College Students: Understanding Different Types and Their Potential Struggles: A Guide for Parents


As parents, it is natural to worry about your child’s transition into college life. College is a crucial period in a young adult’s life, where they learn essential life skills, explore new opportunities, and make lifelong friends. However, for many students, college can also be stressful; as they struggle to balance academics, social life, and personal challenges. In this blog post, we will discuss the various types of college students and the potential struggles they may face during their college years. We will also provide tips for parents on how to identify if their child is struggling and how to help them overcome college stressors.

The Workaholic

Potential Struggles with Work Overload and Time Management

The Workaholic is a student who takes academics seriously and prioritizes their studies over everything else. While this attitude can be helpful in achieving academic success, it can also lead to excessive work overload and time management issues. Workaholic students may struggle to find a balance between school and other activities, leading to burnout and mental exhaustion.

To help your child cope with academic stress, encourage them to take breaks, engage in hobbies and extracurricular activities, and seek support from professors, tutors, and peers. Also, emphasize the importance of time management and encourage them to create a schedule that allows them to complete their work efficiently while also taking care of themselves.

The Partier

Potential Struggles with Alcohol & Drug Use

The Partier is a student who prioritizes social life over academics and tends to be susceptible to alcohol and drug use. While college is an excellent time to have fun and make new friends, excessive partying can lead to substance abuse and addiction, negatively impacting academic performance and overall health.

Parents can help their children who may struggle with substance abuse by recognizing the warning signs, such as changes in behavior, mood swings, and poor academic performance. Encourage your child to seek professional help and offer support by attending counseling or rehab sessions with them.

The Perfectionist

Potential Struggles with Anxiety and Executive Functioning

The Perfectionist is a student who sets high standards for themselves and struggles with anxiety and perfectionism. While striving for excellence is admirable, perfectionism can lead to stress and anxiety, causing burnout, and executive functioning issues.

To help your child overcome perfectionism, remind them that it is okay to make mistakes and that their self-worth is not determined by their academic success. Encourage them to seek professional help, such as counseling or therapy, to learn coping mechanisms and stress-reducing techniques.

The Social Butterfly

Potential Struggles with Time Management and Burnout 

The Social Butterfly is a student who prioritizes their social life and enjoys interacting with others. While being socially active is healthy and beneficial, excessive socializing can lead to burnout, exhaustion, and poor academic performance.

To help your child manage their social life and academic obligations, encourage them to create a schedule that allows time for socializing and for studying. Additionally, remind them of the importance of self-care and rest, and encourage self-reflection on whether their social life is negatively affecting their academic performance.

The Loner

Potential Struggles with solitude and feelings of isolation

The Loner is a student who enjoys solitude and prefers being alone. While solitude is not inherently harmful, excessive isolation can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression, leading to poor academic performance and mental health.

As a parent, encourage your child to engage in positive social activities and make new friends, but also support their need for alone time, when needed. If you notice your child is struggling with loneliness, encourage them to seek professional help, counseling, or therapy.

Tips for Overcoming College Stressors for Any Student:

  • Prioritize time management and create a schedule allowing for rest, self-care, as well as social activities.
  • Reduce work overload by breaking down responsibilities into manageable tasks.
  • Utilize campus resources, such as tutoring, counseling, and professors’ office hours.
  • Seek support from family, friends, and peers.
  • Take frequent breaks and participate in fun hobbies or extracurricular activities.

 How to Identify if Your Child is Struggling:

  • Watch for changes in your child’s behavior, such as: mood swings, changes in academic performance, and overall health.
  • Start healthy dialogue about college life and encourage your child to share their experiences and struggles.
  • Get acquainted with campus resources and encourage your child to seek help when needed.
  • Take care of your own mental health, as your well being affects your child’s wellbeing.

College can be a challenging time for students, but with the right support and guidance, they can overcome any obstacles and achieve academic and personal success. As a parent, it is crucial to stay informed about your child’s experiences and struggles and encourage healthy communication. Remember that it is okay to seek professional help if needed to prioritize self care and mental wellness. With the right resources, support, and coping mechanisms, your child can thrive in college and beyond.

If you are concerned about a college student, call today to talk about it. We’ll find a healing solution and way forward to success now as well as the future.