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Education and Careers Work of any kind can get stressful at times. Ask in this forum if you need help with coursework, applications, and more.

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Question First year experience? Loans, work, and balancing it all? - August 3rd 2014, 02:30 AM

How many of you have student loans and still work while in school?

Do you find working takes away from you academic success?

What is your experience with student loans with or without a part time job?

I am eligible for full Ontario student loans and probably some grants too. However I want to stick with my regiment of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu through school as long as I possibly can, but I am feeling like work, sport, study and extracurricular would be a lot to balance as a first year student. Especially keeping in mind the fact that I struggle with anxiety and tend to be over ambitious and be very hard on myself.

I would appreciate any advice or stories about your own experiences.


   
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Re: First year experience? Loans, work, and balancing it all? - August 3rd 2014, 02:38 AM

I didn't work while in college because I am easily overwhelmed so it would've been too much for me to handle, but that's me. It is a lot to balance, but if you're organized and you know your limits you should be able to handle it. Take out as few loans as possible since you have to pay them back. If you don't already have a part-time job, consider working on campus, they tend to be more understanding of workload and more flexible. Find out what works for you in terms of time and stress management, too it will help.


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Re: First year experience? Loans, work, and balancing it all? - August 3rd 2014, 02:08 PM

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How many of you have student loans and still work while in school?
I did not have student loans as I was not eligible because of my parents incomes. Fortunately they were financially able to support me throughout my academic career. I am extremely fortunate that this was the case as I have anxiety issues and ADHD so I am not sure if I could have dealt with having to work full time to pay for my living expenses and tuition on top of being a full time student, though I am sure I could have made it work if I had no other choice. It just would have been so unbelievably god awful, as it was I worked part time and volunteered a lot which was very good for my resume and gave me a lot of experiences that helped me figure out what kind of career I wanted.

Quote:
Do you find working takes away from you academic success?
No, I would say 16-20 hours of work a week will not interfere with your academic success as long as you are managing your time well, I probably had about 10-15 hours a week of volunteering/work and I also did self defense classes 3 or more days a week and I found that it was ok for me (it all added to that time limit I mentioned), but like I said, you have to manage your time, so I choose to have a smaller social life in order to be able to do all that stuff and focus on getting high grades. Additionally, I think you need to have a job with an employer who will be understanding if you ask for fewer hours for a week or 2 such as if you know if you know you have to write 4 papers in a matter of a week and a half.

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What is your experience with student loans with or without a part time job?
Like I said, that wasn't really an issue for me, but I know that a lot of my friends still struggled a lot because their loans didn't cover everything if other expenses come up. So they got jobs to cover what the loans didn't, but like I said 16-20 hours is the ideal.




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Re: First year experience? Loans, work, and balancing it all? - August 10th 2014, 04:20 AM

My issue is just that I came to London for SCHOOL. Not to work at Tim Hortons. I chose my school specifically for it's level of academics and extracurricular actives. I'm just worried that if I can't juggle everything and manage it I came to western when I could have just went to U of Manitoba and saved myself the trouble.


   
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Re: First year experience? Loans, work, and balancing it all? - August 10th 2014, 09:14 AM

I found working to be a benefit to afford different things. I was able to afford going dog sledding and canoeing while in my first year of university. I would aim to work at least 15 hours a week personally. I also learned to ice skate during my first year.

Also, it is better not to get too much debt. Student loans you have to pay back eventually. Too many people depend on student loans to pay their way. Even if you saved some money for spending cash, it will be better long run.
   
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Re: First year experience? Loans, work, and balancing it all? - August 10th 2014, 05:43 PM

Yeah but everything sounds super pointless unless you have rich parents who can pay for you. You're going for classes and that's IT. Even if I work to earn spending money for extracurricular and time abroad, it won't go to any of that any way. It'll all have to go to loans. So I'm kind of feeling like what's the point. I should have just chose community college and be done with it the way everyone makes it sound. I'm not naive I know what a loan is and that you have to pay it back but what's the difference? 20 years or 25? You already gonna have a long ass time of paying back loans might as well at least make it worth it...

Also if you work too much you'll screw yourself over for student loans in the first place because that's what happened to my sister. Everyone around me seems to have an opinion about something that doesn't help. My Dad says don't work, the financial counsellor said don't work if you don't have to loans are there to MAKE school your job. My sister says work but don't work too much, a friend says work as much as you can and so does a coworker.

It's quite frustrating. I'm not sure what I should be doing but I know I came to THIS school because of all the opportunities for things OUTSIDE of classes but I struggle with anxiety and can't handle a full course load and more than maybe 10-12 hours of work max. And if I do that I won't have much time for anything else because I need Jiu Jitsu to manage my anxiety....

I am interested in equestrian, habitat for humanity and studying abroad, and possibly boxing if the university offers it. On top of Jiu Jitsu and studies...and probably work.

I have some people tell me it's doable and others shun me for even aiming for that...


   
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Re: First year experience? Loans, work, and balancing it all? - August 10th 2014, 06:45 PM

While advice from others can be helpful, when it conflicts like this that can make everything even more overwhelming. It might be different where you are, but I found I had way too much time on my hands! If you can learn to manage your schoolwork load (spreading things out instead of trying to cram everything into the last month of school) you should be able to fit everything in that you want to do depending on how much you plan for yourself.

I would suggest starting off slow. When I first started, I planned on eventually working, but because I had never been to college before, I decided to focus on just school the first semester and see how I did. If I felt after that, that I could take more on, I would. Personally I decided that working would've overwhelmed me and I was in a position where it wasn't necessary, so I decided against it, but that was my decision. You'll have to decide how you want to go about doing this.

If you know you need Jiu Jitsu, then definitely do that, plus however much course work you believe you can handle, and maybe a job if you want or need that right away and see how you handle it.


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Re: First year experience? Loans, work, and balancing it all? - August 10th 2014, 08:20 PM

One good thing about growing up is having to learn to prioritize. While it may seem like the loans are forever off, you will have to repay them eventually. You do not want to be bogged down by endless loan repayments that eat up half of your monthly salary. I strongly recommend working part-time to cover some expenses now instead of trying to figure it out later.
   
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Re: First year experience? Loans, work, and balancing it all? - August 10th 2014, 11:00 PM

Last year was my first year at university and just like Kate, I actually had too much free time and I was even working two jobs (granted I didn't study as much as I should have...) College definitely seems very overwhelming at first, but once you're there for a couple of weeks you'll settle in and realize it's not as scary as it had seemed. I recommend waiting until you've settled in before finding a place to work because you are so stressed. If you can find a job on campus that will help because you won't have to worry about transportation and you sometimes get cool benefits, for example I work with the catering staff at my university and I get some free food because of it. If you work on campus they also usually make sure they don't have you working too much, usually you'll get 20 hours a week max. It's usually less depending on what you are doing. I had many weeks where I didn't have any hours, and many weeks where I had under 10 at my on-campus job.
My best advice is to try and calm down. If you get yourself worked up, you won't have any fun at university. Additionally, going to university instead of community college is way better even though it's more expensive because you get more of a community experience and universities put on multiple events that you can go to. A lot of them will be free as well.
As for money, I've had multiple jobs already and I've helped out family members just to pay for college. I've still had enough spending money to order pizza and go out while in college. I recommend you make a budget for yourself to watch your spending and make a plan of how much spending money you will have. Spending money is really important in college not just for outings but also to feed yourself and get any products you need such as toiletries (like tampons for example when the time of the month comes).
Yes, student loans suck but if you can get un-subsidized loans you won't have to pay it back until you graduate and interest won't start accumulating until then as well. That's what I'm doing and it's definitely taking a large financial burden off of myself because I have to pay a large portion of my tuition.


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Re: First year experience? Loans, work, and balancing it all? - August 10th 2014, 11:34 PM

The problem though is that I already have a terrible job clear across the city from where I live that is hard to get to because the transit system here is bad. London also has the highest unemployment rate in the country so I'm afraid to quit for first semester. I've been looking for endless other jobs for the last 6 months. I lost count at 50 applications/resumes and that was over two months ago now. That's why I'm so stressed. I feel like I have a lot of pressure to know what to do about my current job.


   
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