How Can Students Cope Financially During Lockdown

Someone told you that the deadline for filing a student loan application would fall on May 22. You have decided to not get in this boat (like the other college students), as you've been worried about what would happen in the world. Can you cope financially during this uncertain time? Yes. As a matter of fact, this is the best time to get organized and prioritize your needs (and wants).

You wish for a driveway, which you could rent to students who choose to leave most of their belongings in the university (or near it). You're on the verge of being overwhelmed (or so you think) but think of the graduate students. You're (financial) situation is manageable compared to theirs. The lockdown resulted in the loss of jobs, a nightmare for many graduate students. If they rent the place they live in, then they must hone their persuasive (and possibly bargaining) skills (unless the landlord is lovely). The same thing applies to an undergraduate degree who are colored and who come from other countries. If you're not up to date with the latest coronavirus news, then there's no need to panic. Not a few have noticed the disorganized state (of affairs), which prompted former President Barack Obama to break tradition (and criticize his successor). Politics is not your priority at the moment. You can't escape from this seemingly dire situation by bingeing on Netflix and reading, so take a deep breath. And swallow your pride.

This is not the time to prove your can stand on your own two feet, as now is THE time that you reach out (for help). It may contradict what you have learned from your father, who had his own place at a young age. It irked you until you realized that your generation was entitled. (So much for that.) You figured that your folks would be your last resort after you explore your other options. There's no need to inhale deeply, as you're thinking of tightening your belt. A bit.

How Different College Students Spend Their Money During Lockdown

Just go with it on a day-to-day basis. Let's say you only have $70 in your pocket, and you don't want to beg to your parents. You can make it last a week, if not a week and a half (or two). You must be frugal, even attempting to channel your inner Scrooge. The latter might be hard to do after you notice the university staff doing random acts of kindness. You can ask the staff about an emergency package for students who are short of money. You don't have to worry about accommodation fees and lunch and/or dinner. A local community can also help you. You're thinking of a part-time job, notably an online job, which would keep you afloat. It's the right time (to think about it), as summer is around the corner. The term is not over, though. Prioritize your last set of essay papers and examinations. You may be too exhausted, but your previous effort would be naught (if you don't give your best).

Change your spending habits. You wish that you've been living on your stock portfolio, which could have enabled you to dine in restaurants. It looks like a light at the end of the (long) tunnel, which must not make you cry. (If you really shed tears, it would be good. You must deal with your emotions as soon as possible. You don't want to let it cloud your judgment.) You might be sick and tired of soup, bread, and pasta, but the end of the term is near. You still haven't forsaken chips and pizza, even if it's considered luxury items at this moment. It's time to bring out your cheeky self (and ask other students). If some could think of #pleasefundmytravels, then your current situation won't humiliate you. It should teach you a few things when you're a professional who tends to spend beyond his (or her) needs. But that's another case. Last but not the least, buy what is necessary. (It includes buying coffee and food on the run.) Manage your time, so you can do chores (that you won't do if you have many items on the table). And don't whine. It's not the end of the world.

Market your skills. You might not worry about the mortgage, but the coronavirus has made a huge impact on the economy. It could be long term but look at the lockdown as a blessing in disguise. It would be wise to plan your summer holiday next year, as you must learn to market your skills. It should earn you a little, which is better than none. Use your social media accounts to showcase your talents, writing included. If you can bake pies, then don't have second thoughts about it. (You might earn bundles of money after the July 4 celebration.) And someone might need a dog sitter. You may be envious of that (dog) owner, who can afford to go on a short trip during the (upcoming) summer. Your time would come. And the dog needs cuddling.

Distract your mind. You must have a positive attitude, but the distraction would be better. It should make you enthusiastic about the coursework. A dorm mate, a foreign student, had spent his last summer in the UK. Your curiosity was piqued after he told you (and other students) about a one-street village with a dreaded secret. You don't imagine Robert Pattinson to play the village gravedigger (if the story would be turned into another episode of "The Twilight Zone"). You're not interested in the collaboration of Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, but you're open to folk music after you read those urban legends circulating in the Far East. (Your dorm mate didn't hide the fact that he had been to twenty countries before pursuing his undergraduate degree.) And you became wary of buying insurance. You can't afford to be scammed, but you have let your imagination run wild. You might have chores to finish, if not a deadline the day after next.

Note to Final-Year Students

If you're a graduating student, you may have a hard time to muster the courage. You're looking at an abyss, which can affect your focus. You must finish your thesis writing before the start of the summer, so you can master the art of Zoom-ing. Many businesses might be reopening, but it's possible for a second (and third) wave of the coronavirus outbreak. You looked awkward during those Zoom sessions with your professors and course mates, which should provide you with some valuable lessons. 

You must learn to work on a schedule (whenever you're in front of the computer screen), and you should know all the trouble that would arise when you're logged in to Zoom. Another story (for another post).

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