By Nazeefa Ahmed, September 20 2022—
As inflation, tuition and rent skyrockets, we students are left with a task that even our parents haven’t done — managing university life in a post-pandemic economy. Some of us are working non-stop, while others are taking out loan after loan, hoping that a job after our degree will pay it back. For those feeling like they are stuck in a hamster wheel, here are some tips that you can use to make financial stability a reality.
Keep your grades up
Though there are bursaries offered for those in need, some students do not qualify for them due to their family income. These students can still earn merit, extracurricular and essay-writing scholarships. Sites such as Scholarships Canada and ScholarTree make it easy to keep up with the latest scholarships available.
Additionally, the university rewards high GPAs. Students with high GPAs have a greater chance of scoring a continuing award which can be as high as the $6000 Edward Wichert scholarship offered to engineering students annually. Additionally, the Jason Lang scholarship, offered by the Government of Alberta, is given to any second-, third- and fourth-year student with a minimum GPA of 3.2. Therefore, raising your GPA, can decrease financial strain while completing your education.
Find your passion and build
Your career does not begin after graduation. That is the biggest myth that undergraduate students believe. Your career began the day you started university, because future employers look at any long-term work experience when offering you a position in the future. If you have a passion, learn to monetize it. By doing so, you will be happy working while also making an income. Photographers can offer their services to local influencers, coders can teach kids at Code Ninjas, and writers can join the Gauntlet for a future editorial position. The University of Calgary is also an esteemed research institution and many students make an income working with professors during the summer. Jobs such as these require more skill and are usually paid more than minimum wage.
Be clear about your needs and wants
Everyone knows that you are supposed to budget, keep track of your spending and assign specific percentages to your monthly income. But if you are anything like I once was, you are far too removed from this systematic mindset that all budgeting advice is meaningless. You have to buy those shoes. You have to eat a Bake Chef sub even though your mom packed you a full lunch. You have to get this and that until your paycheck for the month disappears as fast as it came in.
For someone who was once a shopping addict, I have learned to discipline myself with a very simple question: Do I need it? If the answer is no, I put down the item and walk out of the store. No excuses. While it’s still important to treat yourself, pushing yourself to be a little more disciplined will become easier over time. Your future self will thank you.