College is not always the dreamy place of wild parties, cute relationships and unlimited budgets that Hollywood would have us believe. In real life, going to college comes with a set of very real challenges. College means living away from your parents in a strange city with new people and learning to fend for yourself. It means being broke, overworked and stressed, and having nobody to hear you complain about all of it. Students face a lot of problems when they move to college for further studies. While we all learn to cope in our own ways and emerge stronger with the experience (so don’t worry too much), life in college is never a cakewalk. Here is a list of the top ten problems that students face in college-
10- Ragging or Hazing
Although most colleges and universities around the world have now disallowed any form of ragging or hazing of new students, the practice is still rampant. While authorities worry about how incidents of ragging give a bad name to the college, freshers worry about what weird tasks seniors will dream up to annoy them with. While ragging or hazing can be harmless, like jumping while singing or scavenger hunting around the campus, there have also been multiple instances of harmful ragging. In some cases, involving alcohol, this has even lead to deaths! It’s no wonder that new students often worry about how ragging in a new college will affect them.
9- Losing touch with high school friends
They say that childhood friendships are the best ones. Unfortunately, for most of us, moving to college means distance, both physical and metaphorical, with our hometown friends. While we make new friends in college, somehow they never replace the friendships of school. There’s just something about friends who have seen you through your first break-up, your first crush and a lot of your embarrassing moments that college friends just can’t match. A few months into college, long phone calls with your best friend in another city become rarer and rarer and skype sessions get rescheduled more and more often. Losing touch with childhood friends therefore becomes another problem faced by students in colleges.
8- Washing clothes
Now this may sound trivial but it really isn’t. It is only when we move to college that we begin to appreciate the wonders of having your clothes freshly laundered, ironed and delivered to your room. College means learning to do your own work for yourself because your parents are not there to do it for you. This translates into sorting your socks, organizing your wardrobes and learning how to do your laundry by yourself. With laundry service rates being exorbitant, most students learn how to deal with their dirty clothes themselves. If you have ever come home after a long day of classes and realized that you have no clean underwear for the next day, you will appreciate this point.
7- Finding a balance
College means freedom. A lot of it. It also means a lot of freedom to abuse. From living at home where you had to be in bed by 10.30 and all your activities were monitored by your parents to living in a place where nobody watches over you, it can be very easy to stray. A lot of students therefore go wild in the first few months of college, forgetting to attend classes and spending their nights in the trendiest clubs of the city. While it is of course a good thing to let loose and grow up a little, finding a balance between your study and your party life can be tough. It is so much easier to bunk classes and catch up on your sleep than to write papers. Students therefore have to be wary about how they choose to spend their time in college. All work and no play is bad, but all play and no work can be worse for your grades.
Remember those good old days when you sniffled a little and your mom made you stay back home from school, fed you soup and let you watch television all day? Yeah, fat chance of that happening in college. Being happy in college means you’re happy with all your friends, being sick means you’re sick all alone. You’ll soon realize that you can’t miss classes for every time you sneeze and still make the minimum required attendance quota. You’ll also find that your friends won’t come running to pamper you when you feel sick. Also, a hectic lifestyle and lack of balanced meals will mean that you’ll fall sick more often than you should.
It has been found that quite a few college students are clinically depressed. The increase in the number of students who commit suicide because they can’t deal with the pressure of college is truly frightening. A variety of factors are responsible for the rise in student depression cases, including a heavy workload, relationship troubles, parental expectations, peer pressure and more.
4- Drugs and partying
They say college is the time for experimentation. A lot of college students experiment with alcohol and other drugs in college. Peer pressure is most often responsible for students resorting to try drugs like marijuana which are illegal. They can get in trouble with college authorities or even police if they are caught doing drugs. Underage drinking is another issue that is very common amongst college students. It can lead to suspension or even expulsion from colleges. Students often find it difficult to refuse alcohol or drugs due to peer pressure, making it one of the more serious problems that they encounter in college.
Gone are the happy days of three square meals a day, milk every morning and cookies every evening. College students consider themselves lucky if they even wake up in time for breakfast without being late for morning lectures. The hot nutritious meals of home get replaced by quick bites of junk food in between classes. Grilling schedules and lack of proper food facilities mean that students learn to survive on packaged food and two minute noodles. Lunch is often a granola bar and dinner is Chinese takeaway. College students are therefore known to crib about missing home cooked food and proper meals. Missing out on meals and unhygienic food also means that students become more prone to falling ill.
2- Living with a roommate
Unless you’re really lucky and your parents are paying a bomb for your accommodation, you probably have a roommate. This means your life is probably full of sullen silences, passive aggressive notes and frequent squabbling. Living with another person is never easy. Living with a person you don’t know at all and who probably comes from a very different background can be harder. Adjusting with a roommate can take time and a lot of effort. This is one of the many challenges that students face when they don’t live at home anymore. And on the other hand, living alone can get lonely. I guess it’s a battle with no solution.
1- Being perpetually broke
Ah! A classic. Who amongst us has not cribbed about lack of funds in college. Your budget is always stretched thin, you can’t afford to eat at even the cheap places at times, you can’t buy the clothes you want and you can’t take cabs everywhere. College means surviving on mess food, living on a shoestring budget, street shopping and using public transport. In fact, it is fashionable to be broke in college. Living away from home means managing on a set budget, which can be difficult for the best of us. But college gives you some beautiful memories that are priceless and teaches you how to survive a day with no money in your wallet, so don’t crib too much.