10 Challenges College Students Face (And How to Deal With Them) - (2023)

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College can be the most exciting yet daunting time of your young life. You jump in with both feet; excited for independence, fun and new friends. However, you must know what kind of challenges you are going to face as a college student because they can make or break your experience.

The important thing to remember is that you’re not alone. We’ve all either been through or will experience some of these challenges. Knowing how to tackle them will make your college experience a lot better.

This post is going to show you 10 of the most common challenges college students face and how to deal with them.

Common Challenges College Students Face:

1. Time Management and Work-Life Balance

It’s very difficult trying to juggle your responsibilities and everything else in college. This includes your academic work, social life, a part-time job and all kinds of relationships. You’re probably trying to keep up with it all and you’re realizing the toll it’s taking on you.

The solution is to prioritize your tasks and start planning out your days to manage your time effectively. A great way to start is by investing in a planner or calendar to help you stay on top of things.

Be sure to prioritize the things that you value most, so you feel fulfilled by what you’re doing versus just being busy all the time.

Related:Causes of Poor Time Management: The Hidden Truth Behind Your Struggle

2. Self-Discovery

When you go off to college (especially if you move into a dorm room), you finally get some freedom. You can be yourself without having to deal with your parents’ scrutiny or external pressures as much as you did before. This is a great opportunity to embark on a path of self-discovery and figure out what you like and want to do with your life.

However, this is a challenge for many college students because it can be very confusing and scary finding yourself amongst new people and a new environment. You may have been used to trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations (and probably still are) and now you don’t have anyone else telling you what to do.

Think about it this way:

College provides the opportunity to develop your sense of independence, grow and learn things about yourself through all sorts of experiences. Use this time to put yourself first and figure out who you are outside of what everyone wants you to be.

3. Keeping Up with Classes

This is probably the biggest jump you make from high school to college; you control your schedule. Your degree is your responsibility.

If you’re not a very organized person, it can be challenging to stay on top of creating your schedule and then keeping up with your classes. You have to find the motivation to get up every morning, go to your lectures/meetings and invest your time in your studies.

A planner also comes in handy here to help you get organized and keep up with due dates. You can also read these tips on 14 Habits of Highly Successful College Students for more tips.

4. Spreading Yourself Too Thin

As you probably noticed, you can easily end up taking on too many things at one time. Whether you’re an overachiever, or you just have a lot on your plate, it’s important not to spread yourself too thin in college to avoid burning out.

To avoid this, make sure you say yes to things that are in your best interest and are manageable for you. Planning out your time is also very important so that you know understand your load and don’t end up taking on too much.

Related:11 Lessons You’ll Learn the Hard Way in College

5. Home Sickness

You get so excited at the beginning of the semester that homesickness doesn’t even feel possible, but everyone will feel experience it at some point.

It could be the smell of home, your favorite dinner your mum used to make, or your friends and the fun things you used to do. You may not even realize that you are homesick; just not 100% yourself.

Calling your family from time to time and planning a visit (if you go to school out of state) will definitely help.

6. Financial Strain

Being a broke college student is definitely a common challenge we all face. Not many students have a lot of money, so it is quite often that you are left trying to stretch your pennies. Money management is something you may have to learn during your time at college and can be quite a challenge.

Create a budget that includes money for nights out and parties, groceries, bills, textbooks, etc. Be sure to create some discipline and stick to it!

You can also get a part-time job or come up with some ways to make money in college!

7. Roommate Friction

In student halls, you don’t usually get to choose who you room with and you may or may not get along with your roommate. Everyone has different habits and opinions and it can cause friction between housemates.

Some prime examples are cleaning up or eating someone else’s food in the fridge. You’ll quickly learn that not everyone likes to clean, and some people may eat your food or touch your things without your permission. If you don’t mind, then this may be minor, but it causes a problem for most students.

To help avoid this, set out some ground rules that everyone agrees so that there are no issues and tension between your flatmates. In addition, it may help to turn a blind eye to the things you don’t agree with if they’re not that big of a deal. This is all part of the learning process of college!

8. Making Friends

It’s tough finding your niche at college but the good news is there are tons of them! Connect with people in your classes, your flat and building, student organizations, or in the campus social areas. The more you put yourself out there, the more you’ll realize that meeting people is easier than you thought!

Your friends are going to be your new family at college. It is important to make connections and strong relationships to help you get through your time in college and these friendships will last a lifetime.

9. Relationships with your Family

Being away from home can put a lot of strain on your familial relationships. This is a challenge for many students to juggle all of the fun of college and still keep a good relationship at home.

To help with this, call home regularly, but not too much; you have to have some independence too. Find the balance between your new relationships and reassuring your parents you’re okay. In addition, try to spend the holidays with your family. It’ll also help with homesickness!

10. Taking Care of Yourself

Now that you have your newfound freedom you’ve got to take care of yourself too.

Make sure you are fueling your body with the right food, keeping your room clean and organized, and prioritizing your self-care. No one is going to pick up after you or tell you when to get things done. So, you have to get in the groove of looking after yourself.

You are now more prepared to tackle your college years and any challenge that comes your way. Remember that you are not alone and the experience you can have at college greatly outweighs the challenges you face.

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About the Author

Brittany is the creator of The Boldly Blog, inspiring young women to start their personal development journey, to invest in themselves, their goals and be themselves, unapologetically.

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