Some of the most challenging problems you will encounter in a college like Independence University occur outside the classroom. You already know you must decide when to study and get to classes on time. You also have to find time to shop, do laundry, exercise, fix meals, and take care of yourself. These tasks have been there all of your life, but your parents handled many of them for you. Now you have the freedom that goes with being an adult, and it’s up to you to deal with the responsibilities that come with that freedom.
Paying for School Supplies and Textbooks
Textbooks and supplies are a big outlay for college students. The average course will set you back $67 just for books. The money must come out of your financial aid or income. There are several ways to lessen the cost. You can often buy used textbooks and resell them after you finish the course. Sometimes you can rent books or share with another student. It’s worthwhile to check the school library. You have to be quick about using this tactic, though. Other students will have the same idea.
Maintaining Your Focus
Keeping a clear mental focus when you are studying or attending class is an absolute necessity. Lack of sleep, poor diet, stress and poor organizational skills make focusing your attention difficult. Make it a habit to take a short break each day to breathe deeply, clear your mind and put your attention where it needs to be. You don’t have to formally practice meditation techniques, although this is an excellent method of keeping your mental focus.
Balancing your class schedule, study time and all the daily activities that need to happen if you are to function effectively is a big challenge in college. If something slips through the cracks, you’ll discover the unpleasant truth that there is a domino effect that makes getting everything done more difficult. The keys to managing time are self-discipline and cultivating good habits. If you need help with time management techniques, check around. Virtually all colleges offer students resources and seminars on time management.
Most college students don’t take the time to fix meals that are healthy and nutritious. It’s okay to go out with friends for a pizza sometimes, but consistently poor eating habits drain your energy and make you vulnerable to illness. Follow the guidelines in the famous “food pyramid” when you shop and cook. When you eat at school, choose lean meats like baked chicken or fish. The salad bar is your friend, not soft drinks and the dessert bar.
Staying healthy in college is harder than it may seem. You must set aside time for exercise, relaxing and above all sleeping. If you don’t, your grades will suffer due to fatigue and stress. You need eight hours of sleep each night and at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise. You don’t have to run marathons. A brisk 30-minute walk five days a week will keep you in decent physical shape.
Roommates can be a problem, especially in your freshman year when you may be assigned to live with a complete stranger. There will be friction, and you must learn to discuss your concerns and make compromises. There may be more serious problems, such as a roommate who is extremely messy or doesn’t always lock the door. Try to work these problems out on your own. However, if you need help from someone in campus housing, don’t hesitate to ask for it.
Don’t be intimidated by the problems you encounter in college. The reason every college student must deal with them is that this is what the real world is like, and you will be faced with them in some form all of your life. After a while, you will master them. When you do, these issues will remain, but they will no longer be problems.