Financial Challenges Faced by College Students
The college life environment has been viewed to be either very fun and enjoyable or extremely stressful and overwhelming depending on how well a student is financially and mentally prepared for it. For first-year students in colleges who are straight out of high school, college life is always similar to venturing into unchartered waters. The shift in dependency of high school students on their parents is attributed to the sense of maturity that is imposed by parents. Parents tend to believe that once their child joins college, they are mature enough to make proper financial decisions. However, this is not the case. Most first-year students in college lack financial knowledge whereby they recklessly engage in impulsive behaviors, for example; partying and shopping sprees. With such behaviors in play, the first-year students will end up focusing less on studying and more on fitting in with their peers and figuring out how they can make their college life better.
Many students come from different backgrounds. Some students come from wealthy families that have the capacity to finance their college education and lifestyle without the need for student loans. However, some come from humble backgrounds. Such students require scholarships, student loans, and jobs to be able to finance both their college tuition and lifestyle. As a result of this gap, some of the less privileged students feel segregated which usually results in stress and a strong need to be at the same level with their more privileged peers. Therefore, this leads the less privileged students to look for means to finance these opulent lifestyles which might include engaging in dangerous and illegal behaviors most notably; crime, prostitution, and drug trafficking.
To overcome this obstacle, a student should primarily focus on building their self-esteem. Self-esteem can be defined as having confidence in oneself. A first-year college student, who is undergoing financial difficulties, ought to be confident in themselves regardless of their financial capabilities and should not compare themselves to other more privileged students. The student, especially if he or she is less privileged, should focus on building their self-esteem and should not be intimidated by the more privileged.
In an attempt to deal with financial inadequacy in college, a first-year college student should also get a job or any legal and safe income-generating source. The income is drawn from such a job or income-generating source should be able to give the student the desired lifestyle, which he or she did not have when they did not have access to that source of income generation. The key condition for getting such an income-generating source is that it should not in any way, interfere with the student’s primary goal in joining a college that is to study. The job or income-generating source should not supersede education.
Another way of dealing with a college student’s financial inadequacy is to learn financial education. This financial education involves proper accounting and budgeting of their money as well as spending money for necessary reasons and saving money. Budgeting assists a student to learn how to manage their finances appropriately according to the level of urgency of their demands. For instance, attending a party with friends that involves spending a lot of money should not be a priority for a student as compared to buying learning materials that are of importance to the student.
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