College students struggle more than ever in today’s society, with constant pressure to get good grades while potentially working part-time and still having enough time for a social life. Young adults who’ve recently graduated from high school often look forward to attending college only to realize it’s not what they expected it to be. While some would have you believe that it’s all rainbows and butterflies, it’s stressful, time-consuming, and downright miserable for many.
Unfortunately, there is more than one problem college students face upon leaving home to attend different universities across the country. Check out this detailed list of the 13 most common problems college students currently face.
#1. Financial Stress
Financial stress is, by far, one of the most significant problems college students face. The cost of college tuition has soared over the past several decades, with most finding themselves in debt of over $100k by the time they graduate with their degree. A recent college graduate could have no job, thousands of dollars worth of debt under their name, and no plan for the foreseeable future.
Of course, the cost of tuition isn’t the only thing putting a financial strain on college students. If they’re spending so much of their time in school, they won’t have time to take on a full-time position or even a part-time job to bring in some extra cash. As a result, they often become dependent on what their parents can afford to give them, and not every college student has a support system willing to help.
The financial burden can become so bad for some college students that they’re living off of spaghetti, ramen, and canned veggies for the week to get by. Of course, no one should have to live like that to get a college degree, but it’s the unfortunate truth for many young adults in college.
#2. Lack of Confidence in Themselves
Having confidence doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Many young adults lack confidence in themselves and suffer from low self-esteem. They may not feel like they’re smart enough or good-looking enough to fit within societal norms. Social media is a blessing and a curse in that regard, with dozens of filters and apps available for people to use to change the way they look in photos.
When young adults see these highly-filtered pictures, they can’t help but wonder why they’re not as good-looking as the next person. And, they might also feel like they’re not doing enough with their lives when they see friends and even strangers posting photos of their new designer bags, expensive clothes, and more. Social media has made it easier for people to feel less confident in themselves because they have that constant reminder of what everyone else is doing around them. Sometimes, the best solution to this problem is deactivating accounts to avoid social media pressure.
#3. Time Management
Learning how to manage time is another problem for most college students. How can you possibly begin to think about managing your time wisely when you’re spending so much of it in school? Most college students feel like they have absolutely no time to themselves because they’re either attending lectures, studying, doing school work, or sleeping to catch up on some much-needed rest.
College students who work part-time jobs are also at a disadvantage. When they’re not at school, they end up at work, where they’re pushing themselves to earn a bit of money to afford to survive while in school. It becomes a vicious circle of getting little to no sleep while constantly feeling overwhelmed by many things that need to be done, whether at school or work.
Those who choose to attend an out-of-state university may experience feelings of homesickness. No one goes into detail about how lonely it can be to move out of your parent’s house for the first time and attend college hundreds of miles away without a single familiar face in sight. Not having family and friends around can take a significant toll on a person, causing extreme feelings of loneliness and sadness that might lead to depression.
While some people thrive in other environments, others yearn for the place they’ve called home for so long. They may feel guilty about even thinking of dropping out because these people know they’ve made their loved ones proud by going to college in the first place. However, homesickness can become too much to handle, ultimately getting in the way of their daily routine.
Some college students will experience feelings of depression like never before. Depression can come from various things, including being far away from home, not having many people to talk to, struggling with a heavy workload consisting of assignments and papers due, and more. It’s normal to feel sad when you don’t have time for yourself and are constantly overworked, but that sadness can turn into depression when nothing gets better. It’s likely one of the many reasons suicide is so common amongst college-aged students in the first place.
#6. Living Up to Family Standards
Young adults often feel pressured to live up to their families’ standards set for them. Some families have higher expectations than others and shame their loved ones for not doing certain things, such as going to college. It’s one way to make someone feel pressured into doing something they don’t want to do.
Trying to live up to those family standards and make loved ones proud isn’t worth it when it means dealing with the deterioration of your mental health. The only person you need to do anything for is yourself. If your loved ones can’t understand that, it’s unfortunate that they’re not willing to see things from a different perspective.
#7. Racial Disparity
Although it’s 2022, we’re still dealing with racial disparity at college universities. It’s one of the reasons minorities often choose to go to HBCUs instead of other universities because they want to receive the equality they deserve while furthering their education.
Unfortunately, racial disparity is still a common problem at most universities, with many minorities feeling as if they don’t get treated the same as their Caucasian peers. It’s enough to make any person of color frustrated with the inequality and lack of support available to them.
#8. Peer Pressure
Peer pressure doesn’t just happen in high school; it’s also happening in college. How many times have you heard stories of people who’ve had way too much to drink or joined a sorority because their friends were doing it? Unfortunately, the pressure to do things doesn’t stop when you go to college. If anything, peer pressure tends to get worse, with more young adults consuming alcohol, smoking, and possibly even trying drugs.
#9. Lack of a Support System
While some students have a great support system at home, with parents who love them and want to see them succeed, others don’t have that. It’s hard for a college student to feel the stress of school work and the financial strain without having a single person they can talk to or vent to about their frustrations. When parents aren’t there for their children, it makes the time spent in college even more challenging than it is for those with loving, supportive parents who are there to help.
#10. Relationship Problems
Of course, young adults will get into relationships from time to time, and some of them can end up being messy. Unfortunately, getting into a relationship in college is like treading through murky waters because you never know what the outcome might be. In some cases, the relationship causes more harm than good, stressing the students out and getting in the way of their studies.
While relationships with a partner are one thing, friendship relationships are another. College students may find it challenging to juggle their school work and time for their friends, potentially leading to disagreements and arguments between them.
#11. Too Much to Do, Not Enough Time
Anyone who goes to college knows how much time gets spent in the classroom. Some may feel like they have way too much to do and not enough time to get things done. It’s not uncommon for college students to feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day for them to complete all the assignments given to them by their professors. Having too much to do without enough time can cause anxiety, depression, and added stress.
Anxiety is a growing problem for college students. Some have social anxiety and find it difficult to socialize with others, while others experience anxiety differently. It’s normal for these young adults to feel anxious when they’ve got so much going on, but anxiety tends to take a toll on a person’s mental health. If it gets too bad, it can turn into a crippling disorder that prevents these individuals from living their lives to the fullest.
Another big problem in college is bullying and hazing. You’d think that by the time these young adults graduate from high school, they’d move past their bullying ways and become better people, but that isn’t always the case. Unfortunately, bullying is still a big issue that can eventually lead to hazing. The worst part about hazing is that it has already claimed the lives of many young college students, with most perpetrators getting nothing more than a slap on the wrist for their malicious behavior.
Young adults face dozens of problems when they decide to go to college. From bullying and hazing to financial stress, time management issues, homesickness, and more, college can negatively impact a person’s mental health and contribute to anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.