99 Problems of A College Student

Khaaliq Crowder

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Disclaimer: I’m not literally listing 99 problems I have as a student I don’t even think I have that many but here are the important ones.

Doing Work for A Gen-Ed/Elective Class

I have to be honest. I think it’s annoying how American colleges forces students to take classes that are not associated with our major or what we want to do in our life. Forget the whole “being a well-rounded student”. I’m paying thousands of dollars to become a future broadcast journalist; you have me taking a literature class and math class like I’ll need to know this stuff in my everyday career or adult life. I literally want to cry when I have to do my Introduction to Multimedia homework responses when I’m expected to read tirelessly and answer questions about the New Aesthetic or science behind art. Don’t even get me started on having to take World history class that I was forced to take in high school as part of New York’s curriculum. What generally makes taking a gen-ed classes dreadful is having a professor who acts we taking their class because we want to or it’s going to benefit us. I don’t think the aspiring graphic designer or hotel manager was eager to take a Literature class where you’re forced to read what the instructor interprets as “a classic”.

Looking for Scholarships

Besides paying off tuition in increments or Sallie Mae, we’re always pushed to apply for scholarships. Sure there are a lot of scholarship out there. However it’s not guaranteed you’re going to score one. I can’t even tell you how many times I rolled my eyes when I see a scholarship application but I don’t qualify. Why? I’m not a woman. I’m from New York? I’m African American but I don’t attend an HBCU (historically black college/university). I’m not a high school senior soon to be freshman. I’m not a science, math, or engineering major. And then when you finally apply for a scholarship (few of them seem to be award more than $1,000), you get rejected because a whole plethora of people applied and yours didn’t stand out. Just makes me you want to jump over a bridge sometimes. So why even waste applying for a scholarship when Sallie Mae has you covered for four years followed by a haunting until you reach 40?

Getting a Job

As I wasn’t initially granted work-study, it’s a true grind to get a part-time job on or off-campus. Some people may not want to work during college; however if you’re like me who is not rich and can’t have family to deposit huge amounts into my account whenever a job seems clutch. If you don’t have a car, it’s makes it tougher getting job as you depend on public transportation. Trust me, I’m from New York and CT transit will never come close. CT is the state where you need a car or you can’t get anywhere. So that already limits how far you can commute for work. If you can’t get work-study the school encourages students to apply for bursary or dining positions which I have bad luck of getting rejected, even though I’m ready to work and dress professional. Second, if you’re like me with very little job experience and no connects it’s hard. You can’t a job without experience but you can’t get experience without a job. Something gotta give. I think to myself when I go to job interviews: please just give me a chance. As far as connects I always felt that it’s wrong to ask someone for help in that field job seeking-wise. Sure I’m friends or I hangout with you but I question whether if I should get them to assist getting a job at local pizzeria or coffee shop.


One thing I will always say about going to college is it will make you realize you’re not as smart as you thought you were. Even though my mother wasn’t as strict on education and earning the top grades as she was on my older siblings or say people of different cultures; I always yearned to be that star student. I tend to self-loathe when I get below a B- in a class or on an assignment. I feel disappointed in myself, question my intelligence and feel like I could’ve done better. Along with that I worry about how my siblings and mom would feel if I got a F or D on a test or assignment. I believe that’s another fear I carry while being in college is fear of failing. When I made the dean’s list at my last college (I’m a transfer/sophomore) and then fell of the list and came here, I plant the idea that I will get over a 3.0 (obviously to keep my scholarship afloat) but get at least a 3.5 to be dean’s list. I always felt the reward from that is getting more merit based scholarship as well as praise from those back home who doubted me.

Managing Money

That broke college student life though. It is very real. Even when you have money coming in from a part-time or family, you’ll still tend to make irrational financial decisions. I’m like sometimes maybe I should’ve have spend $ on taking that uber or spending $ on food or things on Or when there’s something you want really bad and you have $30 in your account and that Netflix, Hulu and Apple Music bill needs to be paid on time. I couldn’t even imagine being a girl and spending endlessly on makeup or getting your hair and nails done. Overall, in my mind, making these money spending mistakes will better shape you later on in life.

Trying to Balance Responsibilities

I feel like my schedule is hectic. Between going to class, doing homework, working in the near future, having appointments with staff members, being active in several clubs and trying to keep up with your favorite primetime shows….something’s gotta give. I realized at this point it’s better to not go ahead on the syllabus but instead do work and complete homework at a time so you’re not too overwhelmed but of course make sure it’s handed in on time. We’ve been in school for almost a month, I’m still not mentally prepared for when I have several quizzes, tests or papers to be done around the same time. I haven’t even been to the movies or gone into town in awhile. I very much believe so you need to reserve some free time and lower your responsibilities. Maybe that’s why Britney Spears shaved her head.

Friends/Fitting In

What a realized, when you’re in your late teens or early twenties, you have a lot of friends come and go. All the people you meet the first week of school aren’t going to become your best friends the whole year. They’ll just dub you which I learned the hard way. Another issue is being a transfer student. As transfer student you seem to occupy a strange place in a college. Take me a sophomore, class of 2019. Usually when a class of students enter college as from the get-go by the time they are sophomores or juniors they’ve already made their circle of friends which sometimes are seeking a new addition. On the bright side, there are ways around it. I’m in a transfer LLC which a good foundation. And in college it’s not like in highschool trying to befriend or be popular with everyone. Sure there be people who will stop talking to you because it’s maintaining relationships when you don’t see that person a lot; as long as you have small solid group of friend you’ll be good to go. I’ve heard many times that some of the best friends of your life, you’ll have made in college.

Post College-Career Success

I have ran into or heard of people who graduated from college but either: A. they don’t know what they want to do with their lives, B. they don’t know whether to continue education or not, or C. they’re not working in the job field that correlated with the degree they got (ex. Student with Biology degree working at Sears as a sales associate). Even though I have a concise decision that I’m not going to graduate school (hint hint I’m a Communications major) and concise idea of what I want to do in my field, it’s still very scary. Even despite being told not to give into what is told in the news what college majors are useless or won’t land you a job or solid paycheck. I would like to be an on-air radio personality/broadcast journalist. At the same time, I worry will I have the good amount of connects to get my foot in the door?, Will I have the money to move down south or away from New York on my own?, will I get turned down, what’s the job outlook looking into 2019/2020. It scares and then I’ll come down to earth and motivate myself to take things one day at a time.

Khaaliq Crowder, Staff Writer

Khaaliq Crowder is a junior studying communications (journalism) with a minor in black studies. He is a contributing writer, mostly covering the Arts &...

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99 Problems of A College Student