Being a student in the midst of a global pandemic has thrown the unexpected directly at us. It has repeatedly heightened the worry and fear of “am I on the right path?” “is this all worth it?” and of course, “am I good enough?”
Student debt is no secret, and unfortunately, many students find themselves waist-deep in anxiety and stress before college even begins. The stress of looking at college price tags and questioning how much one can actually afford can be overwhelming, especially during already stressful times.
Regardless of whether the student or the parent is the one paying for college, it is important to consider the long-term implications a college education could have on an individual’s mental health.
I’ve come up with a few ways that have helped me balance the “sticker shock” of a college education with the maintenance of a healthy mindset during financial uncertainty.
1. Start budgeting and saving now to create lasting benefits on your financial well-being. Try to constantly maintain an emergency fund for those “just in case” moments.
2. Have a slight change in mindset from “I’ll never be able to do this” to “I will do this.” Believing in myself has brought me great peace of mind, allowing me to focus more on my studies and extracurriculars, and worry less about finances as a student.
3. Understand that a post-secondary education as an excellent investment in your future. College is expensive. But if you are fortunate enough to be gifted with a college education, try to humbly accept that you are there for a reason, that you will do your best to success, and that your hard work will pay off.
The way I see it, too often are numbers allowed to define the world around us. We see it all the time, from how much a person makes, to how much that person weighs, to how much they spend on their house and car. With that, I’m not going to let my personal finances define me.
My overall goal is to be happy with the journey I have chosen, and hold fast to the loving, supportive people who are by my side.
Keep believing in yourself. You’re awesome and you can do this.
Are you currently in college? Are you considering going to college? What financial concerns do you have, and if you have any, how has it impacted you? If you’ve graduated, what was your experience like financially (and mentally) in school?