It is always a thrill getting that acceptance letter of admission to the University of your choice. This is because since childhood you have been told by parents about the importance of education and going to university. And in some cases, parents tell you that you will earn your freedom as soon as you step in the university. I have come to learn that despite all the knowledge freely given to you by our parents and other role models, you can never be well prepared for the challenges you face during your stay at the university. I will highlight a few challenges you may face at the university and how to overcome them as seen below;
At the university you will discover from the first day that you are your own boss. It is up you to set aside time for reading and doing your course work. The lecturers at the university are not the spoon feeding type as is the case with teachers in the secondary school. Most times you will not follow what the lecturers are talking about. They simply highlight issues and follow it with a long list of reference books for your further reading in the course of doing the course work. There are some students who fail to follow at all even after reading the reference books. These students continue facing academic problems especially if they decide to keep quiet about their problems. My advice is to discuss the challenges you are facing with the lecturers of the course units which are giving you trouble. You can also approach fellow students whom you think have understood the topic under consideration.
Management of finances
This is may be your first time to spend money without close guidance from your parents. As a student, you will surely face problems with managing of your finances. You will soon discover the money given to you is just enough to cover your basics and may not be enough for activities like eating out daily, going to cinemas, night clubs, shopping and clothing among others. The finances tend to run out after a short period of time due to misuse of finances. The best way to address this challenge is to make a budget and live below your budget in order to spend the finances more reasonably and at the same time develop the culture of saving.
Most parents can hardly afford to keep students at university. The fees and maintenance expenses are quite high. This puts additional pressure on the affected students to keep in touch with their parents for fees and maintenance money. This challenge however can be solved by students applying for student loans at their respective universities as bridge finance. As a student, you should also look for a job to earn some money that will be enough for you pay back the student’s loan. It does not matter the amount you are paid because any amount is better than nothing and you should be prepared to do odd jobs like working in the restaurant as a waiter.
Decent, accessible and reasonable hostel accommodation is quite difficult to come across as most students are looking for places that are safe and near the university. A number of students are unlucky in a way that they end up staying in accommodation which is not near the university. This increases the cost of transportation to and from the university to deal with on a daily basis. This challenge however can be solved by booking for the accommodations early in order to find nice accommodation facilities near the campus.
Challenges of freedom
Adapting to a new lifestyle can also be challenging because a lot of students are used to the full care by their parents. There are challenges of new and independent environment and also difficulty in getting the right new friends. You may also miss home a lot especially when problems come in. These challenges however can be overcome by abiding to advice given to you by your parents and counsellors at the university. Take time in making new friends as you may end up with wrong characters. Get involved in activities like clubs which keep you busy all the time because the challenges tend to be bigger when you are idle most of the time.
Finding a right friend with whom you can plan long term relationship is quite a challenge as most of them want fun and no long term plans. There is a challenge of knowing the background of the person you want to create relationship with. It is advisable to take your time in this area. Do not rush into new relationship as soon as you get to campus .Seek advice from your parents and other relatives you are comfortable with for advice of how to go about it. It is also advisable to seek advice from people whom you think have gone through similar challenges.
Another challenge faced by university students is poor time management. Due to their busy lifestyles, students often find it hard to find a good balance between their studies, social life and in some cases working life. The solution to this challenge is learning to plan on how to spend your time. All daily activities have to fit in the 24 hours you have available on a daily basis.
Despite all these challenges experienced at university, students have to learn the value of independence, friendship and also the importance of education as they walk in the journey of life. After all do not forget “The key to life is accepting challenges. Once someone stops doing this, he’s dead. “ Bette Davis.