Ten Common Problems Students Face in College

Updated on December 2, 2015

While time spent at college is a fond memory and a happy experience for most, the student life is not without its rough patches. Everyone's situation is unique, but there are a few problems that almost all college students deal with at least once during their time at school.

If you are on your way to college, get a jump on how to deal with the challenges that may come your way.

1. Time Management

Problem: College is academically challenging. For many, college courses require much more effort than high school classes did. Unlike most high schools, colleges often pack two years of content into one year. Many students take a full 15 credit semester, while others try to cram in up to 18 or even 21 credits. At times, it seems impossibe to stay on top of it all.

Solution: Know your limits. If you can't handle 18 credits in one semester, it is worth it in the long run to slow down and take only 15. While the purpose of a college education is to learn as much as you can, that doesn't mean studying all the time. It is important to schedule time for fun and to take breaks to keep your mind fresh and clear. For more ways to manage this kind of academic stress, see this guide of effective study habits.

Schedule your study time and make time for breaks. Also, know your limits. If you are taking too many credits, take fewer next term.
Schedule your study time and make time for breaks. Also, know your limits. If you are taking too many credits, take fewer next term.

2. Debt

Problem: Tuition costs are rising at alarmingly high rates. Add to that the cost of housing, meals, supplies, transportation, and textbooks, and you have a recipe for unmanageable debt. Most financial advisors recommend borrowing no more than one expects to earn their first year out of college. However, soaring tuition costs make this rule difficult to follow. According to an article in U.S. News, almost half of today's students say that the cost is making them reconsider finishing their degree. Students are increasingly dropping out of college because they cannot afford the expense. Others are forced to juggle full academic schedules with full-time jobs to make ends meet. Graduating debt-free is almost unheard of.

Solution: Student loans are relatively easy to get. Many students, however, don't know how repayment works and how many years they may spend paying off their loans. This lack of understanding only adds to the stress. An important part of your education is educating yourself about the structure of the loans you take on to pay for that education. Sit down with a financial advisor to get a firm grasp on the debt you're taking on.

Consider an on-campus job. Working on-campus will cut out potential transportation expenses and help you stay more focused academically. If you had a job in high school and are going to college locally, see if you can continue working while in school. If you are going away to school, inquire about transferring to a job location near your school. In addition, create a budget for shopping trips and eating out and stick to it.

3. Spreading Yourself Too Thin

Problem: To afford the high price of college tuition, many students must get jobs. Juggling a job, 15 to 18 credits, relationships, and extracurricular activities is extremely difficult. Many students try to cram all of these activities into one day and do not get enough sleep. Without proper rest, students are vulnerable to physical and mental health problems.

Solution: Decide what is important. Prioritize and schedule events, games, meetings, social events, and studies accordingly. Also, be aware of your options when getting a job. Universities often offer jobs that fit into a student's schedule.

Homesickness is a common and normal challenge for college students, especially those who are far from home and in their first year of school.
Homesickness is a common and normal challenge for college students, especially those who are far from home and in their first year of school.

4. Homesickness

Problem: Whether they admit it or not, most students will at one point get homesick, especially those who attend a school that is more than three hours away from home. Freshmen suffer more, as it is presumably their first year away from home.

Solution: If you live within three or four hours from home (a comfortable day's drive), plan to visit home once every month or two. Ask friends and family to email, call, and send care packages. These steps should greatly assist in reducing feelings of homesickness.

Many campuses have support groups for students. Talking to others who are having similar experiences can help. You may even form friendships with some of the people you meet there. Remember that the other students you come into contact with every day may be feeling the same things you are, and you can help each other.

5. Depression

Problem: Every problem on this list can raise a student's stress level and contribute to emotional lows. Some find temporary relief in partying which, in excess and in the long run, may contribute to depression.

Solution: If stress and depression are an issue, seek professional support. Many campuses have free counseling programs for students. Counselors are trained to listen and help students get back on track.

Stress and depression are common problems faced by college students.
Stress and depression are common problems faced by college students.

6. Sickness/Health Conditions

Problem: Heightened stress, poor self-care, and lack of sleep can cause health problems. Living in close quarters also poses health risks and can increase a student's chances of contracting illnesses.

Solution: Eat healthy, balanced meals. Get a good night's rest as well. Wash your hands often. If an illness does develop, visit your campus clinic.

7. Social Problems

Problem: If you're lucky, you'll make many new friends. Establishing connections and spending time with classmates and roommates is important for building community. However, spending too much time together can be challenging, and conflicts can arise. Social relations can become a distraction.

Solution: Take some time out for yourself. If possible, get away from campus for a break and visit a coffee shop or a mall, take a walk in a neighborhood, or visit a local park. Prioritize time for studying and taking care of yourself. If conflicts do arise and you need help, get your RA or another friend involved.

8. Partying

Problem: Partying in itself is not a problem. Parties can be a great way for students to blow off steam. However, sometimes partying can cause problems. Drugs and alcohol can lead to poor choices, risky behavior, health risks, and even potentially deadly situations. Having sex without sober consent and without taking the necessary precautions can be traumatic, dangerous, and even criminal.

Solution: While parties are important, enjoy them in a responsible and legal way so you don't create problems for yourself or others. Know your limits. Ask for a ride home if you've been drinking. Keep track of your friends and make sure they're being safe, too. Make sure to eat and drink enough water when consuming alcohol. Carry a condom. Understand what it means to have "affirmative consent."

While parties can be a great way to blow off steam, partying can also become a major problem in college.
While parties can be a great way to blow off steam, partying can also become a major problem in college.

9. Relationships

Problem: Relationships are good, but they can be overwhelming. Sometimes they take a lot of time and can begin to encroach on your education. There are times in every relationship when a couple will have a disagreement which can distract them from schoolwork and add to stress levels. Break-ups can drive some students even further into depression.

Solution: Relationship advice is hard to give, since the solution varies on a case-by-case basis. Establish a clear communication of your needs and expectations from the outset. If you do break up, consult with a school counselor to work through the experience.

10. Choosing a Major

Problem: There is a lot of pressure to choose a major. It is easy to think that your major will determine your future career and how much money you will make, which means that making the right decision now feels hugely important (and stressful).

Solution: College majors are important, but they do not chisel your future career or wages into stone. Choose something that you like. If you are unsure about what major to choose, choose something broad and versatile, such as communications. Many students who get their undergraduate degrees in one field progress to get a Master's degree in a different area. Worrying too much about your major is simply not worth it. Focus instead on gaining knowledge and life skills.

Is College Worth it All?

These are just ten of the major challenges that students face. In the end, is it worth facing these problems and struggles? If you ask students, eight out of ten will say it is. While college can stress you to the limit, the good times and outcomes will outweigh the bad.

Comments

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    • profile image

      Praveen Kallapur 

      4 days ago

      What job can a student get in the college that the student could be paid of???

      Thank you very much for such a wise wisdom.

    • profile image

      Senti jamir 

      4 weeks ago

      Wow....it is really helpful to me....thank you so much for the guide

    • profile image

      Veronica 

      7 weeks ago

      These are helpful to students because the information can help those who want to study and be motivated

    • profile image

      Eugene Onginjo 

      2 months ago

      which job can l

      get in college

    • profile image

      wills 

      2 months ago

      am really delighted and i would like to learn more

    • profile image

      oofer gang 

      2 months ago

      i wanna die

    • profile image

      Florence 

      2 months ago

      This is very helpful to me,I also struggled as a new student in my class .My new classmates were not friendly at and it gave me a nightmare each and everyday.Having a positive mind kept me going.

    • profile image

      marline 

      2 months ago

      thank you for the guide.

    • profile image

      Nick 

      2 months ago

      Awesome

    • profile image

      Abibi 

      2 months ago

      thank you for sharing this with us. Most of us are facing those problems now in collage and it is good that you gave us some solutions regarding the problems that we could us. thank you for all the help.

    • profile image

      Nocypho 

      3 months ago

      Thanks for helpful info. THANKS

    • profile image

      Ruth 

      3 months ago

      It is really esential to creat a study group for our friends in the same academic struggle.

    • profile image

      Ethel 

      3 months ago

      This is good information.l think its going to help those who want to study

    • profile image

      Liberty Gwamura 

      3 months ago

      In my own opinion, i think this is very helpful information that can be used to empower our youth, therefore creating an effective and progressive communities..knowledge is power

    • profile image

      Bruce 

      3 months ago

      Our greatest need is earning some money so getting education must not necessarily have to stop us from making money.

      This is a good advise for many who want to study; if you had a job in high school and are going to college locally, see if you can continue working while in school. If you are going away to school, inquire about transferring to a job location near your school. In addition, create a budget for shopping trips and eating out and stick to it.

    • profile image

      Liana 

      3 months ago

      This is helpful

    • profile image

      tanatswa 

      3 months ago

      thank you so much for the headsup. when l go to collage one day l will know how to deal with those problems. but Garfiels its been a long time since you have given us a response and we would like to know what you think about our comments......it gives us personal joy that you really are reading our comments and you honor them. thank you

    • profile image

      tiana morgain 

      3 months ago

      good and correct information.thank you

    • profile image

      dolce 

      3 months ago

      helpful information

    • profile image

      tatenda 

      3 months ago

      thank you for the inspiration

    • profile image

      Agnela 

      3 months ago

      Wooow thanks for usefull information

    • profile image

      Bruce 

      3 months ago

      Good guidance - thank you for the words of wisdom.

    • profile image

      Edith 

      4 months ago

      Very helpful information thanks

    • profile image

      heather and vimbai 

      4 months ago

      Helpful information thank you!

    • profile image

      Donell Muzerengi 

      4 months ago

      Inspiring and Motivating

    • profile image

      josh 

      5 months ago

      cool info

    • profile image

      vijithra 

      5 months ago

      useful advice

    • profile image

      lil pump 

      5 months ago

      thank you

    • profile image

      gitonga david. 

      5 months ago

      thanks for good advice.

    • profile image

      Ruvimbo Nyikadzino 

      6 months ago

      Well elaborate .Thank you

    • profile image

      Curtis Jones 

      6 months ago

      I am so inspired by this article. thank you so much.

    • profile image

      Channel Goss 

      6 months ago

      Thank you so much for the advice

    • profile image

      Ethan Gabe 

      6 months ago

      very enlightening.

    • profile image

      mercy mogo 

      6 months ago

      very helpful. thank you very much

    • profile image

      Tinashe Musakwa 

      6 months ago

      It's profound

    • profile image

      tamskie 

      6 months ago

      Very helpfull

    • profile image

      Thabo Frank 

      6 months ago

      Well said

    • profile image

      abay bihonegn 

      6 months ago

      helpfull

    • profile image

      Bheki 

      6 months ago

      This was very enlightening and it has helped me a lot and I have learnt a lot and I am going to put it to practise

    • profile image

      Portia 

      6 months ago

      Very helpful.....thank you

    • profile image

      moses 

      7 months ago

      very real!

    • profile image

      mpho 

      8 months ago

      100% helpful

    • profile image

      Kushi 

      9 months ago

      Is was the helpful information which I was looking forward to...Thanks ....God Bless...

    • profile image

      jacob 

      11 months ago

      you helped me on my 6th grade project of choose

    • profile image

      miranda 

      12 months ago

      can you put your website in citation?

    • profile image

      Sly 

      13 months ago

      Very helpful information.Thank you

    • profile image

      PJ 

      14 months ago

      I just hate the fact that we have to study stuff that we will never ever use in our lives once we get our job. For example: my boss will never say, "Hey PJ, we just found a new oil source for our company, could you go and find the integral for a pipe we're going to use?" 89% of the materials we study is completely unnecessary.

    • profile image

      Tendai Temera 

      14 months ago

      powerful information thank u it helps

    • profile image

      chimuti 

      14 months ago

      Very informative. Thank you.

    • profile image

      Learnard Nhidza 

      15 months ago

      Great staff.......useful perspective,lt helped me a lot......thanks very much for posting such a usefull advice

    • profile image

      Jennifer 

      18 months ago

      I am from Ecuador and I study at ESPOL. The problem I can see is the time you have to invest to study, the complexity with which my university is run and the subjects that are complicated. Manage time are one of the best solutions to this problem. And in some cases nostalgia and depression infuse but in few people.

    • profile image

      wadani 

      18 months ago

      its good but how we define the problems that student face before join university

    • profile image

      rufaro 

      21 months ago

      this information was very helpfull thank u for the insight

    • profile image

      DAVID NDLOVU 

      21 months ago

      Very informative. Parties also drain the little energy you have left as you sleep late and alcohol induced sleep is not healthy

    • Haider Mama profile image

      Haider 

      21 months ago from Melbourne

      These are common problems. Some of them can be dealt easily while other are often difficult to deal with. For example, building a social connection is difficult and time management can be easy.

    • profile image

      AK Mishra 

      22 months ago

      Good Post. Very informative.

    • profile image

      mandi 

      23 months ago

      If you develop one of these mental health ailments –depression, anxiety.. try to remember that your friends are looking out for your best interests. They want you to be well, and they are not attacking you. Talking about your problems with someone close to you may seem like a daunting task, but try to let them help you until you are ready to seek the professional help you need to get better.

    • profile image

      gody 

      2 years ago

      students must learn to manage those activities which are related to their study time

    • profile image

      CD 

      2 years ago

      Time management is critical and if not planned well, pressure will mount forcing students to sleep late as they will be trying to catch up. This obvious will cause stress and fatigue resulting in loss of concentration and its even worse.

    • profile image

      supreme 

      2 years ago

      l have been following the ten common problems faced by college students and from what l see is all the ten problems have to do with time management. Only when you manage your time effectively, students can manage their debts that is applying for loans on time.

      When you manage your time effectively its also easy to spread yourself too thin.

      Home sickness, Depression, Partying, social problems and Relationship all needs time of their own thus time management is required so that you give each and every aspects of your life a pinch of your limited time.

    • profile image

      Mbudziyadhura 

      2 years ago

      Simplified and spot on. thanks a million.

    • profile image

      Inno 

      2 years ago

      Time management is important,students should have time for social events and fun as this will refresh the mind.Students also need enough sleep,lack of it can cause fatigue.

    • profile image

      tinashie 

      2 years ago

      It is so helpful especially in our studies.

    • profile image

      Tapiwa 

      2 years ago

      time management indeed affects most students in college, thus affecting any other business the student has to do.

    • profile image

      Dr. Oliver 

      2 years ago

      I really like your article.... May I use this article for a presentation and high school recruitment?

      Thanks!

    • profile image

      sayemurrahman99@gmail.com 

      2 years ago

      I admit into a new college. I feel very lonely there and I also cannot understand my reading. How can I solve my problems?

    • profile image

      geff 

      2 years ago

      great advice

    • profile image

      Viren Negi 

      3 years ago

      Hi,

      It's a great article on common problem among students, i loved it and specially like debt part you have covered in this, people easily forget this part which also a major problem among students.

    • profile image

      takudzwa muza 

      3 years ago

      I used to be so stressed about a tonne of things but this may have helped. Thanks mate.

    • Will2Teach profile image

      Will Dorfman 

      3 years ago from Smithtown

      This was incredible. I wouldn't hesitate to give a copy to a student, the summer before entering their freshman year. Very well written.

    • Jennifer Mugrage profile image

      Jennifer Mugrage 

      3 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

      Hm. I can relate to many of these.

      The point about knowing your limits is well-taken. In my case, I had a scholarship that mandated I take at least 15 credit hours per semester (a "full load") ... but I often took 19. The idea was to get through quickly so as to save money. But in terms of actual learning, of course it is better to take fewer credit hours, and spend more time studying them in-depth ... to actually learn the material rather than just being exposed to it. However, even with 19 credit hours, I could have spent more time marinading myself in the material. So much of my time I frittered away on hobbies, clubs, recreational reading.

      Regarding problems with roommates, friends, and significant others ... as you say, there's no silver bullet for these things. I do agree that taking some time away can be good for a student having roommate problems ... but it might also be good to ask ourselves, "Am I contributing to this problem, in fact might I be a large part of it?" College students are young adults, just learning to relate to others as adults, still in a lot of ways thinking like kids (if my own experience is any guide). They might encounter people who will not put up with them in the ways that their family have learned to. This is part of growing up and maturing.

      Young adulthood is also the time of life when certain health problems may come to the fore ... for example, it could be rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, bipolar disorder, depression ...

      Regarding the emphasis on "what's your major," college is not the ideal place for everyone to find or develop what they are good at. Many might do better with trade school or jumping right into a career. But perhaps that's a topic for another hub.

    • Ammon Beardmore profile image

      Ammon Beardmore 

      3 years ago

      I can relate to these. The trick is to find a major without racking up a debt while trying to find yourself

    • inglesj profile image

      inglesj 

      4 years ago

      Hey nice job on the hub! You really did a great job covering the topic.

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 

      4 years ago from Chicago area

      With a child heading off to college soon, I'm all too aware of these pitfalls. The poor-sleep potential is a biggie, as it feeds into so many physical and mental health issues. Great advice on life balance & choosing a major.

      Vis a vis costs, student debt nationwide is staggering -- something has to give...

    • Chaunice Benton profile image

      Chaunice Benton 

      4 years ago from New York City (Currently Residing in Charlotte, NC)

      This relates perfectly to my article "The Top 5 Ways to Get Through College" and god shane in hand with my objective: To tackle this time in your life equipped with the knowledge to surpass most, if not all, of these issues. Great read!

    • profile image

      Summit 

      4 years ago

      Help could come to the students through peer-mentoring programs supported through one-to-one relationship between seniors and juniors. Such measures should be started by colleges to ease the pain and provide guidance by connecting them through technology.

    • profile image

      tbhorsenut 

      4 years ago

      Hello! I would like to cite your article for a paper. Can you please tell me when you first published it?

    • profile image

      Anshul nagi 

      4 years ago from Dehradun,India

      Good info ,I am in a college and I often face some difficulties

    • profile image

      ioann 

      4 years ago

      Another problem for students is the anxiety for the future as the jobs are not many and you fear that you don't always have the skills for them. What I do, is search for internships, competitions and other student opportunities (I find them a heysuccess.com) and apply! That way you can travel the world (some of them are even fully funded!) and learn so much more than just from a degree.

    • cianeko profile image

      AT Abueva 

      5 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I am now a junior college student and have had a share of some of the problems you enumerated above such as study, money, job and choosing a major. But I think the worst of all is on my studies. Just recently, we had our final exam in literature (about criticism and stylistics) and I knew that I should have studied earlier because it would really cause me a lot including my scholarships (a solution to my money problems) and consequently, my job as a student assistant in one of the offices in the university if I will fail the subject, but I just made my reading and processing of the lengthy texts on the eleventh hour. To keep me up the whole night, I took a beverage containing a high dosage of caffeine. True enough, I was able to read almost all of the texts until 3AM before finally retiring. However, when it was time for me to take the exam all I could see every time I recall the information is darkness. Completely hopeless and nearly sobbing, I submitted my answer sheet wearily with no other thing or solution in mind but a prayer that God will help me pass the subject. Just lately, when I checked my grades I found out that I did not only pass, it is also a little bit higher than the cut off grade! With it I proved to myself that God answered my prayer. My passing of the subject is not just a mere consequence, but a product of a will. I already learned my lesson from that experience of mine and I am hoping that I will not stumble upon the same mistake again by managing my time properly.

      Thank you for sharing this hub! XD

    • profile image

      soka 

      5 years ago

      my problem is the cost that's why i stoped stadyed

    • profile image

      camille 

      5 years ago

      nice. its all true .

    • wooleywriter profile image

      Katarina Radford 

      5 years ago from Southern United States

      Thanks for bringing the issue of depression to the forefront in your article. Change is scary, and that new found fear can often lead to depression.

    • profile image

      jihen 

      5 years ago

      i like it

    • profile image

      Lilian v 

      6 years ago

      nice one

    • profile image

      lyra 

      6 years ago

      nice advice ((:

    • profile image

      dv 

      6 years ago

      nicely said

    • profile image

      roza 

      6 years ago

      so informative,thx

    • profile image

      gttg7 

      6 years ago

      this is good it just hepled me on my report thx :) :)

    • profile image

      Jude Akpagu. 

      6 years ago

      it a good one, ur hub just help me in my college assingment.

    • profile image

      brandon, University of Makati 

      6 years ago

      Thank you very much Mr. Garfield Gates. After reading your article I got important insights that I'll use for my research in the graduate school. 2 thumbs up for you Mr.Gates. TC

    • smcopywrite profile image

      smcopywrite 

      7 years ago from all over the web

      this is a great hub. voted up and useful. college is designed to be fun. simply remember why you are there and keep your priorities straight and you can get your education, not waste your money and still have a great time.

    • observantmate profile image

      observantmate 

      7 years ago

      good suggestions on how to deal with these problems

    • IJR112 profile image

      IJR112 

      7 years ago

      Partying is the biggest problem in my opinion because it has the potential to ruin all the other aspects of your life, especially studying and doing well in school.

    • profile image

      erick 

      7 years ago

      thx for this article :) im really stressing out on how much debt im going to run into after college, also by the amount of work you are flooded with the first year, this article inspired me to jus go after it full power now, and the result will be gratifying :) thx again :D

    • profile image

      Masinde 

      7 years ago

      Good article

    • profile image

      7 years ago

      O! M! G! yes i agree with these right now college sux freshmen year.

    • profile image

      rhey valdez 

      7 years ago

      correct its true!

    • profile image

      chin 

      7 years ago

      for addition... laziness to go to class. highest rate among the 10. so difficult to overcome this sickness.

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