Why is College Hard?

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Senioritis: A deep-rooted illness that afflicts many senior year high school students after college acceptance letters have been mailed out and generally lasting until the eve of a student’s first day of college. Merriam Webster defines the term as an “ebbing of motivation and effort by school seniors as evidenced by tardiness, absences, and lower grades.” College freshman are often hit with a major reality check while transitioning from the ease of high school to the various complex challenges that college has to offer. So what exactly makes college that much harder? What makes college different than the revered glory days of high school?

A major reason college is said to be harder than high school is the fact that students are forced to be responsible, whether they want to or not. Taking care of oneself comes as quite a culture shock for many, since the typical student is not accustomed to looking after every aspect of his or her life. From more common tasks, such as doing laundry, to meeting specific deadlines, responsibility is a trait that many college students need to take time to develop. One potential solution to develop the skill of responsibility is to find and maintain a strong group of friends. That way, whenever one finds oneself in trouble, there will always be help and advice to get one through even the most difficult situations that college has to offer.

Despite the standard list freshman receive from others about the difficult aspects of college, the key word is balance. Finding that balance in college, after it being handed to you for 18 years, is by far what makes attending college a unique challenge. Not only do students have to worry about taking care of themselves, they have to find out how much social time is too much, how much studying is enough, how much cleanliness matters, and how important finding the right friends can be. When one section of the pie chart of college life is askew, the whole system can come crashing down – quite a stressful thought. While the aspect of balancing life can seem easier as the years go on, other points of stress can make college difficult as well.

As the days pass and we move through college in blissful ignorance, the reality of the matter is that college is only a long course on succeeding in the real world. This is where research and internships and jobs come into play and students are expected to juggle even more. Again, the word balance comes into key, as does decision making. This flood of responsibility is often much more than many young adults are used to, especially freshman who have had many things handed to them all their lives. Many are eager to try and do everything, which can affect students down the road in terms of time management and stress. However, college is not just an overwhelming amount of work and responsibilities; friends, passions, and adventures all make college a truly enjoyable experience. The key is finding where you fit and how much you can give and take from college.

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