
Solution: Services like counseling are available at all colleges and universities. Students who require assistance frequently fail to request it. Eliminating any stigma associated with mental health services and the need for assistance is crucial.
To ensure that those who require assistance are not overlooked, both students and faculty members should be urged to look for symptoms. Mental health issues occasionally require more help than what is offered by campus resources.
Because of this, it’s also essential for schools to establish connections with outside groups that can offer assistance.
The American Psychological Association, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline are among the organizations that offer resources on mental health that are beneficial to college students.
Choosing the Wrong Major
Problem: When they first enroll in college, many students are unsure of what they want to devote their future careers to. Some students choose their majors based on recommendations from their friends or parents, while others choose a major they believe will lead to a high-paying career.
The student will probably lose interest in pursuing their chosen major if they don’t have any aptitude or interest in the field. A student’s general success and well-being are greatly influenced by their major decision.
Solution: Students should take into account their interests and skills in addition to their career goals when choosing a major. Many students place an undue emphasis on current figures pertaining to professions offering high rates of employment and high salaries.
Although significant, this shouldn’t be the only factor considered. Robotics, for instance, might not be the best career choice for you if you struggled in high school science and math classes, despite your fascination with them.
Problem: Most students, whether they admit it or not, will eventually feel homesick, especially those who attend a school that is more than three hours away from home. Being their first year away from home, freshmen typically experience more hardship.
Solution: If you live less than three or four hours from your place of origin (a leisurely day’s drive), schedule a visit there once or twice per month. Send care packages, make phone calls, and ask loved ones to email you. By taking these actions, homesickness should be significantly lessened.
Student support groups are available on many campuses. It can be beneficial to speak with others who are going through similar things. With some of the people you meet there, you might even develop friendships.
Keep in mind that you can support each other by keeping in mind that the other students you interact with on a daily basis might be experiencing similar feelings to your own.
Problem: Although beneficial, relationships can be stressful. In some cases, they take a long time and can interfere with your education.
There are times in every relationship when a couple will argue, which can keep them from studying and increase stress. Some students’ depression may worsen after a breakup.
Solution: Since each situation is unique, giving relationship advice can be challenging. From the beginning, make sure that your needs and expectations are clearly communicated. In the event that you do break up, talk to a school counselor to process the event.
Conclusion: Challenges You’ll Face in College
Success in the classroom can be hampered by a number of obstacles and difficulties. These are only 7 of the main difficulties that students encounter.
Is it ultimately worthwhile to deal with these issues and challenges? If you ask students, 80% of them will respond “yes.” Even though college can cause extreme stress, the positive experiences and results will outweigh the negative ones.