While time spent at college is a fond memory and a happy experience for most, life in school is not without its problems and issues. Every one’s experience is different, yet with these tips to common problems, college students can get a jump on how to deal with issues as they arise. Check out the common student problems below and the solutions to these issues.
Problem: Tuition costs are rising, couple that with eating out, shopping, gas, textbooks and fun and you have some serious costs. Not to mention student accommodation! College students drop out of college each year because they can’t afford to maintain their monetary costs. Others struggle to work full time as well as go to school to make ends meet.
Solution: Managing and setting a budget. Speak with your parents or even a school advisor before you commit and be sure that the school is financially possible. Be sure of all the costs involved with student housing, meals, transportation and class load. Look into ways to cut costs such as renting a flat or apartment close to school if the price of living on campus is too high.
Problem: College is hard! For many it requires a much larger effort than high school did. Many students need to take a full 15 credit semester to graduate in four years, and others even try to cram 18 to 21 credits into one semester!
Solution: College students need to realize their limits, if you can’t handle 18 credit hours, then it is okay to slow down and take 15. It’s important to take care of your health and students who cram credit hours have a harder time balancing their lives and maintaining health. Keeping the mind fresh will only help you focus. Check with your school advisor about effective study habits or perhaps begin a scheduled study time for your roommates and those in your classes. Group learning helps the brain retain information.
Problem: It doesn’t matter who you are or how amazing your roommate is, you will become homesick at one point in your college career. This is even more common for students who choose a school more than three hours away from home.
Solution: If you are a student who lives about three hours away from home, you can plan to visit once a month or once every few months. Keep pictures of your friends and family around your house or dorm. Stay in touch with your family and friends. Use Skype or another online chat service to talk to the people you miss. Find an activity on campus or around the college that reminds you of home. If you and your family used to go hiking or canoeing, then grab your roommates and friends and plan an outing!
Problem: Many issues with depression arise from stress or homesickness. Some find relief in partying and others find themselves sinking deeper into their depression.
Solution: If high stress levels, homesickness or anything else is causing depression it is best to seek professional attention. Many colleges and universities have free, anonymous counseling programs, and they seek to help students get back on track towards success and health. It is important to get ahead of these feelings before they cause you harm and effect your college success.
Problem: To combat the high price of college tuition many students must get a job. Juggling a job in addition to a full course load can be overwhelming. Many students are overworked and overstressed.
Solution: Make a list of priorities. Prioritize events, games, meetings, activities and your work. Many times the college or university will offer jobs to students with flexible hours and time to devote to your studies. Making sure you are prioritizing your schedule will allow you to get the work done and still have time to enjoy activities.
Problem: Friends and roommates are usually the best part of college, but sometimes due to stress or just plain annoyance they can get on each other’s nerves. Your roommate and friends are all living in close quarters and seeing each other daily, making it hard to have space or time away.
Solution: Take time away! If possible you should go off campus or explore the area around the college or university. Go to the coffee shop or mall and take time to gather your thoughts and be you. If conflict arises and you cannot solve it yourselves, grab an RA or a counselor to speak to. It’s important to keep the community of college healthy so you can maintain your studies and fun.
Problem: Let’s face it, it’s going to happen and it isn’t a bad thing although alcohol can lead to potentially deadly situations, and these are the issues you should avoid when partying.
Solution: Have a plan. Have someone who is committed to staying sober to drive the partiers. Don’t take advantage of one person who is always willing, take turns and be responsible. Some forethought when planning parties or nights out will go a long way. Be responsible when it comes to your body. Do not consume amounts of alcohol that will make it easy for someone to take advantage of you and always go out with people you can trust to take care of you.
8. Health Conditions/Sickness
Problem: With more stress and less sleep, health problems are bound to occur. Living in close quarters in student housing and with roommates doesn’t help this either.
Solution: College students should combat the effects of stress and lack of sleep by maintaining a healthy diet and getting plenty of sleep. Washing your hands often will go a long way to keeping you healthy as well. Maintain clean spaces, disinfect your phone, keyboard, mouse, door handles on a regular basis. Should you get sick take a trip to the school nurse and get treated right away so you will be doing your part not to infect your roommates and fellow students.
Problem: Relationships are inevitable in such close quarters as college. Many times they can help make the college experience better for the individuals. There are times in every relationship where disagreements or issues will arise. This can be distracting and possibly affect schoolwork.
Solution: Relationship advice is hard to give and even harder to receive. It always varies on a case by case basis. Couples should try to reconcile differences and respect each other as best they can. If break-ups occur it might be nice to consult with a school counselor should you find your school work dropping off or feelings of depression.
10. Choosing a Major
Problem: Choosing a major often seems so final. Therefore many students find this act very stressful. Often college students feel this choice will dictate their future career and life and ultimately how much money they will make.
Solution: College majors have importance but they most certainly do not dictate future careers or wages. Students should choose something they enjoy and if you are unsure then choose a broad major such as English or communications. Worrying about your field of study isn’t worth it, worry instead about gaining knowledge and self-awareness because that’s what college is about.
This list looks overwhelming and slightly scary, but knowing all of this information will help you make good choices and prepare you for those instances where college is hard. College years are some of the best years of your life. Prepare for the highs and the lows knowing that there are people here to support you.