You’ll probably wind up looking back on your college experience as the best years of your life, but college students really do face quite a bit of stress. In no particular order, here are 10 issues that most college students face, and I speak from experience: these “problems” seem absolutely horrible at the time, yet you’ll come to realize that they really weren’t that bad … once they’re over and done with, of course!
Money (or lack of money) is an issue for most college students. It’s expensive to attend college in the first place, and you also need money to purchase textbooks, school supplies, food, and other necessities. Even if you have a part-time job, it’s probably not the highest paying one on the planet. You’re not alone—most students never have as much money as they need.
Some college students have the misconception that just because they’re in college, they’re entitled to a great, high-paying job. Unfortunately, you’ll probably be stuck working in retail or foodservice. During college, my job official title was cashier, but I had to do everything from cleaning the floors at night to taking people’s groceries out to their car. I also had to — and this is my personal favorite — sell hot dogs and Cokes in the parking lot any time there was a fundraiser.
You’ll probably get sick of eating in the school dining halls, so you’ll want to go out for meals. Unfortunately, that “lack of money” problem gets in the way of going somewhere nice. Get used to Taco Bell and Wendy’s, and be aware of the Freshman Fifteen. If you’re aware of it you’ll probably be able to control yourself. Drinking is another thing you may have to deal with. Alcohol isn’t cheap. Perhaps you don’t enjoy drinking. Good for you, but get ready for comments or criticism from others. Stand your ground, though, and don’t do anything that you’re against.
Your parents may call regularly to “see how things are going.” Remember that it’s only because they love you and miss having you around. It may seem annoying, but don’t get too frustrated. After all, they’re probably contributing quite a large chunk of change for you to be at college, and they might even mail you a check if you’re convincing enough when you whine about being broke.
A college degree really does stand for something. This translates into “College courses are not easy.” Some will seem easier than others, but they all involve effort. You’ll also wind up getting stressed and/or frustrated over your classes and massive amounts of homework, so don’t forget that’s basically the entire reason you’re attending college to begin with—to learn things.
You’re going to meet a lot of new people. You’ll wind up with some great friends, but that doesn’t mean that they all have to become your BFF. If someone you’re not too thrilled with wants to be your buddy, try to be polite by avoiding any plans they want to make. You can be “conveniently busy” each time they ask, and eventually, they’ll get the hint. If you meet someone who continually asks you out on dates, you may want to say, “I’m sorry but I’m not interested.” That should take care of the issue, but if the person won’t take no for an answer or tries to harm you in any way, report them to the proper authoritiesh3.
If the person who is driving you insane is your roommate, that’s a different story entirely because you are forced to live with them. If you wound up randomly stuck with someone you just can’t stand, you may have to put up with it for now. Most colleges won’t change your room assignment in the middle of the semester, but you can meet with the residence office to see if you can be switched for the next term. If things get too unbearable, try to avoid being in the dorm room whenever he/she is there and hope for the best.
Some professors are absolutely wonderful—they love what they do and they’re great at their jobs. Sadly, this isn’t the case for all of them. You’re going to run into a lot of different instructors during college. Try to get other students’ opinions of professors before signing up for their classes. In some cases, though, you absolutely have to have a certain teacher. You may just have to suffer through it.
Due to your busy course load, part-time job, and social life, you probably aren’t getting as much sleep as you’d like to be getting. Try to take naps whenever you can, because even a ten or fifteen minute snooze may help you get through the day.
The busy life of a college student can start getting hectic easily. Keep track of classes, work, due dates, exams, birthdays, and any other things that you need to remember in your student planner. It’s important to be on time and show up for everything that you need to attend, so stay on top of things by being organized.
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.
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