Most students making the transition to college often expect a life of partying and fun. For them, the idea of making their own decisions and being in charge of their finances is thrilling and optimistic. The unfortunate reality, however, is that college tends to be a frustrating time when students are forced to make hard decisions regarding their finances, health, and studies.
According to research, over 30% of college students end their studies prematurely, with 40 percent dropping out because of financial challenges. We want your college experience to be pleasant and successful, which is why this article covers some common challenges you are likely to face and how to cope with them.
Hectic Schedules and Huge Workloads
One reason why many college students terminate their studies midway is pressure from the amount of work they are expected to accomplish. The fun part of being a college student is that you are given the freedom of self-determination. The unstructured nature of campus life means you can decide what to do with your time.
However, the college also comes with tons of responsibilities. Students have to attend lectures, create time to study for tests, work on assignments, and still keep up with personal and social obligations. Those who choose to juggle part-time work and academics find life even more stressful.
The secret to succeeding in college is learning to strike a balance between the various responsibilities you are tasked with. It means being more organized and working on your time-management skills. You need to create a schedule to organize your tasks based on importance and urgency. Track your deadlines to ensure all your assignments and tests are on time. Set priorities and take measures to always avoid procrastination. Students who need help with their assignments can order custom-written work from a professional research paper writer.
Money Management Issues
Attending college costs keep increasing, with most students priced out of this valuable step in their education. There is exorbitant tuition to pay, alongside costs like accommodation, food, transport, books, and clothing. While getting student loans and other forms of financial aid will certainly relieve the burden, students still need to work on their money management skills.
As a student, you must work on your budgeting skills. It means focusing on your available financial resources and planning your expenditure according to your financial means. A budget for college does not have to be a complicated document. All you need is a list of your sources of income and prioritization of your expenses. You will have to distinguish between your pressing needs and your wants, learning to prioritize what matters.
Students can also gain a better understanding of their financial habits by tracking their spending. Where are you using money unnecessarily, and which expenses can you eliminate? You can also relieve some of your financial burden by getting a part-time job. A job, for instance, gives you a chance to earn money while gaining valuable work experience and building your resume. Of course, you will need to improve your organizational and time-management skills.
Anxiety and Depression
College is typically one of the most exciting times in a young adult’s life. It is a period of positive learning experiences, social connections, independence, and fun. At the same time, this is also one of the most stressful times the students have to encounter as they make the transition into adulthood. They have to deal with academic, social, and professional pressures exacerbated by the challenges of being away from home for the first time.
Recent studies show that anxiety and depression are quite common among college students. According to the evidence, 60% of college students meet the standards for one or more mental health problems, such as nervousness disorders and depression. This is a huge increase from the previous year and a sign that urgent interventions are needed.
The pressure of making the transition to college added to the overall demands of life as a college student, can seriously affect students’ mental health. There is a need to make mental health support more accessible to students.
Fortunately, students already have access to university counseling services and mental health resources. Students can also avoid stress, anxiety, and depression by practicing self-care, working on social support systems, and eating healthy meals. Regardless of your hectic schedule, always prioritize quality and consistent sleep.
Debt is another severe problem college students have to deal with while on campus. As tuition and accommodation rates keep rising, students are forced to find innovative ways to afford college. Student loans and credit cards offer students a way to stay afloat but can result in unmanageable debts. According to experts, students should avoid borrowing more than they expect to earn within a year after graduation.
While most students will likely graduate with debt, there are ways to ensure that the burden does not become too heavy to bear. Before you apply for college, understand the costs involved. If unsure about your preferred program, consider taking a gap year to evaluate things. Do your research on schools, programs, and available financial aid options. Most importantly, explore scholarships and grants you don’t have to pay back.
If you are already in school, take measures to minimize other debts by creating and following a budget. It would be wise to consider sharing accommodation and additional costs with a roommate. You can also reduce your debt by working part-time. A job will give you money to supplement your income while ensuring you learn positive financial habits like budgeting.
Another problem you may encounter as a college student relates to homesickness. While freshmen students approach college with excitement and freedom, there is always the feeling of sadness that accompanies being away from loved ones. Homesickness should not worry you much, as evidence shows that more than 90% of students struggle with adjusting to campus over the first few weeks.
Homesickness is best characterized as the feelings of grief and loss people feel when they are away from home or in everyday environments. As a freshman, it may be your first time alone and away from your loved ones. While homesickness is common, its existence for prolonged periods can affect a student’s mental and physical health.
To deal with homesickness, you must first understand that the feeling is normal and will disappear with time. You need to work on your social support systems, make friends, and interact with your surroundings. There may be the temptation to remain isolated in your room but understand that this will only worsen things. Use technology to stay in touch with your loved ones as you adjust to your new environment.
Balancing Multiple Responsibilities
Students need to balance the multiple responsibilities demanding their attention to thrive in college. In addition to academics, some learners take on leadership roles, while others participate in team sports. You will find college overwhelming if you have social engagement or familial responsibilities, still having to cope with academic tasks like assignments and studying for exams. Things can get even more complicated if you choose to combine work and academic responsibilities.
Students have the responsibility of making sure they balance their responsibilities without affecting their academic duties. It means working on your organizational and time management skills. You need to prioritize tasks according to their level of urgency and always set clear boundaries.
Boundaries will help you thrive by ensuring that you remain focused on what matters. They will also help you realize when to say no and when to ask for additional support. Your college has numerous resources that could prove useful whenever you feel overwhelmed.
Another set of problems students are likely to encounter when in college relates to the ability to socialize. During your time on campus, you will need to formulate new relationships and create networks that could benefit you later in your career.
In any case, research shows that perceived social support is an important determinant of college success. You will need friends and loved ones to offer assistance during those challenging times. Unfortunately, most college students find it hard to blend in, and social relationships can become a distraction.
A possible solution for those facing problems with forming social networks is to take time to explore your surroundings. Go out and socialize, attending classes and social events where you are likely to meet people with whom you share interests. Sporting activities, hobbies, and part-time employment are all platforms where students can meet potential friends.
The Bottom Line
Students face a myriad of challenges during their time on campus—these range from financial struggles to problems socializing and working on assignments. Students need to learn how to create and use budgets besides working on their time-management skills. With a proper plan and self-discipline, the transition to college may not be as frustrating as most people think. Don’t hesitate to seek support whenever you need it.