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Coping with studies financial pressures, eyes on the prize


Coping with financial pressures - Keep your eyes on the prize


“It is not the strongest of species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin

It is an achievement and a dream when one is selected at an academic institution to further one’s education in the career field of one’s choice. For some university students, to complete this academic dream might not always be possible due to financial reasons.

A lack of finances can be a constant source of concern affecting one’s ability to concentrate on one’s academic studies resulting in failure or drop out and ultimately the end of one’s dream. It is important to adapt to the changing circumstances of not having enough finances and make some changes so that you will be able to survive and ultimately reach your academic dream.

The following tips will help you to stay focused:

Find solutions to your financial problems: Consider applying at NSFAS, Eduloan, Bank Student Loans and for bursaries (www.pacecareers.com). You can also make a financial arrangement with student fees, apply for meals at the SRC office and ask the SRC office if there is any funding available. Ask family members, friends and/or religious leaders for sponsorships. If all else fails, consider a part time job that is not too demanding but at the same time will afford you the opportunity to be a full time student with the ability to work over weekends and holidays.

Make a budget: Figure out how much you need on a monthly basis and look at how much you are receiving. See where you could reduce your expenses; perhaps purchase more fruit and vegetables which are highly nutritious and limit meat, chicken and fish products which are expensive. Engage in outdoor exercise which is no expense in comparison to a cost for the gym. These are just few examples of cutting costs. I am sure that you can think of more.

Focus on the bigger picture: Always focus on the positives of why you are at university. For some it might be to obtain an academic qualification, and for others it might be to have a better life for you and your family. Whatever the reason always

bring this to consciousness when you are feeling down, frustrated or contemplating giving up.

Engage in active learning: Active learning will help you to stay focused despite your mind been troubled. Verbally recite your work out aloud instead of passively looking at your notes. Make notes of what you already studied, highlight text to help you remember important information, create diagrams of work already studied. These techniques will help you to stay focused, to concentrate and recall information that you have studied.

Positive self talk: Remember if you become demotivated and lack interest in your studies you will end up failing and adding to the already accumulated financial debts. You would be in a better situation to apply for funding or to be taken seriously if you were positive and worked smartly to pass despite feeling troubled about having a lack of finances. Always replace your negative thoughts with positive thinking; your financial situation may look bleak at present, but that does not mean it would always remain bleak. Believe in yourself and that you can overcome whatever challenges you might be facing.

Never give up!