Joining campus or college can be a defining moment for many students. It is a time marked by independence, peer influence and difficult career decisions. Institutional counselors help students adapt to the new environment.
We talked to Lucy Kungu, head of the counseling center at the United States International University-Africa who identified the 5 most common cases university students face.
1. Academic Difficulties
This type of case is very common with students. It is mainly triggered by the kind of lifestyle they choose. You will always have students who abuse the freedom they get at university. Although most students join Uni with good grades, some end up having more fun time than study time. It ultimately becomes a problem when it reaches a point where students fail to balance between their social life and their academics.
2. Adjustment Issues
Depending on the background of the particular student, this is usually experienced through culture shock. When you join campus and realize it’s a totally different culture and environment, you might become disoriented. Perception and self-esteem issues pop up and you start trying too hard to fit in. This leads to one trying to be someone he/she is not, which eventually catches up with you and becomes very hard to live in pretense.
3. Negative Peer Pressure
In university life, learning how to say NO is very important. Peers will always try to change your lifestyle so as to suit them. If you are the polite type, and you always want to please your friends, you are prone to doing stuff that you are not comfortable with at times. This becomes hard for those who have been living an over-shielded life growing up hence becoming difficult for them to have good people management skills.
4. Relationship Issues
Relationship issues mainly include family tensions, love affairs, and general friend relationships. People usually establish their identity through their families, but if they fail to do so, they can even end up detaching themselves with their roots. Other cases include getting too intimate with relations that turn sour. Some students find it difficult to recover from a painful breakup.
5. Dark Past Experiences
When one reflects on their past, it usually affects their future, and there is always fear that it might happen again. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the after effects of stressful circumstances may cause people to withdraw or be aggressive, because they feel that’s the only way they can deal with their fears.