Updated September 8, 2022 • 3 Min Read

& Expert Advice on How to Avoid Them


Students Say…

47% of students who left college before graduating said they spent too much time socializing and not enough time studying during their time in college.

36% said they had a hard time writing college papers. Source: Public Agenda

“Procrastination is the bane of all writing, and too often composition students are under the impression that everything they produce on the page must be solid gold on its first attempt. This is so completely wrong that I believe it may require a course of its own.”


Christopher J. Irving is a faculty instructor in English & humanities at Beacon College

Falling into Alcohol & Drug Abuse

Students Say…

43.9% of students report binge drinking within the 2 weeks previous to taking the survey.

32.2% reported some form of public misconduct (DUI, trouble with law enforcement, fighting) at least once in the past year as a result of drinking or drug use.

21.8% reported serious problems (suicidality, being injured, sexual assault, difficulty discontinuing alcohol or drug use) as a result of drinking or drug use. Source: SIU Core Institute

"Whether you are in sobriety, currently struggling with substance abuse or just a typical college student, you are who you associate with. If you hang around people who are abusing drugs, your chances of participating in the same behavior go up. On the other hand, if you associate with people who are doing the right thing, you tend to join them. If you choose your friends wisely, you can become a part of the solution instead of a part of the problem."


Parker Horveath is currently the Digital Marketing Coordinator at Ambrosia Treatment Center in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. His pragmatic yet introspective take on substance abuse recovery bridges the gap between science and firsthand experience. Professionally he aims to reach the struggling and the recovering addict through his writing and communication skills.

Miss-managing Independence

Students Say…

29% of students who left college before graduating said they were not used to having so much freedom.

38% said they didn't like sitting in class. Source: Public Agenda

"Go to class. I know that one of the best things about college is the total autonomy that it offers. No one takes attendance in lecture so why go, right? Wrong. GO TO THAT CLASS. Go to all of your classes. Yes, you have total control over yourself and your schedule – you're an adult, after all – but the more structure you give yourself from the start, the more successful you'll be."


Lauren Herskovic has been guiding students through the college transition since she herded her hallmates to a weird party their first night on campus. Upon graduating, she went pro, first as the Editor in Chief of CollegeCandy.com, an online magazine for college women, and now as the Chief Operating Officer at  Admissionado , an admissions consulting and mentoring company based in Chicago.

Homesickness & Loneliness

Students Say…

Approximately 66% of students reporting high levels of distress homesickness returned for their second academic year,

compared to 82% of students reporting low levels of distress homesickness. Source: Skyfactor Mapworks, 2017

"Make an appointment at the campus counseling center to help with the transition. Attend residence life hall meetings to stay current and meet other students in your building. Attend campus events. Not only is there often free food, but it's an opportunity to network and make friends outside of class or student housing. Attend all of your classes in order to build relationships with your classmates and professors. Check into campus student employment — an on-campus job is a great way to meet more people and earn extra cash."


Jim McGee is director for wellness at Clarion University's Center for Wellness.

Financial Difficulties

Students Say…

71% of students who left college before earning their degree said they left because they needed to work and earn a living.

52% said they couldn't afford tuition and fees. Source: Public Agenda

"It's common and to get off track. The most common culprit isn't reckless spending; it's facing a large, unexpected expense such as car repairs or a medical emergency. Don't let a financial mishap ruin your budget. If you've gotten off track, consider putting your credit and debit cards away, and go back to using cash. Give yourself a certain amount of cash per day to spend and don't touch the rest."


Tyler Boling is a financial adviser with Reed Financial Planning Services in Glastonbury, Connecticut. He holds the Accredited Asset Management Specialist designation from the College for Financial Planning, and advises young people in the community, including through the Bristol Eastern High School Annual Business Plan Competition.

Neglecting Health &
Stress Management

Students Say…

26.2% college students in one study suffered from frequent headaches,

56.3 percent suffered from fatigue or low energy, and

17.7% experienced long-term health problems. Source: BMC Public Health, NIH

"Transcendental meditation is a very natural process of diving deep down into oneself that allows us to feel that unified field wherein all laws of nature coexist. If one can experience that particular unified field, one can express their potential fully. If you look into modern education, most students suffer from stress. By de-stressing, we can make the whole experience of learning more joyful, and we learn things in a much more joyful and blissful state of mind. "


Dr. Appachanda Thimmaiah is a senior faculty member at the Department of Sustainable Living of Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa where he teaches courses in organic farming, biodynamic agriculture and Vedic organic agriculture. He is also preparing to teach a professional program on regenerative organic agriculture at MUM.

Not Getting Help for
Mental Health Struggles

Students Say…

13.9% of students who said they were frequently depressed reported coming to class late on a frequent basis, while 5.5% of students who report not being depressed at all said they missed class frequently.

14.1% of frequently depressed students reported falling asleep in class, while 4.4% of students who reported no depression fell asleep in class. Source: CIRP at the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA

Parents can work with their child's chosen school to find a qualified therapist even before the student sets foot on campus. Lots of therapists are accessible via video chat, so students can have a few video sessions to determine that it is a good match if the school isn't close to home. This will save the child a lot of stress of having to find a therapist on their own, while also adjusting to all the other changes brought about by college.


T-Kea Blackman is a mental health advocate, speaker, writer and suicide survivor. She is the creator and host of Fireflies Unite, a weekly podcast dedicated to normalizing the conversation about mental health within communities of color by sharing the stories of individuals thriving with mental illness. To help end the mental health stigma and foster wellness, she founded the Fireflies Unite: Women Write to Heal and self-care management workshops.

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