College Pictures That Prove The Struggle Is Real

Going off to college is a huge step many kids take to further their education. However, despite what it looks like in the movies, it’s not all fun and games. In fact, sometimes college students struggle really hard with things like money, getting enough sleep, passing classes, and juggling all of their new commitments and routines. These students are no exception.
Here are some college newbies who are riding the struggle bus, and it doesn’t look like they’ll be getting off anytime soon.

Roasting Sausages By The…Fire?

Roasting hotdogs next to an electric heater
Dump a Day

Yes, college dorms are very small. And, no, there is usually not enough space for an oven or a stove. But that didn’t stop this student from trying to overcome the struggle. Because there’s nothing sadder than a 50 cent hotdog…except maybe having to eat it while it’s still frozen.

The Creative Process

A student sitting studying surrounded by empty beet cans
Dump a Day

College students are no strangers to the 10+ page essay. This guy just needed some motivation to get his creative juices flowing. Although, if he keeps going this way, those are the only things that might start flowing. Hope he’s got a bathroom nearby.

Happy Birthday

A sad birthday cake made of Twinkies
Ninja Journalist

Just because you’re a broke college student doesn’t mean you have to skip your birthday. Birthday cakes are surprisingly expensive, but turning 50 cent Twinkies into your ever-increasing age is almost priceless…almost.

She’s Over It

Freshman year of university is all about going out, getting dressed up to the nines, and then drunkenly finding your way back to the dorms with a broken heel and lipstick smeared onto one of your cheeks. This senior knows better. She still wants to party, but she knows how to do it efficiently now.

Oh, The Shame

A guy passed out in lecture with a sign saying "I'm Still Drunk"
ebaum’s world

When you have all the freedom in the world for the first time ever, it’s hard not to go out with your buddies every night of the week. But don’t expect to get off unscathed when you overdo it and barely make it into lecture the next morning. Your friends might shame you and put it on the internet…but hey, at least you made it to class!

Tight Schedule

A kid sits in class making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich

Sometimes classes can run all day without a break, even to eat lunch. This guy figured it out quickly and brought supplies with him to his lecture. He can make a pb&j and still get all of the class notes.

Police Photoshoot

college student getting arrested while his friends photobomb the whole thing
ebaum’s world

When you stick hundreds of university-aged kids together, along with unlimited alcohol and no chaperones, things are bound to get out of hand. Sometimes, they can even get “arrested during a party” out of hand. But don’t worry, your friends will make sure you can revisit those memories later.

Got Milk

Girl filling up a jug of milk from the cafeteria
Dump a Day

Milk is expensive. Bread is expensive. Even Ramen noodles can get expensive when you’re living paycheck to paycheck as a broke college student. Luckily, they serve free, unlimited milk in the cafeteria. Most people just bring their cups, but this girl knows about making every cent count of that food credit plan.

Delivery or Destruggle

The saddest pizza you've ever laid eyes on
Know Your Meme

Remember when pizza night was the cheap and easy way your mom fed the family without having to cook or spend too much money on takeout? Well guess what, you still probably can’t afford it. Luckily, you’ll probably find some white bread, ketchup, and maybe even pepperoni in the cafeteria.

No Sleep

Students slowly falling asleep

College kids get significantly less sleep than the average human being. That’s because they are too focused on studying, socializing, partying, and just staying alive through the college experience. These students are barely holding on, and sooner or later they’ll all crumble onto their desks like dominoes. 

Makeshift Fork

A makeshift fork made out of a sharpie and paper clips

You probably never thought you’d find yourself in a situation where you didn’t even have a fork to your name. Well, here you are. It’s ok, if you’re innovative enough, you can make anything into a fork for your Chinese takeout.

On Schedule

A perfectly planned out college calendar, full of crying

Day to day college life is the very definition of a struggle. Sometimes, the pressure gets to be too much. When this happens, make sure to set up specific times during the day to cry it out. But also remember to stick in some turning up to balance it all out. 

You Can’t Catch Me I’m The Gingerbread Man

A student dressed as the gingerbrea dman in lecture

We can’t really pinpoint what’s going on here. Maybe this student ran out of clean clothes and this costume was all he had left. Or maybe he’d come straight from a costume party that lasted all night. Either way, it’s an epic struggle.

Breakfast Sizzle

A student brought a whole griddle for breakfast to lecture

As cruel and unusual as it may be, sometimes university classes can start as early as 8:00am (which is basically the crack of dawn). But don’t be discouraged, you can still have that home-cooked breakfast, complete with sizzling bacon on the griddle. Just bring all the necessary equipment to lecture. No one will hate you for the smell at all. 

The Teacher Is In On It

A teacher sitting behind a sleeping student
Bored Panda

Professors know how tough the life of a college student can be. And sometimes, if they have a good sense of humor, they won’t get angry at you for falling asleep in the middle of their class. That’s not saying they won’t post a hilarious image of your sleeping face online afterwards.


A kid lying in bed and studying at the same time
Funny Junk

Let’s face it. There is simply not enough time to study enough to ace your class, and to get enough rest to not keel over and die. This student has mastered the art of multi-tasking so he can use his time efficiently. Who knows, maybe he’ll survive?

The Cat’s Out Of The Bag

A student snuck his cat in with him to lecture

When you’re out at classes all day, it’s hard not to feel bad for the furry friend you’ve left at home. This student just decided to bring him along. It might not be ideal for learning, but it’s definitely super cute.

The Group Project

A student sits in defeat in his group project
Ninja Journalist

The dreaded group project is one of the worst monsters college students have to defeat. Unfortunately for these students, it looks like the monster has defeated them. At this point, they’ve lowered themselves to simply begging the professor to pass them because they are too tired to keep up.

Merry Coorsmas

A Christmas tree decorated with empty beer cans
Daily LOL Pics

Not enough money for a Christmas tree? Never fear! You can just use the literally hundreds of beer cans left over from the party you had last night and string them up on the tree outside. It’s almost the same, and you’ll still get that (luke)warm Christmassy feeling.


A student looks up jobs for college dropouts
Thinking Humanity

This student has pretty much admitted defeat and, instead of continuing to pay attention in lecture, he’s already looking for other options that will still make him enough money to live, even when he inevitably drops out of this struggle. 

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