The 4 People You’ll Meet in College – Hint: Don’t be #3!

Wondering who you might encounter during your college career or what traps you might fall into yourself? Take a look at these four common personas, and learn how to deal with their individual problems.

1) The Leader: This is the student that seems to have it all: a great job, positions in different clubs, a ton of friends and amazing grades. Nobody knows how they succeed in everything they try and manage to stay seemingly calm the whole time. They’re the ones with the planner decked out in coordinated colors and who jump from one activity to the next. If this sounds like you, awesome! You’re one of the few who seamlessly adjusts to college life and will have a killer resume come graduation.

If not, don’t worry. Most of us can’t exactly mirror the “leader,” and that’s not a bad thing. Everyone has different strengths, and college is the perfect time to evaluate what those are. Try to look to your “leader” type friends for advice- how do they manage their time? What techniques do they use to help with stress? By learning a few of their tips and tricks, it may become easier to combine your own qualities with some of the “leaders.” Soon you’ll be on your way to a well-rounded college experience!

2) The Stresser: Remember that student on your floor who never came out of their room because they were always studying? Probably not- they seemed to always be reviewing flash cards and re-reading textbooks! School is your most important priority, but if you get TOO caught up in your classes because of stress, you may miss some of the best times of your life.

The key here is to learn how to deal with external stressors before they happen. Start paying attention to what calms you down when you’re in a bad mood, and try to do that when you feel the stress of a huge work load. And remember not to procrastinate! Getting homework and projects done early will help you stay on track, keep calm, and be social.

3) The Slacker: College Freshmen BEWARE! You’ve finally moved out of your childhood home, away from parents and it’s time to assert your independence. But don’t get too carried away, or you will quickly turn into the “slacker.” It starts out as innocent fun- you miss a class or two here and there, and easily get the notes from a friend. But when midterms come around you realize that you’ve missed valuable class time that you can’t get back. Sure, it’s been a lot of fun staying up late and sleeping in, hanging out with friends and exploring your new town.

Every once in a while it’s ok to wait a day to complete a homework assignment if your whole floor is going to the beach. But if you need the extra time to work on a hard class or finish a project, think twice before you grab your sunscreen. College is all about balance, and while it’s a tough adjustment, it’s one of the most important things to learn.

4) The Homesick One: This is someone we can all relate to, and have identified with at one time or another. The first few nights in the dorm seem great – people surround you at all times, and you’re beginning to form friendships. But at one point, it hits you that you’ve actually moved away from your parents, high school friends, maybe a significant other and your hometown. What do you do when you get the homesick blues?

It’s important to realize that everyone is in the same boat here- don’t feel bad if you want to spend some time calling your parents or friends back home. Just try to not let it get in the way of living your new life in college. Remember that while you’re missing everyone back home, if you take the time now to reach out to your new classmates and peers, it will pay off later. Soon they will become a familiar face that will help cure your homesickness!

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Kimberly Taylor

Kimberly Taylor

Kimberly Taylor is a senior at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo pursuing a degree in journalism with a concentration in public relations. At school, she enjoys her job working for the university's Academic Skills Center, taking part in social and charity events with her sorority, or just reading a book in the sunshine. Outside of school, she enjoys travel, learning to cook, catching up on her favorite TV shows and exploring her coastal college town.