College Bound: Challenges Most College Students Face
The idea of graduating from high school and heading off to college is exciting and incredibly challenging for most students. Luckily, there are a few ways to overcome the challenges listed below and make your college experience not only successful but fun as well.
However, you’ve been so focused on getting ready to work hard for that electrical engineering degree that you’ve failed to prepare for the challenges that come with being in college and away from home for the very first time. From finding time to study to responsibilities you’ve never had to shoulder alone before, college is exciting, but it can be super-tough.
Time management and the motivation to study are both key factors in your time in college being successful. The structure that surrounded your first 12 years of school is no longer present in college classes, so you have to manage your time and motivate yourself to get things done.
The best way to manage your time is to not take on too much. If you’re struggling with taking 18 credit hours, drop to 15. The more manageable your workload, the better off you’ll be. Remember, there’s more to college than studying. You may have a part-time job or volunteer work you want to do. You have to leave time for that and still be able to study and attend classes, so lighten your load if you have to.
Challenges with Finances
College is one of the easiest places to make financial mistakes that will haunt you after graduation. Tuition costs are constantly rising and, if you don’t have a scholarship, it can become almost unbearable. Add tuition costs to the costs of textbooks, meals, supplies, housing, and even transportation and it can easily become a recipe for financial disaster.
Student loans are an option, but since many students don’t realize how the repayment programs work, it can be a recipe for disaster as well. It’s best to try not to borrow any money to get through college but to work and rely on financial aid and scholarships instead, though that is easier said than done for most. However, if you look hard enough there are scholarships out there for almost anyone- from scholarships for college juniors to ones for students from different minority groups.
Since, for many college students, high school was a breeze, they’re ill-prepared for the vast workload that faces them in their college classes. Most first-time students are overwhelmed by the amount of reading assigned and the length of the research papers required in their field of study. It’s best to make sure you’re on top of everything to do to prepare for class because even if your professor doesn’t assign work, there will be required reading you’re expected to keep up with.
Personal Responsibility Challenges
Going away to college means that your parents aren’t there to keep you in line or to remind you when things need to be done. A lot of college students have a hard time with the added responsibility that comes with the college years. As a college student, you’re treated like an adult and you’re expected to act like one as well.
Whether you want to admit it or not, at some point you’ll get homesick. After all, you’re away from everything you know and everyone you love. If you live a comfortable distance from your home, say a three or four hours-long drive, go home for the weekend to help with the homesickness. If you live too far away to travel home for the weekend, phone calls and online video chats will help more than you think.
These are just a few of the challenges that most college students face at the beginning of their college lives. They are all normal and can be dealt with. If you become depressed or feel like you can’t handle any of these challenges, please talk to someone who can help.