College is a time of change. Students are getting to experience life out on their own, without a parental figure to guide them, protect them, and comfort them. Because of the freedom they are now encountering, temptation and urges are taking hold, as is frustration and exhaustion.
Many students are feeling overwhelmed without someone beside them. They are struggling with the demands that life in college is placing upon them. Other students are without their compass, both moral and academic; their parents no longer have as immediate and forceful an impact on their lives as they used to. They too are struggling.
Below are some of the issues college students are struggling with now that they are alone.
The scheduling of their days includes more than just the classes they need to attend. Students also have extracurricular activities they participate in, on campus and off. Some of these might include being on sports teams or attending sorority/fraternity functions. This could also include holding down a job (more on that later) or volunteering at a local charity. Whatever their activity, their health is suffering because of it.
Studying for exams can lead to consuming multiple energy drinks, which are extremely high in sugars, and can cause a serious crash afterwards. The constant on-the-go lifestyle of a college student leads to quick, and poor, food choices that are actually increasing the physical issues their bodies are faced with.
They are not exercising either, at least not properly. The unhealthy food they are putting into their bodies is not being processed or burned off quickly enough, leading to an even further decline in their health and energy levels. If they do not have energy, then they are going to struggle to pick up on the material they are supposed to be learning.
They are also not getting enough sleep. Between school, work, and other social priorities (not necessarily good ones), there is no time to sleep. Without sleep, the body is not going to be able to function properly; again, leading to an inflammation of any medical symptoms they may have. The brain is not able to process and transfer information properly, aggravating the inability to remember regardless of the amount of time spent studying.
College students are more than likely in debt. Even with a scholarship, they probably need money to make payments on their car, or for the food they eat; college is not cheap, even if the classes are paid for. To alleviate the lack of money or to reduce their debt, many students need to take on a part time job. Doing so is putting constraints on their time which, in turn, goes back to affecting their health and their grades.
Students are also finding it hard to establish credit and to get a loan with poor credit. No longer being funded by their parents, they are beginning to feel the pressures of having bills and the need to use credit. Without a credit history, or not enough of a history, college students are stressing out about how to afford the necessities while away at school. Even if they do receive credit, they must then figure out how to make the monthly payments, leading right back to getting a job and the effects that can have on them.
Because of the limitations of resources – support, money, and time – college students are becoming increasingly overwhelmed. This is leading into to opposing directions. The first being some students are trying to escape the factors that are overwhelming them. They are skipping class; they are procrastinating on their coursework and projects; they are refusing to study.
The sum of all of this equals bad grades. Bad grades can lead to failed classes, requiring them to be made up, or the student will drop out (having nothing but debt to show for it).
The other direction students are going is to mature. They realize there is a problem and they need to take steps to fix them. They are getting themselves organized. Their personal spaces and time are being structured, and anything that does not benefit their academic life is being pushed out.
It is great to see these kids taking charge of their lives and overcoming the challenges all college students are facing. They are trying to reduce the stresses of college life. With that kind of focus and effort, they will succeed in their college careers and can achieve great things in their adult lives.