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What is the most difficult part about being a full time student in college?

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I understand that there are a lot of distractions when you're in an environment as large as the college setting, but I want to be prepared for what obstacles I would face as a college student. #college-advice #college #student #student-life #student-affairs #college-student

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Danielle’s Answer

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Embarking on your journey to be a full time student in college can be very intimidating and certainly distracting with all of the activities that will be available for you to choose from. You are in a new environment, learning about your passions, and cultivating new relationships whether it be with other students, coaches or professors. When you first enter the college environment, I found that it was important that I keep an open mind about the various activities I wanted to be a part of. After choosing those activities, it was essential to ensure that I had the time to commit to them fully in order to get the most out of the experience as well as fulfill the various responsibilities that came along with being a part of these groups.


Given the loose class schedule, it was also important for me to add structure to my life, whether it be blocking out time to exercise, study, grab lunch or spend time with friends. A structure will help you be realistic about what you can and cannot commit to and to making sure you are able to tackle your to-do list.


While being in college can be a very exciting time, it is also important to begin thinking about your career aspirations. Establishing relationships with professors can help you build a strategy for landing an internship, learning new skills and boosting your resume. Go out of your way to speak to alumni, and learn more about the job prospects for the classes you enjoy. Having post-college goals will make the experience that much more motivating and ultimately, rewarding.


Lastly, college is a lot of hard work, but is also important to carve out some time to let loose. Go to a concert, plan get togethers with friends. These four years are important to build lasting relationships with people that will go far beyond college. Make sure to find a group of people who will support you.


If you have any questions or want to chat more, feel free to reach out!

Danielle recommends the following next steps:

  • Explore your majors of interests - look at potential minors as well
  • Find a club that you are passionate about
  • Find your study spot
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Kristen’s Answer

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For me, right off the bat, I found it really difficult to adapt to the amount of freedom I had. I went from having a fairly set schedule to classes and work and activities at various hours of the day. (For me, start times ranged from eight am to eleven pm.) And because I'd never had to set my own schedule, I'd often miss a meal here and there because there was always something else to do- be it homework, hanging out with people, or any number of things. I also wouldn't say no to anything. I was so afraid that one no would mean I wouldn't ever be invited to go do something with people again that I always said yes. Want to watch a movie even though I had a test the next day I should study for? Yes. Always yes. So I had to learn to set my own schedule and take a critical look at where I was spending my time and especially learn to say no. Because college is fun and you'll have time on your hands to do whatever it is you really want to do, if you plan.

If you need help with anything, your resident assistant is a good first person to go to. If they can't help you by themselves, they often know where to point you. They really want you to succeed, as do your advisers, and many of your professors. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

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Richard’s Answer

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Getting good grades.

Treat school like a job. Get up early, get to work and when your work is done at the end of the day, you can spend time on social life or organizations.

Go to class. Plan to spend 2-3 hours studying for every hour of lecture. Attend your professor's office hours and any TA review sessions. If there is a test bank, use that as a study tool to understand what your professor wants you to focus on for the test.
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Estelle’s Answer

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The most difficult things:
-Balancing work and play
-Learning to take care of yourself without your parents around to help
-Having the discipline to always go to class and study. Know when you need to ask for help from a TA or tutor.
Good luck!
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Rachel’s Answer

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The most difficult part of being a student can be having the self-discipline to study every day and prepare for tests ahead of time. School should be treated like your job, and if you want to do well, you will need to put in the work.
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Melanie’s Answer

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Hi Seth!

The biggest obstacle that most won't point out is yourself. You may be like,"What, why me?", but it is true. College is a time where young adults gain independence and the ability to pursue their passions; however, this comes with a lot of work and effort. In your first year, everything will seem difficult and motivation can be come lacking. This can lead to self-doubt and questioning your own choices. I have seen this happen often and sometimes, it leads to burn-out. If you learn to manage your time well and pursue what you love regardless of what other's say, you will be in for a great experience. If you can fight instances of self-doubt, laziness, and put hardworking and passion into play, you will do great.
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Marisa’s Answer

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I agree with everyone's feedback so far. It was tough balancing school and having so much freedom. At first you think, no class = free time, but then exams roll around and you realize that you only kinda understand what was going on in class. It's important to stay on top of your school work and learn the material. It's also where you learn how to be a functioning human being -- your good (and bad) roommate stories will shape how you live the rest of your life. Learning how to live and deal with other people isn't easy and it's important to figure out conflict resolution and compromise real fast. Good luck!
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Ari’s Answer

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This is a great question. As a current college student I found that the most difficult thing about being a full time student was creating my own schedule and finding a great balance between class, hanging with friends, homework, clubs and of course SLEEP. I think the biggest thing is finding the right people to spend your time with because that will help promote healthy living habits and fun activities.
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Jacob’s Answer

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Hi, Seth,


That is a great question and a valuable issue to address prior to beginning your college career. College is an intimidating proposition and I think the primary challenges new students face is twofold. First, your schedule is far less structured. Your ability to manage your time wisely will play a significant role in your success. I recommend developing a routine and having the discipline to stick to it. Use your schedule to block off time for studying. Think intentionally about each day - every moment is an opportunity. Find ways to use your time to enhance some aspect of your life. Whether doing so through studying, volunteering, exercising, or meditating, use your time to make your life better.


Second, what you get out of your college experience lies solely on your shoulders. No one will be there to look over your shoulder to influence your behavior. What you choose to do and not to do is entirely up to. My suggestions to ensure you enjoy yourself are:

  • Challenge yourself to have an uncomfortable experience each day. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone. I was a shy person when I started college. Challenging myself to interact with my peers was difficult. A solution to that problem was forcing myself to have some small interaction each day. It could be as simple as smiling at someone I saw routinely in the gym or making small talk with someone in the coffee line each morning. These small, personal interactions made a big difference.
  • Surround yourself with good people. You are a reflection of your collective experiences. The people with whom you interact each day will have a profound impact on who you are. Find people who share your values. That may seem like an intimidating proposition but I have one powerful suggestion to help you accomplish that goal: pursue activities/clubs/extracurriculars that interest you. Whether it's joining the investment club or volunteering giving campus tours, if you join organizations that are involved in things you enjoy, that organization will naturally attract other people with similar interests. Interact with them - I think you will find doing so will help you make lifelong friends.
  • Pursue a major that will enable you to find meaningful employment in different career areas in which you are interested. Thinking that you know what you want to do for the rest of your life as an 18 year old is probably a little unrealistic. I've been in the workforce for five years and still don't know what I want to do long term. Choose a major that interests you but also one that will enable you to be flexible in your career choice. I linked a career guide below. It is long but have the discipline to read the entire thing. Read one section a day and you'll be finished in no time.

I hope this answer helps. Don't hesitate to reach out if you need anything. Good luck!

Jacob recommends the following next steps:

  • https://80000hours.org/career-guide/job-satisfaction/
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