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Home Centennial College Blog 2018 August 31 The top four challenges faced by a new student

The top four challenges faced by a new student

Photo of students at the Library

When I was a new college student, I did my best to prepare for the life changes that come from post-secondary education. Still, there were things that took me by surprise, which I had to adapt to. It’s almost time for Centennial College’s fall semester to begin, and if you’re new to college, you might be trying to prepare yourself, too. From one former Centennial College student to a current one, here’s what you’ll need to be ready to face in those first few weeks of college.

How you’re handling your financial freedom

College is the perfect time to begin figuring out your finances, especially if you’re coming out of high school, since you’re young enough that you can bounce back if your experiments don’t go well. If you haven’t already, you should look into getting a credit card to go with your bank account. I remember not wanting to get one, thinking it would lead to bad habits, when really, it’s a good time to start developing good financial habits. If you’re not careful, though, you could wind up spending more than you thought you would, or running out of your OSAP. So, how can you avoid this? Budget, budget, budget. Know how much money you’re making, and track how much you’re spending.

How you’re managing your time

How you’re handling your free time in general is another thing you’ll have to think about. Here’s a truth about your leisure time in college: You’re not going to have the time for every relaxing activity you do right now. For example, if watching stuff is your thing, and you go to every movie, play tons of video games, read a lot of books, and regularly marathon TV shows, you’re going to have to accept that, for now, you’re not going to have time for some of them. Not all of them, just some. As you find yourself more pressed for time, you’re going to have to decide what you’re keeping, and what you’re putting down. You’ll still have time off, you just need to be more careful with rationing it.

Making sure your health doesn’t change for the worse

A healthy mind requires a healthy body, and if you don’t take care of yourself, you might find yourself in decline. You could be sleeping at odd hours, eating at odd times, not getting any physical activity, and changing your lifestyle in other ways. For example, this could come in the form of buying more food at school than intended, eating unhealthily and gaining the “freshman 15.” Basically, stop assuming you’ll always be healthy, and be sure to take care of yourself, even if that just means running on our treadmills at the Athletic and Wellness Centre a couple times a week. Pay attention to your sleep schedule, too. Between classes that happen at odd times, more homework and more responsibilities, you can burn yourself out if you're not careful, and coffee isn't always the solution.  Some nights, you'll just need to flop into bed at 10:30 PM, so you can make an early class the next morning.

How you adapt to unexpected issues

It’s a fact of life that the best-laid plans can go sideways. Really, though, the most important thing you can do is learn to roll with things. Unexpected issues aren't going to just come up in college. They'll be a part of life as well. Learning to deal with things as they come is an important life skill, one that you can develop in college, and one that will be with you throughout your career

By Anthony Geremia