There are lots of challenges when young people enter college. They can have a hard time adjusting to the lifestyle within universities. Their coursework may seem unintelligible to them. Their peers may not readily accept them into their social circles. Not to mention the huge financial obligations associated with going to college. With all these concerns, it’s no wonder experts have cited that at least 80 percent of all college students are constantly exposed to very high levels of stress.
Continual exposure to high stress is not good for the mind or the body. It can lead to serious physical conditions that could damage their health and mental disorders that require extensive therapy to manage. But as the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Before your child is done with their high school curriculum, you should already be aware of the types of problems most commonly associated with stress in college.
Learning about these events can help you educate your child on how to stave off the worst of these stressful experiences. This also prepares them for the much bigger challenges they might encounter before and after they land humanities and social sciences strand jobs, ICT strand jobs, or other types of jobs.
Most college students don’t attend an academic institution close to their homes. Some only travel a few miles away from home, but many go to schools on the other side of the state, if not across the country. Being surrounded by strangers and unfamiliar locations can be overwhelming to your kids, and they can feel out of place. They may start missing home and performing badly because they don’t feel comfortable in their new surroundings.
If your child is frequently afflicted by homesickness, you can contact them more often over the phone. Video chats can make them feel like they’re back at home or in familiar areas. Or you can try to arrange more visits from them over the semester so that they can return home and recharge more frequently. Finally, you can find universities closer to home so that they don’t have to be in completely alien areas.
2. Too Many Tasks
College students have a lot of responsibilities, more than what most high schoolers are prepared for in many instances. For example, a freshman has to acclimatize to their university, learn everything their coursework requires them to study, foster social connections and fend for themselves all at the same time. When there are too many tasks to juggle, they will inevitably drop some balls and soon feel stressed by everything they have to do. The stress will only add to their load, and soon they may face physical, mental, and academic repercussions.
There is no one solution to tackling too many tasks. The only way to do so is to teach your kids effective time management and task management skills. For example, you can tell them to tackle the hardest tasks first and get them out of the way as soon as possible. This means they still have the energy to tackle the rest of their tasks. Or you can also tell them to block their hours, dividing them into 10- or 15-minute portions. Each slice of the hour should be devoted to a single task so that they can focus on these chores and get as many things done as they can. These management skills can help keep their schedules clear and their minds free of stress.
3. Roommate Issues
Unless you are pretty well-off or you have relatives living near the college campus, your child will have to stay in dorms or apartments with roommates. These living arrangements can help reduce rent, help maintain the apartment and provide a social circle for your child. But sometimes roommates can be the source of conflict rather than offer solutions. One of your child’s roommates can have an abrasive personality or be very disorganized. They can be very loud and distract your child from their studies. Or their personalities may not just mesh well together. Roommate issues just add another load on your child’s already full plate.
Roommate issues most often tend to be personal problems, and there is little a parent can do from so far away. But if you’re child is having difficulties with their living arrangements, you can encourage them to have orderly discussions with their roommates to offer solutions instead of direct confrontations. If push comes to shove and your child can’t stand to live in the place anymore, you can always look for alternative places for them so that they can focus their energies on their studies rather than petty fights with roommates.
College can be very stressful, and that’s just part of the experience sometimes. But too much stress is more detrimental than not, and your child will begin to suffer the consequences. Offering these pieces of advice will help keep your child happy and focused on their tasks.