Ten Common Problems Students Face in College

Updated on February 26, 2020

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.

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    • profile image

      ROSE 

      2 weeks ago

      plz who can help me to write conclusion about this paragraph pllllllllzzzzzz

    • profile image

      Judd.Rose 

      3 weeks ago

      4997 Monroe Pl

    • profile image

      fwg 

      3 weeks ago

      usful

    • profile image

      Su5njffndkdjdnsm 

      8 weeks ago

      Jenssmms

    • profile image

      Karla Mendez 

      2 months ago

      nice info about facing difficulties when going too college

    • profile image

      HI 

      2 months ago

      This was helpful bc we had to do this in a health project for school cause I didn’t know what to do.

    • profile image

      Nylah 

      5 months ago

      This article was somewhat helpful but maybe including things that community college students face would be a good aspect to add to this article because not everyone is in a university

    • profile image

      Elijah 

      5 months ago

      Thats good information

    • profile image

      Sardar Mushtaq Dogar 

      7 months ago

      useful material

    • profile image

      HI 

      7 months ago

      U kinda helped me but doesnt help me

    • profile image

      SnarlCarl 

      7 months ago

      I think this is a very useful article.

    • profile image

      miko 

      7 months ago

      this has been useful to my speech, has a lot of informations of solutions and very motivating for a student like me. thank you.

    • profile image

      Hi 

      8 months ago

      I love this cause I am going to go to high school

    • profile image

      sharon webb 

      10 months ago

      I really like this article because I do have some of the same fears the cost of education is crazy. I also working full time and going to school. I will need to have more discipline.

    • profile image

      Simeon Yankuba 

      10 months ago

      Thank you very much in out lining some of the issue college student encounter during their courses.As for me time Management is right now an issue to me because of my daily schedule. I have to work between the available time i have for the day before going to college. some of my basic schedule for the day is coming from work in the morning around 7am collect my dougther 7:15 for baby sitting because of her age return home 7;30 to prepare for school . These is just a summery of my day activity.

    • profile image

      Jannet Njabu Lansana 

      10 months ago

      I thank you for the opportunity giving to me to go through all the challenges that are faced by college students in our generation today. Actually, these challenges are bound to be faced in the academic journey. My main concern here to me is really time management which l appreciate the attention of my staff sometimes, if not all the time.

    • profile image

      Vivian Salami 

      10 months ago

      I learnt on time management, I think that is what I need for the semester.Thanks for sharing this information

    • profile image

      Annette haltiwanger 

      10 months ago

      I really needed this information it help a lot. I was starting to get anxiety. over whelm by my decision to continue the course.

    • profile image

      zeeea 

      10 months ago

      thanks for sharing us this kind of solution. it really helps me a lot to limit some things that is not really useful .

    • profile image

      Kimberly 

      13 months ago

      Thanks for your advice am just coming across it now and it's great help

    • profile image

      TJ 

      14 months ago

      This is an excellent article and relevant for distance learners who have limited time between work, study and social life. Trying to balance time between these various aspects of life can be extremely stressful. Good time management is crucial. Knowing one's limits is also key to completion of one's study program. Its best to avoid peer pressure and take up modules which help strike a balance in your life without unnecessary pressure

    • profile image

      Pam Pam 

      14 months ago

      This article is insightful. College is a life time to remember but students should keep focused on the ultimate goal . After four years one will realise that some of the things and people don't matter anymore. I think the writer should have also mentioned peer pressure as a major challenge as well and one can lose their career or life following some students who have a crazy lifestyle

    • profile image

      good boi 

      14 months ago

      k very useful

    • profile image

      muddy 

      15 months ago

      wise words thanx

    • profile image

      Takemore 

      15 months ago

      The advise is good, very informative.

      I have just picked what have been a challenge and got the solution on it. Especially on time management.

    • profile image

      Daphney 

      15 months ago

      Thanks a lot your advice really helped a me a lot and you also gave a clue a how to write my essay

    • profile image

      Thando 

      16 months ago

      Thanks alot you really help me tnx

    • profile image

      Alice Mungwini 

      16 months ago

      Thank u so much for the advice it really helped me a lot.

    • profile image

      chipo 

      16 months ago

      how do ihandle pressure on wprk and school

    • profile image

      tanyah 

      16 months ago

      thnx alot you really helped me

    • profile image

      Samantha 

      16 months ago

      Thanx but how do l get a job by the campus

    • profile image

      mitchie 

      16 months ago

      thank you..

    • profile image

      tony james 

      16 months ago

      thank you for the advice

    • profile image

      katsvairo 

      17 months ago

      i find your blog very educative well done

    • profile image

      natasha 

      17 months ago

      thank you for the information

    • profile image

      nyasha 

      18 months ago

      this is really helpful thank u

    • profile image

      meteshome32@gmail.com 

      18 months ago

      what is finding?

    • profile image

      Praveen Kallapur 

      20 months 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 

      21 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Veronica 

      21 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Eugene Onginjo 

      22 months ago

      which job can l

      get in college

    • profile image

      wills 

      22 months ago

      am really delighted and i would like to learn more

    • profile image

      oofer gang 

      22 months ago

      i wanna die

    • profile image

      Florence 

      22 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 

      22 months ago

      thank you for the guide.

    • profile image

      Nick 

      22 months ago

      Awesome

    • profile image

      Abibi 

      22 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 

      23 months ago

      Thanks for helpful info. THANKS

    • profile image

      Ruth 

      23 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Ethel 

      23 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Liberty Gwamura 

      23 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 

      23 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 

      23 months ago

      This is helpful

    • profile image

      tanatswa 

      23 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 

      24 months ago

      good and correct information.thank you

    • profile image

      dolce 

      24 months ago

      helpful information

    • profile image

      tatenda 

      24 months ago

      thank you for the inspiration

    • profile image

      Agnela 

      24 months ago

      Wooow thanks for usefull information

    • profile image

      Bruce 

      24 months ago

      Good guidance - thank you for the words of wisdom.

    • profile image

      Edith 

      24 months ago

      Very helpful information thanks

    • profile image

      feli 

      24 months ago

      profound

    • profile image

      heather and vimbai 

      24 months ago

      Helpful information thank you!

    • profile image

      Donell Muzerengi 

      2 years ago

      Inspiring and Motivating

    • profile image

      josh 

      2 years ago

      cool info

    • profile image

      vijithra 

      2 years ago

      useful advice

    • profile image

      lil pump 

      2 years ago

      thank you

    • profile image

      gitonga david. 

      2 years ago

      thanks for good advice.

    • profile image

      Ruvimbo Nyikadzino 

      2 years ago

      Well elaborate .Thank you

    • profile image

      Curtis Jones 

      2 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Channel Goss 

      2 years ago

      Thank you so much for the advice

    • profile image

      Ethan Gabe 

      2 years ago

      very enlightening.

    • profile image

      mercy mogo 

      2 years ago

      very helpful. thank you very much

    • profile image

      Tinashe Musakwa 

      2 years ago

      It's profound

    • profile image

      tamskie 

      2 years ago

      Very helpfull

    • profile image

      Thabo Frank 

      2 years ago

      Well said

    • profile image

      abay bihonegn 

      2 years ago

      helpfull

    • profile image

      Bheki 

      2 years 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 

      2 years ago

      Very helpful.....thank you

    • profile image

      moses 

      2 years ago

      very real!

    • profile image

      mpho 

      2 years ago

      100% helpful

    • profile image

      Kushi 

      2 years ago

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

    • profile image

      jacob 

      2 years ago

      you helped me on my 6th grade project of choose

    • profile image

      miranda 

      2 years ago

      can you put your website in citation?

    • profile image

      Sly 

      2 years ago

      Very helpful information.Thank you

    • profile image

      PJ 

      2 years 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 

      2 years ago

      powerful information thank u it helps

    • profile image

      chimuti 

      2 years ago

      Very informative. Thank you.

    • profile image

      Learnard Nhidza 

      2 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Jennifer 

      3 years 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 

      3 years ago

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

    • profile image

      rufaro 

      3 years ago

      this information was very helpfull thank u for the insight

    • profile image

      DAVID NDLOVU 

      3 years 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 

      3 years 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 

      3 years ago

      Good Post. Very informative.

    • profile image

      mandi 

      3 years 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 

      3 years ago

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

    • profile image

      CD 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      3 years ago

      Simplified and spot on. thanks a million.

    • profile image

      Inno 

      3 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.

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