Students' challenges
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A solution for 25 Challenges for Students and Their Parents

When you earned your high school diploma, you did not opt for career training and career diploma although they could make a big income difference over your working life.

Instead you chose college because you know that university level studies can bring you much more in income.

But what you did not imagine, or maybe, what you ignored, were the problems students face in university.

A lecture
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Challenges faced by students in school

What are the 25 common problems of students?

They are:

  • Separation from old friends may be hard

  • When reality turns out different

  • Making decisions

  • Students may find it hectic to cope with new ideas and people

  • Students may find it hard to cope with roommates

  • Fitting in may be difficult

  • Dealing with nostalgia

  • Too demanding students may be a problem

  • Time management

  • Class configurations may deeply distress students

  • Keeping up with academic work

  • Some professors’ attitudes may turn off students

  • Worry about performance

  • There may be clash of personality of students and their advisors

  • Campus culture may confuse students

  • Food may prove challenging

  • Too many choices to make may confuse students

  • Promiscuity and drugs

  • To remain dependent or become independent?

  • Students’ new identity may confuse parents

  • Students’ change of mind source of worry for parents

  • Managing student and parental needs

  • Change of family structure may be stressful

  • Students may spend less time at home

  • Parents should encourage their kids to be independent

Without further ado, let’s look at these college students’ problems and solutions for each.

And, at the end, we will consider a solution for them all.

Students' challenges
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Separation from old friends may be hard

This is the most common problems of fresher students.

When you set out for college, you will be parting ways with old friends. With whom do you from now on share those fond memories? With whom do you share jokes? Whom do you confide in?

Of course, you can keep up with your pals through email, phone calls and during vacations. But for some, that hardly replaces physical contact.

What hurts most is when you go your separate ways. This may leave some students saddened, especially those from small areas who have been attached to the same friends since grade school.

Technology may be the answer. These days it makes separation less of a pain. With WhatsApp, you can hold as many discussions as you want and make phone and video calls. All cheap.

When reality turns out different

The brochures and admissions counselors painted rosy pictures of their school which made you decide to choose it.

Now that you’re there, you found that the school does not live up to the expectations they set. Know that an admissions pamphlet hardly tells all about the good and bad, as well as the limits and shortcomings of the school.

You’re disappointed by this one of the problems faced by students in school. What must you do?

Not much.

You have to make the best of what is available. As they say, look at the sunny side of things. Others have done it, so can you.

Making decisions

This is another one of the first year college student problems.

Like any new environment, when you arrive at college, you have to make adjustments.

Because you believe your future depends upon your doing well at college, you try so hard to make such a good adjustment that stress sets in.

Why not when important questions and doubts assail you! Was your choice a good one? How can you be sure? Should you change courses? Should you reverse a direction? Should you swap your major?

What you are trying to do is put your choices into a longer-term perspective.

This is useful.

That’s why there are many people on campus like your professors, peers, and College staff to assist you in making decisions.

Students may find it hectic to cope with new ideas and people

What are examples of challenges students face in this regard?

At college, students will run across new people from all sorts of backgrounds. You will have to deal with different nationalities, different cultures, and different races. There will also be dissimilarities in language, religion, sexual orientation, tastes, values, perception, and lifestyle.

Just when you’re smarting from leaving loved ones, you have to learn to start over with strange people! This can be overwhelming, making it hard for you to make new friends.

But there’s the other side of the coin.

This is an opportunity for you to mingle with new people and develop a new identity. Of course, there will be feelings of acceptance as well as rejection. Coping with new people, new ideas, and rejection takes energy. But that’s what makes you grow as a strong individual

Students may find it hard to cope with roommates

One of the hardest common problems faced by college students is how to deal with roommates.

Roommates may have different beliefs, lifestyles, values, and ways of seeing and doing things. They can be social, asocial, messy, neat, reliable, unreliable, assertive, cooperative, helpful, careless, noisy, calm, confused and easy or difficult to live with.

You may find it challenging to live with a new person, not because of the other’s traits but you yourself. So, it may be easy or difficult to make friends.

If you are confronted with roommate problems, don’t first call home to complain about them. Try to work things out instead.

There are Residence Assistants (RAs) trained to assist you in handling such situations. Should their assistance not help in solving the problem, then you may need to talk about switching roommates.

Remember, dialogue first, confrontation last.

Fitting in may be difficult

There is a lot to think about while in college. Figuring out which courses to take, where the lecture halls are, who to get to know, where to go for this or that takes a lot of energy.

This may leave you confused and bewildered.

How can students overcome these challenges?

Give time to time, said a former French president, François Mitterrand. Just as time heals wounds, it will also help you solve your riddles.

Dealing with nostalgia

This is one of the common issues that some new students at college or university face.

They could be things like feeling homesick, missing your family, friends, neighbors, and pets. You could also pine for old routines and familiar landmarks. Even scents also kick in.

What do you do?

These feelings are often fleeting. Find things to do which could take your mind off those issues and soon you may be absorbed in campus life.

Too demanding students may be a problem

What challenges do students face in school in this regard?

Some students may be troubled and want to always rely on you for support, care, and sympathy. Others may be emotionally distraught and needy. This can be demanding and take a lot of your time and energy.

Such a student may even be you.

If you are being counted upon, know when to say, “I can’t handle this” and refer the person to RA or for counseling.

If you’re depending too much on others, you now know what to do.

Time management

If we are wondering, what is the greatest challenge students face, this is maybe the biggest one today, especially a fresher.

For the first time, your parents are no longer behind you to make you study, to force you to go to class, or to oblige you to get a good night’s sleep. You are left alone to create a plan that works for you. So you must maintain your own schedules and develop good study habits yourself.

In the blog post, A solution for 11 Common Struggles Every Student Will Face in College, I developed how to manage your time, part of which is below:

I quote

Time management is so important that I want to devote some time to it.

At 6 am, 12 pm seems so far away as a date you’re looking forward to in a week. At noon, you wonder how 6 hours slipped away so fast. At 6 pm, you begin to see how you’re squandering time. At bedtime, you wondered what happened to all those hours in the day.

The secret to spending your time differently and getting what you want out of the day is “goal-setting.”

“Getting involved in goal-setting first forces you to focus your thinking, then your resources, finally your actions,” How to Open the Door to Your Future, The Official ICS Guide to Succeed in Life.

Do you know that you can “invest” your time?

If you don’t, it’s because all your life much of your time has been managed on your behalf. In fact, you didn’t have the possibility to control it.

You had to wake up at a certain time and go to school at a precise time and stay there for a given number of hours. Time for breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea, and supper is set by society, even if the precise moments vary a little. You had to go to bed at a certain time. Beyond that you had your parents knocking at your door and telling you what moment it was.

Still when you subtract all that time from 24 hours, you had some hours left for yourself. That’s what you can call “my time”.

How many of us use this time wisely so that we can point to something worthwhile we did with it?

Few, if any at all.

“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful, lest you let other people spend it for you,” Carl Sandburg, Great American Author.

“If you casually let others spend all YOUR TIME for you, on impulse, haphazardly, you will probably find yourself disappointed with your progress in life” How to Open the Door to Your Future, The Official ICS Guide to Succeed in Life.

Also, if you casually spend all YOUR TIME, on impulse, haphazardly, you will probably find yourself disappointed with your progress in life.

While if you set goals, you’ll find ways to “invest” your time to achieving them.

A way to set simple daily goals is to have what is called a “productive day”.

It’s the day at the end of which you’ll have something tangible to show for it.

This idea was exemplified by a consultant named Ivy Lee.

During the American Industrial Revolution, Charles Schwab, the top executive running Andrew Carnegie’s steel mills was looking for ways to increase productivity in his own life and in the mills.

Ivy told Charles to make a list each night of the ten most important things he would do the following day, in order of their importance.

Then he should seek to do the first thing on the list before moving to the next one, ticking off each item as he did them.

Just a month after trying this, a satisfied Charles Schwab sent Ivy Lee a check for $25,000. A huge amount at that time.

Why don’t you try this for a month controlling the amount of commitments you get yourself into and congratulate yourself later?

And unquote.

Class configurations may deeply distress students

This is one of the problems faced by students in studies.

Classes at college may be small or large. While many students enjoy the former, the latter may make some students feel overwhelmed.

Students come in different forms: the youngest, the least experienced in the subject matter, or the oldest, and the brightest.

All these configurations are big changes for students and a factor of destabilization.

Here too, you have to learn to get used to it as there isn’t much you can do about it.

Keeping up with academic work

Under this section, we will look at what are examples of academic challenges?

College work is hard and this may be where you collect your first low grades.

This is often the case of students who have excelled in high school. Thinking the same is true of the university, they go about their new studies in a lackluster manner.

Know that most high school courses are not as demanding as college ones. You will have to adapt to them and work harder.

Your high school teachers may also not be as demanding as in college. You have to learn each professor’s mannerisms and style of grading.

Some professors’ attitudes may turn off students

You may find all sorts of professors at college: exciting ones, dull ones, those who are challenging, and others who are not so challenging, interesting lecturers, boring ones. Some professors may lead discussion classes and let students do a great deal of the talking, others may be a bit talkative.

These problems faced by students in the classroom may be a challenge for quieter students who may find these different personalities intimidating.

Worry about performance

There is a lot of reading and writing assignments to do at college. The level of reading and writing required will certainly be higher and the quantity greater than what was done in high school. Some students may have trouble with that.

Besides, some readings may be more complex and more difficult than expected. Further, assignments may require several readings and much more time than students have ever allotted.

These will make students develop anxiety about their performance.

What are the solution to these educational problems?

If this is your case, you may need to seek extra tutoring in writing, grammar, spelling, etc.

There may be clash of personality of students and their advisors

Because colleges know higher studies are demanding, and that this is one of the biggest challenges experienced by students like you, they try to help you cope with the work by assigning you advisors.

Most advisors work without a hitch with students but it happens that people don’t get along so well. This may make some students not really like their advisors.

Should this happen, you will be hesitant to ask them for help, which is not good for you.

You can change advisors, but we suggest communication to help solve the problem.

Campus culture may confuse students

As you progressed from primary school to junior high and then to senior high, you found vocabulary and rituals that were new and unique to each.

The same is true of college. Some campus rituals may even feel strange.

You meet new concepts such as dean, provost, convocations, faculty, etc.

One very unnerving situation is how do you call the professors? Dr.? Ms.? Mr.? First name?

Please ask and you will be told.

The problem sometimes is that we overlook college students’ problems and solutions.

Food may prove challenging

One of the biggest problems college students face is food. Especially, new students are used to mama’s or dad’s cooking and find that the food at college is not like back home.

Why do students struggle in school with this?

Mama’s culinary skills having shaped your palate, most students will complain about the food. It’s not even uncommon to find students gain weight during the first year eating too much fat, starch and junk food.

On the other hand, you may find the food at college pretty good. But you hate eating at the same place for three meals a day, seven days a week. Simply because it’s not mom’s or dad’s cooking.

Know that you may not expect to eat home food your whole life. You may travel outside home. You may go to a foreign country. You may vacation on a cruise ship. You may enlist into or be enlisted into the army.

So, learn to adapt your taste to circumstances. I know it’s easier said than done, but if you don’t want to be tied to mama’s apron strings all your life…

Too many choices to make may confuse students

At college, you may find that there are so many things to choose from:  so many clubs, so many organizations, so many activities, so many courses, so many lectures, so many sports practices, and so many concerns that it is sometimes hard to decide what to go to.

You end up overwhelmed. The confusion may be so profound that you may not be able to complete important projects and tasks as you’re spread too thin.

We’re not advising you not to participate in these events. No, far from it. For studies show that judicious active involvement in campus activities can help students make better use of their time and raise the quality of their lives and work.

The problem is when you get committed to too many groups and/or projects. Then, you don’t get enough sleep and get sick.

Remember, balance is the key.

Promiscuity and drugs

What is the biggest challenge faced by the youth today?

It’s probably promiscuous behavior and drug use in college.

It’s not because a friend is engaged in something that you have to follow them. You must learn to mature, make your own decisions and choices, and be aware that not everybody is doing the right thing.

Sometimes roommates want you out so that they could bring their partners into the room. You know what goes on behind those closed doors. If you’re brought up to behave otherwise, follow that path. Don’t listen to those students who want to convince you with that “everyone else is doing it.” You’re not everyone.

As much as possible, avoid the path which may lead you to destruction.

To remain dependent or become independent?

We can distinguish three types of children: those who would want to remain attached to their parents, those who wouldn’t mind cutting off the umbilical cord, and those in between.

Thus, you may choose dependence or independence or anything between the two. If you are in the first group, you will openly ask for parental support; those who belong in the second won’t tell parents important details and the students who find themselves in the third may or may not reveal everything to their parents.

As much as possible, try to be independent of your parents but for goodness’ sake, don’t cut yourself off completely.

Challenges faced by parents of students in school

When your child goes to college, it seems that you’re “finished” with them. But no. The umbilical cord is not cut yet.

Here are some of the challenges you may face as a parent.

Students’ new identity may confuse parents

When your child goes to college, they meet different people and become confronted with all sorts of ideas.

Suddenly your darling child begins to talk differently, dress differently, and think differently. This is not the kid you knew in high school. They may even have body piercings and colorful dyed hair!

You’re completely lost as to what happened to your baby.

Take it easy.

As your adolescents explore their identity going forward, they may be hardly recognizable during the first vacation or two. This may be a fad.

Students’ change of mind source of worry for parents

We said earlier under “Making decisions” that when doing this, students may be trying to put their choices into a longer-term perspective.

It is during this process that they may discover whole new areas of study and in the excitement change their career goals and major plans.

You’ve set your heart so much on your child’s goals and dreams that you thought they were set in stone.

No, try to understand their change of mind and you may find it was for their own good.

Managing student and parental needs

Your child in college has their needs. You have yours. One meddling in the other may lead to conflicts.

Your child may call home often. Intermittently. Or even not at all.

You may also call your child in college repeatedly. Occasionally. Or never.

If the expectations about the kind of phone contact that will be maintained are not mutual, that can lead to strained relationships.

Talk with your child as to how often they can call and how often you can also do so. Don’t forget to discuss which days of week and the times of day to do so. This is to respect each person’s sleep habits, study needs, work schedules, etc.

Change of family structure may be stressful

Your family structure changes when your child goes to college.

New space may become available for use or you may wonder what to do with it. You may experience more freedom. Your kid also. You may be hit with a sense of loneliness. Your sweet baby also. The phone may be ringing more often than before. Or, it may be quieter than before. You, or you and your wife may feel a vacuum.

When the student returns home for vacation, it could lead to a family reunion or the struggle to get used to each other again.

Know that “THE ONLY CONSTANT IN LIFE IS CHANGE.”

Your body changes constantly. Your mood also. You get born. You die. You have kids who will give you grandkids. You go to school. You leave school. You get a job, you lose the job or become retired.

You get the idea?

So, forget the stress and move on. This is part of life.

Students may spend less time at home

For various reasons, your child may decide not to come home for vacations. This could be due to cost or distance. It could be that they have been invited elsewhere more exciting. They might even join campus service trips such as Habitat for Humanity.

If you were eagerly looking forward to home visits, this may be a jarring experience.

To prevent this from happening, communicate with your child about expectations. Knowledge is tranquility.

Parents should encourage their kids to be independent

At college, your child will go through all sorts of situations. While some will be light, others can be stressful and difficult for your adolescent to solve alone.

You therefore need to express interest in your child’s welfare. You must encourage them to seek help from you when necessary. You have to help them make good choices, and learn from your experience.

But don’t take their place and solve all problems for them. Walk the fine line between taking a genuine interest and offering real help. But not in any case must you encourage your adolescent child to rely on you for every solution.

If you did, how and when can they learn to solve problems themselves later on?

Get involved in their lives, but try not to pry too much.

If you make yourself accessible and open, your child’s choice wouldn’t be problematic.

The solution I propose to these 25 challenges

This is the icing on the cake.

In Nigeria (the biggest country in West Africa), I found these words written on many trucks: Life is war. Which means that everything about life is like war. You have to struggle to overcome.

College life
as we have seen is also like war.

And I like the French proverb: L’argent , c’est le nerf de la guerre better than its English equivalent: money is the sinews of war. The word nerf recalls something like the nerve center.

Life being war and money being the nerve center of war, what do you think is the overall solution for your challenges in college?

Money, of course.

I don’t mean money will solve all those 25 challenges. In some instances no amount of money can do anything to help you. But it will do a lot to lessen many of the challenges students face in colleges. And this may affect other areas of your life.

Besides, earning money while at school will prevent from paying your student loans your whole life.

That being the case, what should you do?

It all boils down to entrepreneurship

Should you consider entrepreneurship?

Yes, I believe so.

You’re not a stranger to the home-based business and entrepreneurial explosion going on around you.

By starting your own business, from home, in your spare time, you create the opportunity to earn extra income and to develop new and varied skills, greater self-confidence and useful contacts worldwide.

Of course, not everybody is cut out to be an entrepreneur (That is, someone who takes on a certain amount of risk to start their own business enterprise, as their own boss).

But you may want to at least to explore this option to see where you belong.

How Wealthy Affiliate can help you start your online career

If you are ready to train at home to learn new skills, make money, or even start your own business, Wealthy Affiliate University can help you, just as it has done for thousands of others, year after year, beginning back in 2005. Since then, more than 2.5 million people have benefitted from the WA career training.

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Your turn

Do you want to contribute to how to overcome challenges in college? We will be happy to see your contribution in the comment section below. Thank you.

Akoli

Your personal guide to securing your future online.

2 thoughts on “A solution for 25 Challenges for Students and Their Parents”

  1. This has been a very thorough post. Thank you very much. There are certainly many challenges. But we can always make a good decision. A Bible verse that has always helped me in circumstances like these is one that relates to what Daniel decided when he was a young man, probably ending his teenage years. But Daniel purposed in his
    heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank… Daniel 1:8

    Reply
    • Hello Ann,

      Thanks for appreciating my post. Thank you also for your comment. 

      Yes, life has always been fullof challenges. But the only difference between animals and people is that we have the power of choice. We can choose to change our circumstances.

      Reply

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