Almost everyone is pursuing a college education these days and it’s not at all too surprising. There are so many good stuff that come hand in hand with heading away to study and obtaining a bachelor’s degree. No matter what your goals are in life, you’re going to need financial stability on your side to achieve them. If you want to raise a family in the future, live in a nice house, drive a nice car, or travel the world, you’re going to need a good income to support your chosen lifestyle. A college degree can provide you with this.
It is estimated that over the course of a lifetime, an individual who has a college degree will earn $1 million more than someone who ends their education at their high school diploma. This is because obtaining a college degree opens the doors to more specialist (and consequently better paid) positions. It is also important to bear in mind that college degree can also boost your quality of life outside of the financial world too! Pursuing higher education increases your knowledge, expands your mindset and perception of the world, pushes you outside of your comfort zone, improves your communication skills, and builds your confidence.
So, if you’re interested in heading to college, you’re probably making a pretty good decision. But be prepared! Student life also comes with its stresses and difficulties. Here are a few steps that you can take to ensure that your student experience is as positive as possible. Trust me, you’re gonna thank me later.
Choose the Right Student Loan
Unless you’re sat on a huge pile of savings, or have extremely well off and benevolent loved ones, chances are you’re going to take out a student loan agreement before starting your studies. Most students will opt for the first loan that presents itself to them. They assume that all student loans are the same, and as long as they are receiving the correct sum of money to tide them over while they are studying, little else matters. But they would be mistaken.
It is extremely important that you browse all of the different student loan providers available to you before settling with one or another. You can learn more about this at Bonsai Finance. Some lenders have significantly higher interest rates on the loans that they will offer you, making it more difficult for you to pay them back down the line. Instead, opt for the offer with the lowest interest rate and the most amiable payment terms. Seriously, do it. Watching Aja Dang’s student debt journey really taught me so much about how scary having a big debt right off college will be.
Once you have secured funding and know how much money you are going to have throughout the academic year, it’s essential that you create a budget. The majority of students don’t do this, and find themselves in financial difficulty as a result. You want to avoid using a student overdraft, taking out further loans, or taking out credit cards as much as possible. When you have a limited income, it can prove extremely difficult to pay these back, and you may find yourself spiralling into irrecoverable debt.
So, to maintain a healthy and positive financial status throughout your studies, work out how much you have to spend, deduct essentials such as rent, bills, and grocery shopping, and you will be left with your disposable income. This can be used on whatever you please, or saved into an emergency fund. Just make sure to never exceed this sum when you are spending. It may sound boring but trust me, you’ll suffer less later.
Finding the Right Housemates
Majority of students house share or room share. It’s part and parcel of the student experience. Not only does it make life a lot easier in terms of affording rent and bills, but it also reduces your chances of feeling lonely if you are studying away from home, and can significantly improve your overall student life. But if you ask around, it seems like anyone you talk to who has been to college has some sort of housemate horror story, whether from their own experience or the experience of someone that they know.
There really are a whole lot of undesirable housemates out there. Whether they’re extremely messy or unhygienic, clingy, loud, or display any other form of questionable or unacceptable behaviour, you want to avoid them. Once you’re in a housing contract for the year, there’s not much chance of working your way out of it. This is why it’s so important that you find the right housemates the first time round. Before automatically moving in with your closest friend on campus, visit where they currently live.
This will give you a good idea of their standard of living. Also be open about things that you do that could prove irritating to someone with different ideals and request that they are open with you about their faults too. This will help you to come to a good decision on whether you would be compatible when it comes to living together.
Engage With Your Tutors
It is so important that you engage with your tutors. The majority of students simply see them as individuals who they listen to in lectures or who overview seminars. But they are able to offer you a lot more if you simply converse with them. Many tutors have openings throughout the day where you can book in to speak with them on a one to one level.
During these meetings, you can discuss difficulties that you may be having with the course (allowing them to describe concepts in more detail with you), ask that they clear up any further questions you have, request suggestions of further reading, or run ideas for your essays and dissertations with them. This will see your grades go through the roof, as well as ensuring that you are always comfortable with the pace that the course is taking.
Having a good relationship with your tutors is also positive for the future, as these will be the individuals providing you with professional references for the workplace, or academic references for further study.
These are the few things that I wished I knew before I started my university life. As you can see, if you want a truly positive experience when you pursue higher education, there’s a whole lot to bear in mind. But following the above steps should help to get you started in the right direction! xx Wendy