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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
Luisa on July 22, 2020:
this site provide us with lots of info about college life.. so i love this site.. since it help me write an essay about issue concerning student..
ROSE on June 22, 2020:
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Karla Mendez on May 02, 2020:
nice info about facing difficulties when going too college
HI on April 27, 2020:
This was helpful bc we had to do this in a health project for school cause I didn’t know what to do.
Nylah on February 06, 2020:
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
Elijah on February 05, 2020:
Thats good information
Sardar Mushtaq Dogar on December 06, 2019:
HI on December 04, 2019:
U kinda helped me but doesnt help me
SnarlCarl on December 02, 2019:
I think this is a very useful article.
miko on November 12, 2019:
this has been useful to my speech, has a lot of informations of solutions and very motivating for a student like me. thank you.
Hi on October 18, 2019:
I love this cause I am going to go to high school
sharon webb on September 11, 2019:
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.
Simeon Yankuba on September 10, 2019:
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.
Jannet Njabu Lansana on September 10, 2019:
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.
Vivian Salami on September 09, 2019:
I learnt on time management, I think that is what I need for the semester.Thanks for sharing this information
Annette haltiwanger on September 09, 2019:
I really needed this information it help a lot. I was starting to get anxiety. over whelm by my decision to continue the course.
zeeea on August 27, 2019:
thanks for sharing us this kind of solution. it really helps me a lot to limit some things that is not really useful .
Kimberly on May 26, 2019:
Thanks for your advice am just coming across it now and it's great help
TJ on April 25, 2019:
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
Pam Pam on April 25, 2019:
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
good boi on April 22, 2019:
k very useful
muddy on April 07, 2019:
wise words thanx
Takemore on March 24, 2019:
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.
Daphney on March 18, 2019:
Thanks a lot your advice really helped a me a lot and you also gave a clue a how to write my essay
Thando on March 17, 2019:
Thanks alot you really help me tnx
Alice Mungwini on March 12, 2019:
Thank u so much for the advice it really helped me a lot.
chipo on March 09, 2019:
how do ihandle pressure on wprk and school
tanyah on February 28, 2019:
thnx alot you really helped me
Samantha on February 24, 2019:
Thanx but how do l get a job by the campus
mitchie on February 17, 2019:
tony james on February 17, 2019:
thank you for the advice
katsvairo on February 11, 2019:
i find your blog very educative well done
natasha on January 25, 2019:
thank you for the information
nyasha on January 12, 2019:
this is really helpful thank u
email@example.com on January 06, 2019:
what is finding?
Praveen Kallapur on November 10, 2018:
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.
Senti jamir on October 14, 2018:
Wow....it is really helpful to me....thank you so much for the guide
Veronica on September 24, 2018:
These are helpful to students because the information can help those who want to study and be motivated
Eugene Onginjo on September 14, 2018:
which job can l
get in college
wills on September 14, 2018:
am really delighted and i would like to learn more
oofer gang on September 13, 2018:
i wanna die
Florence on September 09, 2018:
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.
marline on August 31, 2018:
thank you for the guide.
Nick on August 28, 2018:
Abibi on August 24, 2018:
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.
Nocypho on August 16, 2018:
Thanks for helpful info. THANKS
Ruth on August 01, 2018:
It is really esential to creat a study group for our friends in the same academic struggle.
Ethel on July 25, 2018:
This is good information.l think its going to help those who want to study
Liberty Gwamura on July 23, 2018:
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
Bruce on July 23, 2018:
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.
Liana on July 22, 2018:
This is helpful
tanatswa on July 20, 2018:
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
tiana morgain on July 20, 2018:
good and correct information.thank you
dolce on July 20, 2018:
tatenda on July 20, 2018:
thank you for the inspiration
Agnela on July 19, 2018:
Wooow thanks for usefull information
Bruce on July 18, 2018:
Good guidance - thank you for the words of wisdom.
Edith on July 17, 2018:
Very helpful information thanks
feli on July 11, 2018:
heather and vimbai on July 11, 2018:
Helpful information thank you!
Donell Muzerengi on July 06, 2018:
Inspiring and Motivating
josh on June 13, 2018:
vijithra on June 05, 2018:
lil pump on May 29, 2018:
gitonga david. on May 27, 2018:
thanks for good advice.
Ruvimbo Nyikadzino on May 07, 2018:
Well elaborate .Thank you
Curtis Jones on May 07, 2018:
I am so inspired by this article. thank you so much.
Channel Goss on May 07, 2018:
Thank you so much for the advice
Ethan Gabe on May 07, 2018:
mercy mogo on May 07, 2018:
very helpful. thank you very much
Tinashe Musakwa on May 07, 2018:
tamskie on May 07, 2018:
Thabo Frank on May 07, 2018:
abay bihonegn on May 04, 2018:
Bheki on May 03, 2018:
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
Portia on April 27, 2018:
Very helpful.....thank you
moses on March 25, 2018:
mpho on March 19, 2018:
Kushi on January 30, 2018:
Is was the helpful information which I was looking forward to...Thanks ....God Bless...
jacob on November 27, 2017:
you helped me on my 6th grade project of choose
miranda on October 27, 2017:
can you put your website in citation?
Sly on September 27, 2017:
Very helpful information.Thank you
PJ on September 07, 2017:
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.
Tendai Temera on September 02, 2017:
powerful information thank u it helps
chimuti on August 30, 2017:
Very informative. Thank you.
Learnard Nhidza on August 02, 2017:
Great staff.......useful perspective,lt helped me a lot......thanks very much for posting such a usefull advice
Jennifer on May 18, 2017:
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.
wadani on May 01, 2017:
its good but how we define the problems that student face before join university
rufaro on February 15, 2017:
this information was very helpfull thank u for the insight
DAVID NDLOVU on February 03, 2017:
Very informative. Parties also drain the little energy you have left as you sleep late and alcohol induced sleep is not healthy
Haider from Melbourne on February 03, 2017:
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.
AK Mishra on January 15, 2017:
Good Post. Very informative.
mandi on November 29, 2016:
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.
gody on September 26, 2016:
students must learn to manage those activities which are related to their study time
CD on September 13, 2016:
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.
supreme on September 11, 2016:
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.
Mbudziyadhura on September 08, 2016:
Simplified and spot on. thanks a million.
Inno on September 06, 2016:
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.
tinashie on September 04, 2016:
It is so helpful especially in our studies.
Tapiwa on September 04, 2016:
time management indeed affects most students in college, thus affecting any other business the student has to do.