Have you ever had personal problems negatively affect your academic performance? Have you ever felt overwhelmed or in over your head, like you were treading water, unable to get where you wanted to go? If only you had an opportunity to pause, take a deep breath, and start again... Your community college counseling staff can offer you support if you find yourself struggling with schoolwork. In fact, you're not as alone as you might think. Chances are that many of your peers struggle with similar challenges. There are many different things that could get in the way of your academic success,
and they may not have anything to do with your ability to understand course materials or the amount of time you spend on assignments. Take a look at some of the common personal/social and academic challenges you may encounter, by selecting each of these ten icons, starting with number one.
Life Roles
Life Roles. Many college students find it difficult to deal with the stress of being a college student while juggling many other life responsibilities: family, jobs, or other parts of your life that require their time, focus, and energy.
Alcohol/Drug Use
Alcohol and Drug Use. You may have to deal with issues concerning alcohol and/or drug use. Whether it is your own use or the use of family or friends, this is a common challenge that adversely affects the performance of many college students.
Relationships, romantic or otherwise, can interfere with your focus on your schoolwork.
Cultural Conflicts
Cultural Conflicts. Some students face cultural challenges as a result of their decision to pursue a college education. For instance, if you're the first person in your family to attend college, your family might be unaware of the pressures you face and responsibilities you've taken on as a college student.
Mental Health Issues
Mental Health Issues. During your time as a student, you might experience a traumatic event that profoundly affects you. This may include the loss of a loved one, a serious injury, or the experience of sexual violence. It could also include depression, anxiety, eating disorders, or the stress of dealing with a physical disability.
Imposter Syndrome
Imposter Syndrome. Sometimes students lack self-esteem when it comes to their schoolwork or their intelligence. "Imposter Syndrome" refers to the feeling that you don't belong in a particular school or class because you're not "smart" enough– that you're an "imposter" among students who really do belong there. This worry can interfere with your success as a student.
Test Anxiety
Test Anxiety. Many students suffer intense anxiety when faced with an important assignment, an exam, or writing a paper.
Poor Habits
Poor Habits. You may come to college with a variety of self-defeating habits such as procrastination or poor study and organization skills.
Too Much Independence Too Soon
Too Much Independence Too Soon. Perhaps in your previous school environment, teachers reminded you frequently about when assignments were due, or made all of their expectations very clear. In your new college, teachers may not remind you about when you need to complete your assignments. This could be a difficult transition for you.
Long Absence
Long Absence. If it's been a while since you've last been in a school environment, whether you've been working, serving in the Armed Forces, or taking time off for another reason, you might find it difficult to transition into your new environment. Finding help may make all the difference in your success. Community colleges have personal counselors to help you work through these issues so you can become a more successful student.
Congratulations! Now that you have become familiar with some of the more common issues that students face in the community college environment, you know that you can turn to the counseling department if you find yourself struggling with the problems we've talked about here, as well as any others that you may face during your time as a student. Keep in mind that counseling sessions at a community college should not be confused with long-term therapy. You will work with a counselor on a short-term basis, and once you and your counselor have identified what is getting in the way of your academic goals, you can set clear goals about how to overcome these barriers. In many cases, the goal of talking to a personal counselor is to help you understand your situation and refocus your attention on academic achievement with someone who is objective, professionally trained, and cares about your academic success.


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