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Supporting the Next Generation of Students (And Yourself, Too)

Written by

Adejoke Adeboyejo

Reviewed by

VidCruiter Editorial Team

Last Modified

December 4, 2023
Mental Health


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University is an exciting time – you learn about interesting subjects that broaden your worldview, meet new people, and visit new places. But, it also has its unique set of challenges. When you graduate, the transition from school to work also comes with a certain amount of obstacles that need to be overcome. There are tasks of building the skills employers want and making yourself employable while finding the right workplace for you. Addressing these challenges can help both the present and the next generation of students overcome some of these obstacles.

What challenges do students face?

All students face academic pressure, and expectations for good grades can cause anxiety. Beyond academics, however, is what is known as the “hidden curriculum”. Boston University describes the hidden curriculum as “an amorphous collection of implicit academic, social, and cultural messages, unwritten rules and unspoken expectations”, which are some of the values and perspectives that students are expected to learn in school. For example, unwritten expectations may include reading the prescribed text before class, working with others in a team, and being punctual in class. Students who find it difficult to understand the “hidden curriculum” may find themselves lagging and excluded.

Cultural adjustment also poses a challenge, especially for BIPOC students, who may find it difficult to adapt to a new culture, language, and environment. Inadequate support systems make the situation more dire, causing feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Time management and work-balance issues are important as well; continuous juggling of classes, assignments, and other activities can become a daunting task, which often leads to burnout and sometimes, mental health problems. 

Students who are moving to the workplace also contend with several issues while trying to start careers after school. A job search can be tedious if the candidate doesn't know how and where to look for jobs. At the early career stage, many also do not yet have the right skill set or prerequisite knowledge needed in the workplace. Another problem is the ability of the candidate to find a job and a company that is the right fit for them; understanding workplace culture and nuances can also be a daunting task.

Ways to create a better future, and a better now 

Address the issues to support your future and the future of the next generation. Here is a combination of strategies that can be used by the students themselves, and to influence change in the institution.  

  1. Build/join a support group: The importance of being a part of a group in the form of clubs, student organizations, or study groups should be emphasized. Aside from making immediate connections that provide support in various aspects, these groups also provide relationships and a network that may be useful many years after graduation. To ensure groups maintain momentum, students should have a leadership structure that encourages a knowledge transfer to succeeding group members as older members graduate.
  2. Career counseling: This plays a major role in showing students how to prepare for work, by helping them to explore career paths, write resumes, and prepare for job interviews. Emphasize the importance of career counseling to other students – keep the conversation going. Attending career counseling will help students to clarify career goals, identify strengths and weaknesses, and provide career options.
  3. Attend career fairs: These programs provide students the opportunity to meet prospective employers, obtain information about companies, and explore various types of job opportunities. Alumni who have transitioned successfully into the workplace can use this as an opportunity to return to their university and allow others to learn from their experience.
  4. Develop yourself professionally: Visit your career center to learn about internship opportunities while still in school – this is a great way to build skills, get work experience, and make connections. You can also attend workshops, and webinars and take online courses to get familiar with industry trends. This proactive approach will impress prospective employers as you show commitment to continuous learning. To help the next generation, alumni with this kind of experience should consider returning to the university to share their journey with other students. 
  5. Have a strong online presence: Create a professional LinkedIn profile even while in school to showcase your education, skills, and internships, if any. For inspiration, look at the LinkedIn profiles of alumni, specifically those who completed the same course as you. You can also join industry groups online and interact with professionals in your field.


University life comes with challenges that set you up for responsibilities beyond academia, especially in the workplace. Take advantage of the resources and support available to you, and help to make those opportunities available for future students, too. Collectively, you’ll be better prepared to surmount any obstacle and have fulfilling experiences in school and when you start work.