While time spent at university is a fond memory and a happy experience for most, student life is not without its rough patches. Everyone’s situation is unique, but there are a few problems that almost all university students deal with at least once during their time at school. If you are on your way to university, get a jump on how to deal with the challenges that may come your way.
Problem: From departmental screening to faculty screening, none of this comes easy. Your screening may last weeks if not months.
Solution: If you have a connection, make use of it. Don’t rush for anything – everyone with the required documents will be screened
Problem: University is academically challenging. As soon as you find your way into the school wall, you’re no longer in control of your time; you’re just a manager. You’re going to manage impromptu classes, meetings and test.
University courses require much more effort than high school classes did. Unlike most high schools, University only gives little or no room for failure in any course. When you have too many carry over, you may be asked to withdraw. You cannot take above 24 credit unit courses in a semester – and it seems nearly to stay on top of it all.
Solution: Know your limits. Have a study timetable. While the purpose of a university 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. For more ways to manage this kind of academic stress, see this guide of effective study habits.
Missing Result or Wrong Grade
Popular causes Missing Results/Scripts are
- Sexual harassment
- Not buying handouts/textbooks
- Class assignments
- Dating a lecturer’s girlfriend/boyfriend
- Handling a large number of student with limited time
- Examination misconduct
Solution – Avoid the list above
Problem: Tuition costs are rising at alarmingly high rates. Add to that the cost of accommodation, meals, supplies, transportation, and textbooks, and you have a recipe for unmanageable debt. Students are increasingly dropping out of university because they cannot afford the expense. Others are forced to juggle full academic schedules with full-time jobs to make ends meet. Graduating debt-free is almost unheard of. If you don’t borrow, your parent would borrow.
Solution: Student loans are relatively easy to get. Many students, however, don’t know how repayment works and how many years they may spend paying off their loans. This lack of understanding only adds to the stress. An important part of your education is educating yourself about the structure of the loans you take on to pay for that education. Sit down with a financial advisor to get a firm grasp on the debt you’re taking on.
Get your ears down for the latest information on bursary and scholarships within the school. Consider an on-campus job. Working on-campus will cut out potential transportation expenses and help you stay more focused academically. In addition, create a budget for shopping trips and eating out and stick to it.
Problem: Whether they admit it or not, most students will at one point get homesick, especially those who attend a school that is more than three hours away from home. Freshmen suffer more, as it is presumably their first year away from home.
Solution: If you live within three or four hours from home (a comfortable day’s drive), plan to visit home once every month or two. Ask friends and family to email, call, and send care packages. These steps should greatly assist in reducing feelings of homesickness.
Many campuses have support groups for students. Talking to others who are having similar experiences can help. You may even form friendships with some of the people you meet there. Remember that the other students you come into contact with every day may be feeling the same things you are, and you can help each other
Problem: Every problem on this list can raise a student’s stress level and contribute to emotional lows. Some find temporary relief in drinking, partying which, in excess and in the long run, may contribute to depression.
Solution: If stress and depression are an issue, seek professional support. Many campuses have free counselling programs for students. Counsellors are trained to listen and help students get back on track. You can also try
- Exercise regularly and Meditation
- Manage your time better
- Getting enough sleep
- Eat healthy food
- Read books and novels
- Meeting friends
- Try not to overload yourself
Problem: Relationships are good, but they can be overwhelming. Sometimes they take a lot of time and can begin to encroach on your education. There are times in every relationship when a couple will have a disagreement which can distract them from schoolwork and add to stress levels. Break-ups can drive some students even further into depression.
Solution: Relationship advice is hard to give since the solution varies on a case-by-case basis. Establish a clear communication of your needs and expectations from the outset. If you do break up, consult with a school counsellor to work through the experience.