Nobody ever said going to college was easy; it’s expensive, time consuming, and mentally taxing. Maybe that’s the reason that, in 2014, nearly 41% of the students who started their freshman year at a 4-year university ended up dropping out before graduation. While there are certainly other factors that can and will bother today’s college students, here are 25 Student Frustrations That You Probably Never Thought About, as well as some handy tricks that might help to deal with them.
Feature Image: Peter Alfred Hess via https://www.flickr.com/photos/peterhess/2976755407
Picking a Major
College students are under a lot of pressure to figure out what they plan on doing with their lives, and a big part of that decision is based on which major they pick in college. Remember that college is a time to experiment and try out new things; you don’t have to decide on a major until the end of your sophomore year, and switching majors is a lot less difficult than it sounds. The most important thing is to find something you are passionate about. You shouldn’t worry about taking your time to find out what that is, no matter how long you’re weird aunt you see once a year nags you about it.
No Social Life
Many students struggle to balance their school and friends, and it can be very disappointing to miss a party or get together because of homework. Since nobody can really see the future, there is no for sure way to avoid conflicts between school and social life. However, staying ahead of schoolwork can help make unexpected assignments less detrimental to your weekend plans.
Once you finally find that cool club or extracurricular activity that you’d really like to take part in, you can bet that it will meet right in the middle of your most important class. Try to learn the meeting schedules of activities that interest you before selecting your courses, but don’t wait too long; classes can fill up quickly, and if you take too much time, you could get stuck going to school at 7:30 in the morning, and nobody wants that.
Some people do very well in groups, and divvying up the workload is a great way to take some of the stress out of a big assignment. When the teacher tells you who to work with, however, you never know who you might end up with. Being forced to work with someone who is constantly complaining or doesn’t pull their weight can be difficult and especially frustrating.
Even those who come from the wealthiest lineages have their bank accounts tested by college. School is expensive enough as it is, and your first job can be hard to get. Be sure to check out some of the departments on campus, all of which are usually hiring around the start of the semester. Also, remember some of the best jobs can come from connections you already have, so don’t be afraid to talk to your friends and acquaintances about any job opportunities they might know of.
Lists Going Viral Right Now
Yeah it’s probably written at the top of the syllabus, but let’s be honest, you lost that thing the second you walked out of class on the first day. Catching a teacher during their office hours is way harder than they claim, and that’s if you you can find where their office is at all. Here’s a hint: it’s probably going to be on the complete opposite side of campus from the classroom.
One of the biggest causes of stress among students, the grades that you receive in college could haunt you for life. Maintaining a strong GPA is important, especially if you’re planning on attending grad school, but it should be totally achievable assuming you study at least 40 hours a week and ace every exam.
If you’re a college student attending school out of town or even out of state, chances are you will be pretty confused at first. The best thing you can do is try to get outside, make friends, and explore your new home. Also bringing a map probably isn’t a bad idea either.
Remember everything that you were taught throughout grade school? Well it turns out most of that will probably be useless or just downright wrong. It isn’t that your high school teachers were trying to sabotage you or anything; it’s just that college is such a vastly different experience that most of the ways you were taught to do things, such as writing an essay, are very different from how they are done in upper-level schooling.
We live in an increasingly digital world, and technology gives us infinite opportunities to learn and complete tasks in ways that weren’t possible before. Unfortunately, it is a double edged sword, and a single misclick or faulty internet connection can delete that essay you’ve spent the last week on. It’s never a bad idea to back up your work when working on a computer and to check in to make sure your teacher actually received anything you turned in over the internet.
Financial aid can be quite the headache, but if you can focus long enough to get through the mountains of paperwork, there is a lot of money that you may not have even realized was available to you.
If you can relate to the frustrations in this post, our list of 25 Life Hacks Every College Student Should Know might help you in some unexpected ways.
So you’ve already payed for your tuition, dorm, and stocked your pantry with enough bargain noodles to get you through the year? Well here’s a $200 textbook that you’ll use once but is still required for your course. There’s not actually a lot you can do to avoid this one, but if you take good care of your books, you may be able to sell them back at the end of the semester.
Homesickness is common among new college students. If you are attending an out of state university, then there is the possibility you may not see your family and friends back home more than once or twice in a year. Before you leave for school, be sure to pack some mementos so you won’t feel too lonely while you’re away. And for Pete’s sake, call your mother every once in a while; she’s probably worried sick about you.
Most people, by the time they’re in college, have at least a general idea of what they would like to do with their life. This can make prerequisite courses all the more frustrating because no sensible student wants to be forced into taking calculus 3 while working towards their film major, no matter how useful it will be in the long run.
Moving to a new home is hard enough as it is, but sharing a tiny living space with someone you have just met always has a chance to cause a little tension. Luckily, most colleges will have ways of matching you with people that share your interests, but there is always a chance that you’ll get stuck with someone you can’t stand. If you can, try to reach out to your roommates and make friends before the semester begins. If you just don’t see things working out, there are usually ways for you to request a switch.
No, I’m too busy to come too your club’s interest meeting, and yes, I am already registered to vote. Every campus has those people that will wait by the food court and hand out fliers to any and all who pass by. The best thing to do is let them down gently, or you can just plug in your earphones and pretend you don’t notice them.
Online classes are quickly gaining popularity in colleges around the country, which is great because they can give more students access to education. Unfortunately, the lack of a physical teacher looking over your shoulder means needing a lot of self-motivation. Not for the faint of heart, or the distracted of mind.
So you’ve already tried double-spacing and extending the header but your essay is still only 7 of the required 9 pages long? Have you tried going back and making all the periods and commas 14-point font?
Every student knows the pain of having to deal with a bad teacher. Whether they are constantly nagging you, way too strict, or just painfully boring, there is nothing quite like a bad teacher to make you want to get up and walk out of class. Just keep in mind that your teachers are people too, and who knows, maybe your worst teacher will end up being the one you learn the most from.
Too Much Independence
Just because you’re living on your own and can eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Many college students struggle with their newfound independence at first, and making mistakes is just another part of learning. On the bright side, living on your own will surely make you appreciate just how much your parents did to support you this far.
As if money wasn’t already a problem, today’s college students can expect to pay around $9,000 for a 4 year in-state university, and over twice that for out-of-state schooling. The best way to avoid years of student debt is to take advantage of every scholarship and financial aid opportunity you get, no matter how much of a headache they might be.
Relationships are hard to begin with, and when you’re young and in school, they can be even harder. Having close friends is also incredibly important for students, as having somebody to trust and confide in is very good for your emotional stability. Remember: open communication is the best foundation for a solid relationship.
Parking on Campus
Especially true if you attend a large college or state university, finding a parking spot within reasonable distance of your classes can be nearly impossible. You could always try taking night classes or arriving at 6 in the morning, but we’ve always found it simpler to use a bicycle or walk from class to class.
Lack of Sleep
Whether you stayed up late cramming for your next final or just spent too long on the internet, chances are if you’re a student, you are struggling to get enough sleep. Always try to maintain a pretty consistent schedule in both your sleep and daily activities, and definitely don’t pull an all-nighter right before an exam; you are much better off getting a good rest before an important test.
Having trouble eating right as a student? Check out 25 Awesome and Helpful Tips to Help Busy Students Eat Healthier.
What is it with teachers and making all of their assignments due the same week? You’d think there was some sort of conspiracy going on with how often this seems to happen.