It’s officially back-to-school season, and Canadians from around the country will be heading to university or college — either for the first time or as returning students. Here are some thoughts from our 2016 summer student, Ankur Gupta, who is returning to Queen’s U for his final year:
The university talk
So you’re headed to university? Lucky for you, you’re entering one of the most exciting phases of your life! For many, this will be the first time living away from home. A new city, surrounded by new people, can be intimidating, but it serves as a perfect opportunity to discover who you really are.
As cliché as that sounds, it’s the truth. New beginnings always allow for time to re-evaluate where it is you’re going and how you plan on getting there. But don’t be afraid, you still have time to figure it out. Just remember to make time to enjoy it.
Step out of your comfort zone. Try new things. Build new habits. Your time at university is finite and in many ways different from how the real world is structured. You don’t want to look back and regret what you didn’t do. If you try something and it doesn’t work, what’s the worst that could happen? Figuring out what interests are best suited to you will help greatly down the road.
One of the more important habits is understanding the value of money. Chances are, university will be the first time that you have autonomy with your finances. As one of my main projects with LowestRates this past summer, I had the opportunity to update their Student Savings Guide. Whether you’re looking to save money on your groceries or find affordable transportation, this guide is filled with great tips to help you understand the value of money.
Mom, can I borrow a twenty?
While post-secondary education is important, it is equally as expensive. Even with the support of their parents, lots of students can’t quite cover the bills. As a result, many students are forced to get a loan and end up graduating with an average debt of $27,000.
Remember those habits we talked about earlier? Learning how to budget properly, in order to ensure that your student loans aren’t a nuisance down the road, is one of the most important habits you can form while at school.
Unfortunately, schools and other institutions do a poor job of promoting financial literacy. In the guide, we’ve packaged some of our favourite student money tips, including sections on funding, housing, transportation, and food. Educating students to take charge of their finances is an important step in contributing to a more financially literate Canada.
To complement our Student Savings Guide, we want help one lucky Canadian student kick the year off with a fully stocked Student Survival Kit. Show up to the first day of class looking fly with a brand new backpack carrying a 13” MacBook Air, complete with a sleek case. Need some new music? Or just some cool swag? We’ve also thrown in gift cards from Amazon ($25), Best Buy ($50), iTunes ($30), Tim Hortons ($50), and Subway ($50). And what would a Student Survival Kit be without a little KD and a few servings of Mr.Noodles?
Here’s how the kit can be yours:
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