Overcoming challenges to live an independent life


Annie Goodman/The Lion's Roar

When students reach college and begin living independently, they face new challenges and life decisions on academic, social and emotional fronts.

From learning how to calculate GPA, doing taxes, finding time to shop for groceries or consoling a Greek brother or sister, students must find a way to manage these new challenges.

Balancing a full-time schedule of five classes and family stress, Leila Guidry, a freshman nursing major, believes that one of the hardest parts of being a college student is time management.

“I procrastinate a lot,” said Guidry. “I hate that I do that, but I do. So, I guess time management is an issue. I just cramp it all together.”

To help manage living independently, Linda Lentz, a senior advisor in the CSE, advocates for using organizational methods like planners.

“Journals are a wonderful way to help,” expressed Lentz. “I love planners. I highly recommend everyone have a planner because that way they can put everything down and then at a glance see what’s going on.”

Guidry uses a different method for organizing her thoughts and tasks.

“My computer helps a lot because if I’m on paper, I lose everything,” said Guidry. “Just having a filing system where everything is right in front of you helps so much. I mean, binders are good too, but with a computer, I can go to right what I need instead of flipping through pages and searching for it. So, it’s just much easier.”

Mindy Notariano, a senior advisor in the Center for Student Excellence, conducted a survey and found the majority of students who dropped out of college attributed their failure to study habits.

“65 percent of them said that study habits and study skills were the things that contributed to their academic difficulties,” explained Notariano. “52 percent said that they didn’t manage their time well, and 50 percent said that they procrastinated, which really goes hand in hand with time management.”

According to Kandace Formaggio, a senior advisor in the CSE, experiencing failure brings another challenge.

“Some students are not accustomed to having to deal with failure,” stated Formaggio. “If they don’t do well on a first test or miss an assignment, they don’t always know how to bounce back and fix their mistakes. For many students, this is the first time they have to deal with failure or disappointment on their own, and many of them don’t handle it well.”

Guidry recalled the first time she got a disappointing grade on a test.

“It was in psychology,” said Guidry. “I just had anxiety, like I was freaking out, thinking how am I going to bring this up? Am I going to do bad on every test in this class? What does this mean for the future?”

Now when Guidry feels herself getting anxious over a test grade or some other stressor, she knows what to do.

“I go to my best friend,” shared Guidry. “I just rant, like when I’m just freaking out, or I go to my mom. I remember when I took SE 101 last semester, she helped a lot, just calming down and all that, but first, I take it all on myself until I’m at the breaking point.”