Problems faced by first year college students
What to expect?
Before we dive into the problems please remember that college is also meant to be fun! Never forget that and give yourself time to pursue your hobbies, to hang out with friends, to go out. College was never meant to be a chore. You are there because you want to.
Some common problems:
Studying is much more difficult in college, there is no denying that. The reason is not only the complexity of the material, but also the new approach to learning. In college you need to learn how to learn. If in high school you might have had a nice teacher who helped you through your tough times, in college you need to learn on your own. There is always extra reading to be done. They don't call it higher education for nothing. In college you have access to the whole wealth of human knowledge, from which you must learn to select what is meaningful to you.
- New surroundings
College usually means moving to another city, sometimes much bigger than your hometown. This will take some getting used to. You may need to adapt to living in a dorm room, to cook for yourself, to save money, to commute every morning etc. You will be on your own for the first time as college is the true transition into adulthood. You still have your family at home, but you can no longer depend on your parents, sibilings, friends.
College tests all relationships. Bonds made in college however do often last for a lifetime! If you're in a romantic relationship while going into college, this relationship will be tested. There are temptations, there is distance in some cases, both parties have extremely busy schedules. Long-time friends can often lose touch by going to school in different cities. Your family is no longer there to support you directly. You will definitely miss any nagging parents :) College gives you a new perspective and you will grow to care about your loved ones much more.
Be careful who you associate with. All colleges have groups of over-competitive students, who will do whatever it takes to get ahead. You may find yourself in bad situations because of people who have no problem being dishonest or hurting you for their own gain. Always be on the lookout for selfish behaviour. Try not to get sucked into being over-competitive yourself because you will lose many friends. College is of course competitive, but you can build your own path in life. Think about this: who wants to do business with a selfish, dishonest person?
A lot of things change in college. This is the end result of many of the problems we discussed above. It is a major problem, a medical condition that is very hard to cure. I think all college students should keep the number of a good psychiatrist somewhere handy, because you never know when you or your close friends might need help. Seeing a psychiatrist really helps. I was in the position of helping one of my closest friends through a really tough time. Believe me, she couldn't have beat depression without the help of a therapist. Only a professional knows what to do, so that things will not get worse.
Even though sometimes it may be tough, remember that college is just a step towards your dream career. Many people have survived college. Many people thrived there. You can learn a lot and you can have a lot of fun. Make sure not to take every little thing too seriously and you will do well!
P.S. This hub was started initially as a reply to a question posted by satiss. Thank you!
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