College comes with its fair number of obstacles, but it is 100% worth the effort! The view is worth the climb, right? Not to mention, it is comforting to know that we aren’t the only ones going through the college ringer. Here are some tips and tricks to help you overcome some of the most common college struggles out there.
1. Roommate Issues
Some people are lucky to have college roommates with whom they get along with perfectly. But most of the time, college roommates don’t always see eye to eye, frequently disagree, and often times flat out upset one another. All in all, getting through a college roommate situation without too much emotional damage is a matter of tolerance and allowing yourself time for adjusting to new people. If you have problems with your roommate(s), seek advice from a family member or a close friend. It’s wise to get an outside perspective or a different angle on the situation—don’t worry, it’s natural.
2. Staying Healthy
In college, you may not get enough sleep, enough nourishment, enough exercise, enough social time, or even enough time to relax. Giving your health a backseat to your studies is a monumental mistake. Your health is of the utmost importance! If you shrug off your health, you’ll find that your grades suffer just as much as your body does. Get into a routine that allows you to make smart and healthy choices for your body and mind. Take care of yourself and find a balance that works for you.
3. Planning Meals
Not every college student has time to cook for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Some students really do live off of ramen noodles—but we wouldn’t recommend the ol’ pure sodium college diet. Remember to get enough nutrients, so your brain can perform up to speed in your classes. Try taking a multivitamin if your meals are lacking in nutrients. We also recommend that you carve out time to actual cook some meals. Take a look at some of these simple, inexpensive recipes you can try.
Pro-Tip: If cooking isn’t your thing, try making it a bit more exciting by cooking with friends!
4. Time Management
You have to reserve time for studying, attending class, doing homework, reviewing and submitting assignments, group projects, relaxing, sleeping, eating, socializing with friends, and everything else under the sun. Juggling many tasks, deadlines, activities, and responsibilities all at once is a big part of being a college student. It takes discipline, but you can create good habits and get into a fun and effective routine that you enjoy—Practice makes perfect.
5. Mental Focus
Attending class, participating, paying full attention, studying, and doing homework all require a great deal of mental focus. Your ability to focus may suffer if you don’t get enough sleep, if you’re not as organized as you should be, if you’ve been skipping meals, or if you’re falling behind on your coursework and becoming more and more overwhelmed. If you’re spread too thin and find your mind wandering and your focus wavering, take a few minutes each day to focus on your breathing, get centered, and make a plan to get out of your funk. This can help you regain and maintain your focus.
Pro-Tip: Additional strategies might also help keep you more alert, such as gum, mints, sour candies, or using different colored pens and highlighters for your notes. Try to have a buddy in each of your classes to compare your notes with to get the most out of your lectures to increase personal engagement.
6. Costs of College Textbooks
Textbooks can be a costly struggle for college students. According to the National Association of College Stores, college students spend about $67 per course material – and that’s just on average. Here are some options to help you decide whether to buy, rent, share, or check out your textbooks.
[Related: Should I Buy or Rent My Textbooks]
Remember, when you face these problems to keep your head up and know that there is always a solution out there. These struggles are normal and we’ve all been there—you can do it!