What are Freshman challenges and how to overcome them

What are Freshman challenges and how to overcome them

Who is a freshman?

               A freshman is an undergraduate at the university college who has just joined in to take the first-year degree program. This also applies to a first-year student in any other college. The freshman meaning disregards gender and it refers to a male or female student. Have you just joined a college for your first-year studies?  Then you are a freshman and the year of study is a freshman year.  After completing the freshman year, you will move on to the second year of study at the college which is referred to as the sophomore year.  It follows therefore that a freshman is a first year at college and a sophomore is a second year. In normal circumstances, the age of a freshman is between 17 and 18 years.

However, freshman and sophomore are names also used to refer to a first year and a second-year student in high school respectively.  Entry to high school begins at grade 9 and therefore, the students at grade 9 are freshmen. The grade 9 year is a freshman year.  The students in this grade are between 14 and 15 years of age.  Consequently, the sophomore year is that of grade 10 where the students are aged between 15 and 16 years.  Comparatively, the freshman year is year 10 in the United Kingdom and the sophomore year is year 11 of schooling.

Considering the freshman levels of study at high school and college, the freshman ages are between 14 and 15 years, and between 17 and 18 years respectively.  These academic levels have a new curriculum compared to the previous level.  You should prepare to face new challenges as a freshman and strive to overcome them for you to scale high in academics.  The challenges faced by a freshman in high school are certainly different from those faced by a freshman in college.  Freshmen at high school are adolescents while those at college are entering adulthood.  As you go to college, you acquire some responsibilities and independence in making some decisions without the influence of your parents as opposed to when you were in high school.  You must face challenges too as a freshman.

What are 10 challenges that freshmen experience

               There are very many challenges you will you will experience as a freshman.  These will include but not limited to the following: –

In high school

  1. Expectations – meeting expectations of parents, school and community will pose a challenge. You must score high grades and raise your personality.
  2. Schedules – new schedules must be followed for you to succeed. You may not be used to the schedules and you need to adjust in order to cope up with the programs.
  3. Responsibilities – taking up duties and responsibilities especially in leadership can be very frustrating. You need to sharpen your leadership skills here.
  4. Academic pathway – making the right choices leading to your major is crucial. Evaluate your academic abilities before making the right choices because your future is based on the choices you make.
  5. Friends – your friends will shape and determine your character. Choosing good friends is not easy at this stage.  Having unwarranted relationships will ruin your career.
  6. Academic work – you may find the work too heavy for you because it is more than what you expected. You need to develop your critical thinking skills.

At college

  1. Homesickness – when you join college, you leave the comfort of your parents to start a life with other people you have never met before. You will share many facilities such as toilets, bathrooms and dormitories.  Your parents will not be there to comfort you and feelings of homesickness will disturb you.
  2. Expectations – family, academic and college expectations will be higher than yours. You are expected to achieve high standards of performance and be perfect in what you are doing.  To do this, you must do a lot of reading and studying more than what you did in high school and this will be stressful.
  3. Innovations – existing opportunities in college are abundant and you have to be innovative to grab them. You might be confused in deciding on what is best for you.
  4. New environment – college settings are different from high school settings. Living in a dormitory or apartment, moving from one lecture hall to the other, unhygienic communal facilities, and new routines are sure sources of stress to a freshman.
  5. Workload – as compared to high school, there is more serious work to be done, more assignments, more projects with strict grading, deadlines to meet and discussions with your peers. There is no time for luxuries.
  6. Finances – academic costs in college are high and you may be on your own to meet these costs and other unforeseen expenses. Lacking a budget for your college expenses will lead you into financial problems. Payment of fees, bills and rent may be your own responsibility and these can mount a lot of pressure on you.  Living beyond your means will break you down.
  7. Friends and peer group pressure – meeting new students and other people at college is unavoidable. The problem is in choosing the right friends and falling under the negative influence of your peer group.  Friends who will keep you focused to your goals need to be gradually attained with caution.  Many temptations will come your way through friendship and you must be strong to resist them.
  8. Planning – planning for daily and weekly tasks to smoothly work on all college programs without fail can be an uphill task for freshers. You must work towards proper time management respecting all study schedules.
  9. Stress management – for a freshman, most of the work to be done at college will initially be stressful. Managing stress is likely to be elusive resulting is depression, burnout, low academic performance and low motivation.
  10. Health – lifestyle changes, changing your mind-set, actualizing your dreams, and realizing your expectations may cause you sleepless nights. This will result in health issues and psychological problems.  Hygiene and sanitation, good dietary habits and mental stability must be developed.

What are the solutions to the freshmen challenges?

               Anybody who takes a new responsibility or a new role must consult or seek help and directions from the veterans.  As a freshman, you have also acquired new roles and you will face more challenges if you do not look for help from other people in your current situation.  The first step towards finding solutions to the challenges you are facing is by asking those who already have gone through the challenges and have already overcome them.  This means that you have to try new things, use your instinct abilities to get solutions, adjust your lifestyle so as to live with other people in the college, sacrifice a number of things you are used to for the sake of the academics, live within your means and follow your budget strictly, find some part time jobs to supplement your financial needs, seek help from the guidance and counseling department, talk to your lecturers about academic challenges you are facing, find time to rest and sleep well, develop good eating habits, find time to participate in extra curriculum activities,  don’t struggle to satisfy everybody, develop good relationships with everybody, try new things, avoid stressors and be motivated to achieve your goals amongst other solutions to the challenges.

How can a pandemic like COVID 19 affect freshmen?

               A pandemic is a plague that affects everybody regardless of social status and gender.  Freshmen are not an exemption from epidemics and COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected them ever since the beginning of 2020.  The worst effects of the pandemic are the resultant deaths.  Freshmen have died as they prepare to join high school and college hence cutting short their academic dreams.  They have also lost close relatives and friends and have been heavily traumatized. The freshman year has been interrupted due to lockdowns and restrictions imposed by health officials.  Social interactions have been limited due to protocols of COVID-19.  Semesters have been prolonged causing anxiety and depression to freshmen. The pandemic has interfered with normal academic programs and therefore.  Jobs have been lost and incomes reduced or even completely lost.  Freshmen that depend on workers for financial support have suffered greatly some even being forced to defer their courses.  Generally, pandemics will disturb the flow of academic schedules of freshmen.

What are the mistakes that freshmen make?

               Some of the mistakes that freshmen make include: –

  • ignoring the role of staff, lecturers and other people in their college life. You need to be social and make good relations with every other person you are in contact with.
  • Trying to please everybody
  • Poor preparation for college life
  • Skipping classes and delaying in submitting assignments on time hoping to make up for the delays later.
  • Being extravagant and lacking a budget
  • Isolating yourself becoming antisocial.
  • Engaging in negative activities like drug abuse and bowing to peer-group pressure.
  • Avoiding to seek help from lecturers and not working towards higher grades.

The list is not exhaustive.  Mistakes that common adolescents do will also be done by freshmen adolescents as they gradually get into adulthood.

How can freshmen be successful in their academic research?

               Focused reading is the basis of successful academic research paper.  You must read books, journals, articles, book reviews, research papers, periodicals, academic research websites and any other material that is related to your field of study.  Researches previously done by other people in the field must be read and if possible, repeated to ascertain the research results.  As you do more reading, you will develop an interest in a subject topic and start forming an opinion on it.  With more reading and consultations, your opinion will be narrowed down to a thesis statement for your academic research.  You will then design your research project and implement it.  You should then follow research instructions from your lecturers and with the help of other professionals in that field, you will be able to produce a successful academic research paper.

Can freshmen get online academic research assistance?

               Yes! Freshmen can get online academic research assistance at a very friendly fee.  If you get stuck or just need assistance at any stage of the research, visit Essaytutors for all your academic needs. We have professionals who can provide good online services.  They can write the essays or academic papers for you in any field of study and give professional advice where necessary.  You can also get help in other academic and non-academic areas other than research.


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