The University of Ottawa's Guide to... Mid-Semester Meltdowns
So here is the scenario: you are stressed, midterms are coming up, you are sleep deprived, you are poor; you are a student. It's that time of the year! The mid-semester meltdown is here ! We are unfortunately all too familiar with this meltdown or are soon disappointingly going to be. Indeed, being swamped with the second wave of midterms, papers, assignments, research and what not. Trying to have some sort of a social life and getting the best out of our university experience are hard to handle all at the same time. There is another problem that we have to face: we are poor students. The money is starting to run out and you are wondering what you can do that will not affect your current lifestyle. Well think about it; is the lifestyle you are currently living really sustainable and realistic? If not, then you have found yourself at a stop sign.
We all started out so hopeful too! Telling ourselves “I'm not going to get a job, I'm going to focus on my studies!” But then it hits you. Something has to be done and quick!
Keeping good grades is of course one of our main priorities but realistically, we need to pay for our tuition to get the education we want. We all know it is not cheap and there is no easy way out. If you keep your head up, you can get through this melt down and pay those bills!
There are a couple of things you need to do to not only keep your sanity, but also keep the money flowing:
Budgeting is something that we all think we know how to do, but most of us do not. For one, it was a terrible idea to have a mall right beside a university. We're fashionable ladies and we need to spend the pile to get the style. However, us students have to be strong and do the right thing. That is to budget our money! Find out how much money you need to sustain yourself (for food, transportation, rent, etc) and from that decide how much you can spend for recreational use without blowing your budget. It seems like a bit of work but it will do wonders!
2. Get Your Priorities Straight!
You need to decide what really means the most to you. Would you rather have the money to continue in school for the next how many years or buy that really cute dress you saw at the Rideau Centre to party in next weekend? No judgement! What is important to you is all that matters but find it and orient your financial goals around it; whether it means saving up, budgeting the money you have, or finding a part- time job to sustain your lifestyle.
3. Save up!
Now it's something all of our parents have told us but it is truly effective! By getting our priorities straight one can save for the things that mean the most to them and get by with a breeze. Try using a money jar! It might sound cheesy but it actually works. Put some of your change into the jar at the end of each day (whether it might be dimes, quarters or loonies) and you will be surprised by how much you'll have at the end of the month! That expensive latte from Starbucks can now become affordable for a post midterm treat !
4. Seasonal Work
If you are a bit intimidated by the thought of getting a long-term part-time job then think about seasonal work. It is only for a short time period and if it is over the holidays, you'll be making quite a bit of money! It is a good opportunity not only to have some cash to spend, but also to gain some job experience in something you have never done before. Employers will also work around your schedule so you are not too stressed out about school. By the end of it, you can decide whether you are ready for a long term part-time job or you think you just want to concentrate on your studies.
5. Make use of all your time
One of the most important things you will ever learn to do! Your parents, teachers, professors and family have been telling you this since High School, but it will save you so much time and much unnecessary all nighter's and headaches! We know, Tumblr and Facebook are calling your name and Twitter is chirping away but we must ignore them! This calls for some serious discipline and thought. Every moment you are in this mid-semester meltdown you must make wise decisions. You should definitely go to the library rather than get poutine with your friends. Try to schedule your days into time slots. Include times where you have to study/research/do an assignment, and times to have study breaks so your head does not pop off. Having an organizing agenda might be more helpful than you think. We all know that time of the year is really stressful but we can do it! We can get threw it, receive the best results and conquer the terror that is the mid-semester meltdown.