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Entering the grown-up life: How hard could student life get?

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If you had asked me two years ago what college life would be like and compared it to what I think now as a student- you will see a big change. When I was in high school I couldn’t wait to go to university and live on my own, without my parents or anyone else controlling me. I thought that my student life would be all about making new friends, partying all the time and only worrying about exams. However, student life turned out to be way different than I expected and after year and a half it still keeps on surprising me.

Every year universities and colleges all around the world welcome their new freshmen. All of these young high school graduates are excited to starting their student lives, however no one prepares them for the rough patches that they could go through. That’s why I want to share with you some problems that every college freshman faces by asking actual university students about their experiences.

First of all, you will have to accept the fact if you move out of your parents’ house you are on your own since they won’t be around all the time to deal with your problems. If you’re hungry, have no clean clothes, your room is a mess- it’s your responsibility from that moment on. In my case, I moved to a totally different country, 1500km away from my parents and didn’t have a choice but to do the housework, manage my finances, shop etc. So, I realized that I no longer was only expected to study and have good grades but also manage a fully functional grown-up life. So I had, and still have, a lot on my mind. All of these responsibilities come to an 18-year-old very suddenly but that’s how rapid the transition from teen to grown-up can be like.

Secondly, do not underestimate the effort that you will have to put to stay up to date with the college work. Lectures, tutorials, assignments, tests, exams- in order to keep up you will have to be prepared every week. Combine this excessively time-consuming process of preparation with all of your other responsibilities and you’ve got yourself stressed out and in need of a break. Especially, during exam sessions, Veselina (20), student in Communication and Media says:

“During exam periods I rarely go outside of my apartment and the only social contacts I have are with my roommates. Because I want to score a good grade I need to put a lot of work and time in studying. And the worst thing is that in most cases I need to prepare for more than two or three exams in a week! After I’m done with them I seriously feel like a weight had lifted off my chest.”

This doesn’t sound as much fun but is a part of every student’s life and you would have to find a way for yourself to deal with it. As I said, the real deal comes when you combine all of your problems and responsibilities together. Victoria (22), student in History and arts shares her own experience:

“I found myself jiggling with all kinds of duties, deadlines and what not. Managing my finances turned out to be harder than I expected it to be since back home I was only responsible for my own pocket money and never had to think about rent, groceries, bills, etc. So the first couple of months I was either spending too much or I was left broke two weeks after the beginning of the month.”

Sarafina (21), who studies fashion, also talks about the financial side of being a student: “I always make sure I pay my taxes and rent on time but sometimes I have a hard time getting through the month and I need to ask my parents for some money to make sure I can survive until my next payment.”

Furthermore, your stress levels can get much higher if you are trying to support yourself by working next to your studies. And that is the case by Sarafina, she is only relying on her student grand and the money that she earns from her part-time job:

“It’s much harder to live on your own, go to school and work at the same time. The main problem that I am constantly facing is time because I have to go to school and do homework but at the same time I have to make the decision if I want to go to work and have extra money so I could afford to go out this month or maybe buy myself something nice.”

All in all, starting your own life and being independent can be great but it also hides many complications and challenges. I’m telling you this to prepare you for what’s coming next in your life since it can be very surprising and unexpected. Soon you will have to switch from being a teen to being an adult with full-time duties and responsibilities. I know it sounds scary and sometimes it really is but it’s a part of the beautiful process of becoming a grown-up. So now is the time to ask your parents and other college students older than you to tell you about their experiences in overcoming these stressful issues in their lives. By doing this you will already have an idea how to cope with similar problems yourself and manage your life as stress-free as possible. After all, this way you will get the most out of college and have the best memories and experiences from your student life!

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