Parents on the outside, who have already done college, hardly remember what the big deal is moving from high school to university. Other parents who have never been to university can’t relate either.
Starting college is a huge deal and new students have many, many fears. Some are valid, some are avoidable and some are just a drain of good energy. These are nine of the biggest things college students worry about, but alhumdulillah can work through.
1 – Fear Of All The Newness
If you are now living on campus, this is a huge change and valid discomfort. But even if you are just commuting to school, it’s a lot to adjust to. This part is really going to get better as you learn all the ins and outs of your new school.
It just takes time, so give yourself extra time to do things, like commute to school, communicate with teachers via email and so on. Familiarize yourself with the school’s resources and use them, that’s what they are there for – for you.
2 – College Expenses & Debt
Even if you go to a free school, there are plenty of expenses that come along with going to college. This is inevitable.
If you don’t already, learn how to budget now. Use an app, get a yearly planner – by any means necessary, now is the time to really understand how to work with what you have and keep your debt to a minimum.
Again, use all the resources available to you, including applying for scholarships – there are a lot out there – and let extended family know that you appreciate any help in this area. A little extra Eid change always helps.
3 – How To Do It All?!
Oh the things you will learn in college… School assignments, community service, extra-curricular activities, preparing for exams, increasing worship, spending quality time with friends and family, and working on a part-time basis – you want it all, so be sure to learn to manage your time.
Start by identifying your musts versus your wants, you must get your assignments done so schedule time for that and you want to have fun, so see where best there is time for that. You can learn to do this too.
4 – Friends
Not Having Any or Having Bad Ones
Either way, you worry. And it’s a good thing to worry about your companions because you know the wrong crowd will not help you succeed in this life or the next. Check if your school has a Muslim Students Association and join it!
Stay in regular touch with the good friends you already have, don’t take them for granted. And don’t give too much time to new people. No worries, the hearts are already attached and you will find your good friends when the time is right.
5 – Relationships
Not Having Any or Having Bad Ones
This is an even tougher one. You don’t want haram relationships, you just don’t, so don’t participate in them! You are busy enough. Time for that is coming, if you focus on yourself right now, then your family life will be even better when you are ready for it.
6/7 – Choosing The Wrong Major – Or The Wrong College
About 80 percent of college students change their major at least once, so says the National Center for Education Statistics. You probably WILL change your major, so again, no worries, it will just bring you closer to realizing your dreams and aligning yourself with your fitra.
Around 25 percent of students transfer colleges, so maybe that will be you too! This is one of the many beauties of being young, you really do have time to adjust things and you know what, you may change careers later in life too. Enjoy taking in so many new things right now.
8 – Disappointing Family
For many Muslim youth, their family made great sacrifices to be able to offer their children better lives. Of course you are going to worry about disappointing your family. This isn’t something you can control .
Just do your best and feel your best knowing you did! We know, that’s not as easy as it sounds, but take comfort in knowing a lot of people share your struggle, yeah?
9 – Fear of Not Succeeding
iGen or Gen Z take improving the world very seriously. While some are mostly concerned about financial and worldly success, many are very concerned about making an impact on the world. They worry about not being able to do so.
Allah wants greatness for you, but you may not understand that greatness comes in many packages. Again, just do your best. Y
our seemingly failures truly are learning experiences that you can move forward and do greater things with. If you are worrying, then you are already great – don’t let the worrying part consume your greatness energy.
Please don’t be lonely with all your fears, when actually everyone around you are having their own worries. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to open up to others.
Communicating your worries and listening to others express theirs is a great step forward to letting go of them and get on track to doing your life. Here are answers to 20 other students’ struggles.
First published: October 2019