10 College Roadblocks Sure to Knock You Off Track
College roadblocks are plentiful. Unfortunately, you can’t be ready for all of them by the time you first arrive on campus. But it’s possible to learn quickly. And learn quickly you must if you hope to avoid the repercussions.
In the following article, we’ll be giving you the top things you’re going to have to avoid if you want to make the most of your college time. Without further ado, let’s get started.
1. Major Confusion
We don’t mean Major as an adjective here. We mean it as what you plan to do with your life beyond college. Many students show up with little idea of what to study and more of an idea of how they plan to spend their weekends. This is the exact opposite of how it should be.
Not knowing your major ahead of time will lead to delays in getting started. It could mean a few changes to your major. It could mean six or eight years to get your four-year degree. That’s how student loans skyrocket and how you end up settling for a major with poor job prospects.
2. Too Much Partying
In high school, you’ve ususally got someone browbeating you to be home by a certain time. You can’t decide on the major life decisions for yourself because, legally, those decisions are not yours to make. Going to college frees you of these inhibitions. Unfortunately, it also leads to getting drunk on freedom (and perhaps literally).
When you have too much freedom too soon, you tend to act out and make poor short-term decisions that can potentially have life-altering outcomes. Before you succumb to week after week of parties, try to think through some of the scenarios sensibly and place yourself in a position to succeed.
3. Failing to Prioritize
Admittedly, it can be hard to prioritize when you get to college. You have so many classes and assignments coming at you. Then you’ve got the social life aspects, the peer pressure, the desire to do things that feed your soul and no one else’s.
You must learn to set priorities if you want to make room for everything. Never having had your feet held to that fire can make it a challenging task, but if you psyche yourself up and go for it, you’ll be surprised by what you’re capable of accomplishing.
4. Neglecting Sleep
Sleep is something you may feel like you prioritize well enough, but if you’re pulling all-nighters or priding yourself on how little sleep you’re getting from night to morning, then you’re probably not getting enough of it. Not getting enough sleep means waking up groggy. Waking up groggy means bad decisions, oversights, and crankiness.
If you want to give your studies and relationships their best chance to succeed, then you have to rest the body and the mind. Do it regularly. Hit your REM sleep cycles and get enough so that you don’t awake feeling like you need a couple more hours.
5. Studying Like You Did in High School
Who knows, maybe you did study well in high school. Most of us didn’t, though. If we found out we were above the average intelligence, we did just enough to get by. Free time, sleep, partying. That’s what we loved to do, and excelling beyond average just took too much time away from all that.
In college, the work is more challenging. More things are riding on your success. You have to start making clear-cut study plans and strategies. And if you are not upholding those things, then you’re left in a place of intellectual vulnerability that will take its toll on your end-of-term grades and your end-of-college possibilities.
6. Letting Friends Distract You
Not all your friends will be at college for the same reasons that you are. They will want to hang out, have fun, ditch class. Those can all be more alluring than the alternatives of responsible living, but they will ultimately hurt you.
It’s up to you to let friends know where your boundaries are, or to even have boundaries in the first place. Learn to say NO to things, and you will become the master of your own time. As for friends, they’ll still like you. They might even respect you more.
7. Letting Relationships Distract You
For many, their first serious relationships come in college. Some even meet their future spouses there. Whether it lasts or doesn’t, that’s an important step, and it can easily be one that takes away from your studies and gets you on a path of growing into adulthood before you’re actually ready.
Manage your relationships during this time by doing a couple of things. Date many different people. Experiment with the ones who are the best at respecting your boundaries. Reject the rest.
8. Poor Financial Planning
Poor financial planning is what causes your debts to spiral out of control. It sets you to thinking that you’re getting nowhere so you might as well cut your losses, even though you’re no more marketable than the day you enrolled.
Be very careful about how you go about funding college. Follow some basic rules. Don’t go out-of-state for undergraduate work. Apply for student aid at the federal and state levels. Apply for any scholarship you can find that you would be remotely eligible for. Never run up six figures of student loan debt on a major that doesn’t have six-figure salaries waiting for you on the other side.
9. Taking the Easy Way Out
A four-year degree easily achieved is about as ho-hum as not graduating at all or having only a high school diploma if the major you earned is without job possibilities. Don’t think all you need is “out,” easy or otherwise. College is about so much more than that, and you need to spend all your time making the most of it.
10. Giving Up Too Soon
Just like an easy path isn’t worth your time, giving up too soon is not the answer either. Don’t be afraid if your classes are too much of a struggle. You will grow into them. If you don’t, re-evaluate your major. Try to stay close to the path you’ve chosen while refocusing on another aspect. Never give up. Keep moving forward until you find the path that works for you.
Don’t Let These College Roadblocks Upend Your Dreams
College roadblocks are part of the journey. They don’t have to stop you dead in your tracks, though. As long as you are aware of their presence, you can avoid them or rebound from their setbacks. Good luck as you move ahead, and if you have any you’d like to add to the list, just do so in the comments section below.
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