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. 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 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. 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. 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. Many students suffer intense anxiety when faced with an important assignment,
an exam, or writing a paper.
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. 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
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
and cares about your academic success.