Being a student is stressful…and not just for one reason! While students’ fears regarding the college essay are over, a whole new crop of fears appears once students arrive on campus. There are many aspects that go into creating stress. Students’ fears are far ranging, and can vary between students. And students’ fears go beyond just getting good marks. While earning good marks may be at the top of students’ fears while they are attending a college or university, as college comes to a close, graduation, getting a job, finding an apartment, and wasting time often top the list. And while other items may also be stressors, these five items exist as the main stressors in a student’s life. Let’s take a look at why these aspects exist as fears, and what students can do about them.
Getting Good Marks
Today’s job market is extremely competitive; that’s why it’s crucial to get good marks in every class. And it isn’t just about doing well in class anymore; it’s also about personality and work ethic. Professors make excellent references on resumes and job applications…but no professor will feel comfortable writing a recommendation or serving as a reference if you didn’t earn good marks in his or her class. Therefore, it’s essential to earn good marks in every class you take. Students’ fears often focus on failing a class, but earning an A or B but failing to engage or often showing up late, can be just as harmful to your future prospects. So how can students’ fears about getting good marks be alleviated? Good question!
Here are some tips:
- Show up on-time, every time.
- Be prepared: do the homework, take notes, and know the material.
- Participate in class.
- Ask questions if you don’t understand.
- Participate in study groups.
- Avoid procrastination and turn papers in on the due date.
- Visit the professor during office hours for clarification or help when needed.
Students’ fears concerning graduation encompass many aspects of this time-honored academic tradition. Graduation marks the end of your academic career and the beginning of your professional one. Some students’ fears about graduation revolve around financial obligations; many colleges and universities do not allow students to graduate with any financial obligations. And graduation itself can be expensive: you’ll need to purchase a gown, mortarboard, tassels, and another regalia as necessary. Leaving college can be a stressful experience for many students. Students’ fears often include losing touch with friends, finding a job, finding a place to live, and generally starting life on their own. While some students’ families may allow them to move back home, other students find themselves completely on their own.
Regardless of what category you find yourself in, here are a few ways students’ fears about graduation can be lessened:
- Put money aside for any financial obligations.
- Save for the cap and gown expenses early.
- Be sure to update your social contacts to stay in touch with friends.
- Begin applying to jobs mid-senior year.
- Discuss post-college plans with friends to potentially find a roommate.
- Brainstorm an overall post-graduate plan.
- Speak with parents and family members about the plan.
Finding a Job
Many students’ fears regarding the job search focus on getting a job, but finding a job is a very complicated process. Not only does a student have to find an open job, but he or she needs to craft a professional, relevant resume, ace the interview, provide stellar references, and generally make an amazing first impression. So how can students’ fears about finding a job be allayed? Through a variety of tried and true tactics, of course!
Here are a few great ways to find a job to reduce students’ fears regarding this essential life process:
- Create a professional LinkedIn account.
- Create a network of friends and family to aid in your job search.
- Avoid wasting time and start early — begin mailing resumes mid-senior year.
- Attend networking events in your area of interest.
- Attend alumni events at your college to extend your professional network.
- Practice interviewing; hold mock interviews with friends and family.
- Consider hiring a resume writing service to perfect your resume.
- Contact and make sure you have up-to-date information for references.
- Boost your confidence through practice.
Finding an Apartment
Finding an apartment may be hard — especially if you’re waiting for a job. Many students’ fears regarding finding an apartment revolve around two key issues: finding an affordable apartment and finding an apartment in a safe neighborhood. To help combat students’ fears on both counts, here are two key pieces of advice. First: start saving early. Find a part-time job and put away money for two month’s worth of rent. Most apartments require two months: first month’s rent and a security deposit equal to another month’s rent. If you can’t get a part-time job, ask if you can stay with family and save the money before finding an apartment. Second, do your research on neighborhoods before renting anywhere. Look at public crime reports and visit the neighborhoods you’re interested in at different times during the day to see if you feel safe.
Students’ fears often concern the issue of wasting time.
Here’s the truth: there is only a finite amount of time to complete everything you need to do prior to graduation. Wasting time makes students’ fears increase and eventually leads to panic. Instead, take a breath and use your time wisely. Sit down with a calendar at the beginning of your senior year and map out what you need to do and set reasonable deadlines. Begin drafting your resume and asking professors for recommendation letters. Research companies you’re interested in working for and locations where you could live. Just take it step by step and the process of leaving academia and entering the professional world won’t seem nearly as daunting!
Transitioning from college life to professional life can indeed be a process fraught with stressors. However, beginning early and planning can alleviate many of these stressors. Many students’ fears result in a sense of being overwhelmed; too many responsibilities and deadlines come crashing down. Stop the avalanche by breaking the mountain into sections and tackling each on its own!