Ways That Students Can Manage Family Problems

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Having family problems can be extremely difficult. When you’re a young adult going off to college, it can be extra hard when you also have to worry about classes, exams, and your own housing, among other things. However, there are strategies you can use to combat certain family problems that may be affecting your mental health and your school performance. It won’t be easy, but it can be done. Here’s how.

Divorced Students

Many students are recently divorced, or are going back to school after leaving a marriage. At that point, the goal is often to move on with life in a positive way, and start something new. A new education can do that by opening up doors to opportunities and careers that may have previously been closed. If you are in this situation, then using your maiden name again might be a great option to help with creating a clean slate. There can be a lot of emotional baggage attached to your married name, and removing it from your life might be the only way to get a truly fresh start. Otherwise, every time a professional calls on you in class, or you look at any correspondence from the school, you will be reminded of your past life when you hear or see that old last name.

Victims of Abuse

Unfortunately, too many students head off to college as victims of abuse at home. In many situations, the abuse can continue well into their adult years. However, college can be an important refuge for those who suffered from violent and emotional homes. If you are leaving an abusive home, then going to a college that requires travelling might be an important step to escaping that reality. Many colleges also have campus support groups and counselling available that will help you work through your trauma and be able to move on with your life. The scars of abuse, both physical and mental, might never go away, but they can be managed so you can rise above them.

Unrealistic Expectations

For the most part, parents love their children very much. However, sometimes that love can be manifested in unhealthy ways. The expectations that are placed on kids can be crippling. Despite how difficult it might be to deal with this burden, you need to find ways to make your own way in the world. Living up to the expectations of others is hard, especially when meeting them often leads to even more expectations that are difficult to attain. It’s important to have honest talks with your parents about your own personal expectations, and outline what your goals are. Never leave things unsaid, or else the situation could be exacerbated, and nothing will be solved.


At some point, your parents will either have to accept how you have chosen to approach your schooling, or you may have to remove them from that portion of your life. As a college student, you do not have to share your grades with your parents the same way you would have to in high school. By removing that part of your relationship, you can focus on the things that you have in common with your parents.

Financial Issues

Sometimes, family problems are based on finances. Either you come from an impoverished home, or you have fallen on hard times as an adult. In either case, there may be solutions that can help you get through college and onto the next chapter. The goal of college is, after all, to find a fulfilling career and hopefully be financially secure. Talk to your financial services office to see what support might be available. These could come in the form of grants, scholarships, or special payment plans that will make it easier for you to stretch your budget. Remember, your college accepted you, and wants you to be there, so they will do what they can to help you rise above your difficulties.

Cycles of Addiction

We don’t often think of addiction as a family issue, but it certainly can be. While there is a genetic aspect to addiction, it can also be a learned behavior. If you grow up in a home where your parents have addiction problems, there is a higher chance that you will be an addict as well. When things get tough in your schooling, you may have an impulse to turn to some of the vices that your parents had, such as alcohol and drugs. It’s crucial to avoid situations where those temptations will be present, and to seek help from support groups or therapists if you are afraid that you may fall into those traps.


Family problems are a serious hindrance to getting a good education. However, there are ways that you can overcome those obstacles in order to get your degree and move on with your life. Just make sure that you can identify what those issues are, and take the steps you need to combat them.

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