It’s been a while. Starting college as a freshman has been incredibly time consuming, and I’m happy to say I’m very close to having survived my first year at SCAD as a Fashion Design student. However, I’ve learned many things I wish to share through trials and tribulations I’ve dealt with this year. I’ve learned many things and have solutions for students who are worried or don’t know what to do.
For those of us who aren’t incredibly rich, have no money in the bank, and need to severely get their lives together, I’m here to tell you it will be okay (and if all else fails there are solutions to that).
For most of us, we don’t have extremely wealthy parents. If you’re attending an expensive private design school, like me, there will be plenty of students who do. But don’t be jealous and envious. I’ve learned that, and it’s hard to not compare your life to someone else’s, but it’s a waste of time. You won’t learn from just being jealous. Everyone has to start somewhere, and unfortunately not everyone is dealt the same cards in life.
As for maintaining your finances, make a budget at the beginning of each term or month, whichever works best for you, and allot a certain amount of money for different living expenses, separate from your absolutely necessary expenses like textbooks and class materials.
-Look at class pages to see if students have things for sale at a discounted price or free
Be very strict with yourself and what you buy. Save your money, and stay out of your savings, in case something happens like getting sick. If you become ill you will need that money. If you get stuck somewhere with no car, you will need to pay for an uber or a cab. Stay smart about this.
However, don’t be so frugal that you’re absolutely limiting yourself to just basic necessities. If you don’t go out with friends some time, or enjoy life even a little you WILL start to feel very miserable. Trust me, financial anxiety is enough of a burden on someone.
Make a spreadsheet with some space for the inevitable, and maintain your finances and spending, keeping track of what you need the most, and budget each week for the coming school year.
If all else fails, contact your family or get a part time job that you can handle with your personal schedule. Enjoy your time in school, don’t just let it all go to waste and drop out because you fear there will be issues. Everyone has debt, but strategy is what keeps you on your toes instead of drowning.
I hope this post helps some students out there who are incoming or feeling lost.