The (Not So) Little Things

on October 14th, 2013 in Roommates, Every Day Tips, Surviving College

I’m not really one for mincing words, so I’ll just say it. There are tons of elements in college that can stress you out. There are certain times — midterms, for instance — that all of it can seem downright overwhelming. But never fear! Here’s an overview of the big stressors in college and tips for how you can combat them:


    1. The Roommate Situation: Living with someone else is always a challenge, whether that person is your significant other, your best friend or a complete stranger. You might be a neat freak and the other person is a slob. You might go to bed early, while she sleeps all day. The list goes on. The best way to handle this situation is to outline some ground rules on the first day. If things don’t go well, talk to your roommate about the problems without getting angry. The key here is mutual respect and honesty.

    2. The Workload: There is no way around it. College is constant work. It might be papers; it might be tests; it might be projects. But you will have a lot of it. But here’s the secret: the work is doable. If you couldn’t handle the level of work, the college would not have accepted you. You just need to manage your time and your priorities. If you keep up with it all, there is no doubt you will be fine with college-level work.

    3. The Professors: Every college professor thinks his or her class is the most important and only one on your schedule. That’s a general rule of thumb you should keep in your mind. These teachers will assign stuff left and right and will not hesitate to make you attend extra events. Since they are experts in their fields, they will also expect you to be. The best way to handle this is to be honest from the beginning. If you connect with your professors, they will be more likely to respect you and listen to you. That will definitely help when you are requesting a paper extension at the last minute.

    4. The Tuition: It will increase. Every year. Your scholarships and work study will not. So you need a financial plan. Whether that is loans, working part-time or asking the family for help, you need to get this in order from the beginning. Do not forget about your finances and tuition bills after your first year. Reminder: Make sure to pay your bill on time every semester. If you don’t the college will not hesitate to drop you from your classes.



These are the big things that every college student will encounter. When all of these factors interfere with your life at once, it can feel like pandemonium. But if you know how to handle each situation, you can and will have a successful experience in higher education.

Written by Rachel Montpelier. Rachel is a senior at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y. and is the editorial assistant at NextStepU.

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