A new term has been sweeping across college campuses and social media outlets, showing a slight irony towards superficial problems people face everyday: “The struggle is real.”
The term is generally used for humor, highlighting the minuscule issues that can happen while being a college student. It can be as simple as complaining about having to walk around campus in the cold weather or not wanting to do basic tasks. The hilarity of the punch line has spread like wildfire on the Internet to memes, Buzzfeed articles and even its own Twitter account.
Although the origin of the saying is based in the humor, there is truth behind college students facing new struggles each day. Whether it is having two papers due on the same night, getting along with your roommates, or balancing a checkbook, college life shows the struggle is real.
A 2012 study by “Inceptia,” a nonprofit organization that focuses on higher education, revealed that handling finances was the biggest struggle for four out of five college students, followed by academics. The study also showed constant financial worries tend to impact college students’ academics as well as their everyday lives.
Students not only face having to find loans to pay tuition while in school, but they need to secure a source to pay the loans back once they graduate. Most students also struggle in finding stable jobs once they graduate.
Another aspect that college students face in this day and age is controlling their social media accounts. Before the start of Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, finding details of students or an applicant’s personal life was much more difficult for employers. Now students face having to make sure their social media presence is appropriate at all times.
College students face a balancing act between being a student and transitioning to a life of full independence. Although there are plenty of jokes behind first world problems, students show the struggle is most definitely real.
Stephanie Gomulka can be reached at email@example.com.