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Many students launch their college journey with hopes and dreams of earning a degree and improving their situation at home, at work or life in general. Often, after students begin their college experience they are faced with obstacles and challenges that can seem overwhelming. For some students, it just slows them down, for others it can stop them from achieving those hopes and dreams. Regardless of the type of institution: public or private, big or small, we often hear about and witness the same issues from our current and prospective clients regarding challenges students are having to overcome.
Most students can’t write a personal check or dip into a savings account to pay for tuition, books and other educational expenses. Many others also fret about how they are going to support themselves and their families while enrolled in higher education. Since most college students utilize student loans to pay educational expenses and help make ends meet, students are also faced with the reality of student loans and debt after graduation.
Surveys found that “64 percent of college students used loans to help pay for college”. Consequently, almost all students struggle with determining how they are going to pay for college. “Much of this has to do with access: it’s too expensive” Gary on college. It is a near universal phenomenon. Students stress over how to pay for college now and how they are going to be able to afford paying off their loans in the future. In my opinion, there is no way of escaping these loans.
The best solution is to play it smart and deal with it because it is not going anywhere. Truth be told, any student loan debt can seem massive and overwhelming but when you’re dealing with a six-figure amount, it can feel paralyzing. As you’ve heard before, every journey starts with one step. College students must understand their loans all around. Regardless of the size of your debt, you need to understand it. That includes knowing exactly who and what you owe, which could be surprisingly difficult when you have a huge debt. Also, knowing the interest rate of your loans is very important. When students
graduate, they have a certain amount of time before they start paying loans. This is when one should take this time to research your loans and all your options. Take whatever you’ll be paying on your loans and instead put it in a savings account to kick-start your emergency fund. Not only will you have that money to fall back on in case you lose your job or run into unexpected expenses, but you’re now used to living on a budget that includes these loan payments. Another problem college students face on a daily is time management. Balancing work, school and family is another major challenge students face. Many college students hold down jobs, attend school and take care of family’s. Even traditional college students must manage part time jobs, internships and extracurricular activities like intercollegiate athletics that they have to juggle. These responsibilities can be overwhelming for anyone. These commitments can often lead to an overwhelmed student. According to Linda “only 27 percent of Americans have a bachelor’s degree or higher”. This just simply tells us that enough students are not using their time currently and not graduating. Many individuals find it hard to prioritize tasks, manage time effectively and ask for help when it is needed. College is academically challenging. For many, college courses require much more effort than high school classes did. Unlike most high schools, colleges often pack two years of content into one year.
Many students take a full 15 credit semester, while others try to cram in up to 18 or even 21 credits. At times, it seems impossible to stay on top of it all. Know your limits. If you can’t handle 18 credits in one semester, it is worth it in the long run to slow down and take only 15. While the purpose of a college education is to learn as much as you can, that doesn’t mean studying all the time. It is important to schedule time for fun and to take breaks to keep your mind fresh and clear. Don’t put yourself in an impossible situation. Prioritize which classes are most important, use your time wisely to create success, and plan for two hours of studying for every hour of class. Learn how to handle distractions. If you find yourself distracted by friends or television, go to a place where you are alone. The best way to handle distractions is avoiding them. When it comes to setting priorities, one important thing for college students to remember is that you should focus on the quality of your studying efforts, not the amount of time you spend on something. Time management is key for success in college and beyond.
College can be one of the most exciting and rewarding times in an individual’s life, opening the door to pursue new knowledge, prepare for a future career and experience life in a new way. It can also be a very challenging time for students. Many people experience the first symptoms of depression during their college years. Unfortunately, many college students who have depression aren’t getting the help they need. They may not know where to go for help, or they may believe that treatment won’t help. Others don’t get help because they think their symptoms are just part of the typical stress of college, or they worry about being judged if they seek mental health care.
According to studies, depression is the number one reason students drop out of school, and is a gateway issue that, if left untreated, could lead to other symptoms or even suicide. Depression is a common but serious illness that leaves you feeling despondent and helpless, completely detached from the world. It can interfere with your life, making important everyday tasks such as working, studying, sleeping, and eating difficult. Depressive illnesses are disorders of the brain likely caused by a combination of genetics, and biological, psychological, and environmental factors. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), depression is the most common mental disorder.
If stress and depression are an issue, seek professional support. Many campuses have free counseling programs for students. Counselors are trained to listen and help students get back on track. The first step to feeling better is by talking to someone. Most teenagers are close with their parents so I would advise taking to your parents first because the truth is, parents hate to see their kids hurting. Sometimes you can even exercise; “Physical activity releases endorphins— neurotransmitters that produce an overall positive feeling within the body, which fight depression naturally according to psychiatrist and consultant Mark Goulston”. No matter what, talk to someone, especially if you are having any thoughts of harming yourself or others. Asking for help is the bravest thing you can do, and the first step on your way to feeling better. It also helps to accept and share your feelings. It can be hard to open up about how you’re feeling—especially when you’re feeling depressed, hopeless, ashamed, or worthless. It’s important to remember that many people struggle with feelings like these at one time or another. They don’t mean you’re weak, fundamentally flawed, or no good. Accepting your feelings and opening up about them with someone you trust will help you feel less alone. No matter what it feels like, people love and care about you, and if you can muster the courage to talk about your depression, it can and willbe resolved. Some people think that talking about sad feelings will make them worse, but the opposite is almost always true. It is very helpful to share your worries with someone who will listen and care.
College is the stepping stone to real life and many challenges against the students. There are many issues commonly experienced by students in college that can sometimes pose major challenges to study, play, socializing, and living. Beginning life at college naturally generates both excitement and anxiety for many reasons including the move, academic responsibilities, and meeting new people. Many of students face challenges in their formative years and struggle with them. Some of those struggles change who they are or how they later approach life.
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