Okay, so I know I haven’t exactly been diligent in my posting the last couple weeks, and I know that when I have posted they have sort of been ‘cheap’ posts. Sorry, all you get is that apology. No money back.
Now, you may recall when I said I pulled my hamstring a month back – or whenever it was. I guess I didn’t take enough time to relax, because I twisted it or pulled it or something-ed it again last week and I’ve been trying to really take things slow so that I let it heal completely this time. Who knows what’ll happen to my leg if there is a third time…
Anyways, I’ve also been pretty busy with school – one history essay on Ancient Rome, to be specific. I submitted a proposal/outline/annotated bibliography for the essay last week and found out I got an 80% on that, which is pretty dang good for an essay – even if it was just a proposal. That took some of the stress off my back.
Also, there were other factors contributing to my stress level lately, which kind of pushed me away from my blog because I spent so much time worrying about certain things. It sounds crazy, but it was mostly financial stuff. I live at home, so what could I possibly have for financial problems?
Well, I take out student loans each year just because it helps to have my tuition paid for so that I don’t have to work quite as much – and I still have car, license and cell phone payments to make, as well as any expenses that I may have including gas, school related expenses, clothes, martial arts, etc. I know this is really nothing compared to rent and other expenses I could have, but when you’re only working part-time three days a week at only a couple dollars more than minimum wage, the stuff I have to pay for adds up pretty quickly and I don’t get to save much money while I’m in school.
This year, though, my student loan only covered half of my tuition, for some reason. So in the fall I got my tuition paid for, but I had to buy all of my textbooks – which are ridiculously overpriced. And I knew that by the time January came around I would owe another big chunk of money for second semester, so I spent most of my first semester trying to make sure I would save enough money to cover my tuition costs – on top of all the things I already had to pay for.
This problem would have been easily solved if the University of Saskatchewan offered a payment plan on their tuition, which they do not for undergrad students. It’s kind of silly that I’m there for four months, yet if you don’t have all of your tuition paid for by the end of the first month, they kick you out. But this is a whole other rant…
I was able to save up just enough money to cover my tuition so I was able to relax for a day or two, until I realized that I still had payments to make and no money to make them with. I scraped by, fortunate enough to have paydays right before the payments, but it was pretty stressful because I had no money. I really experienced the broke student life…and it was not fun. Not because I had no money, but because I was so stressed. It got to the point where all I could think about was what my next paycheck will be and if it will be enough money to cover my costs.
Then I find out that my car needs new front shocks and rear-break pads, a $1000 job. And I’m on my last pair of contacts, so I’ll need some new ones. It may seem like contacts aren’t a true necessity, because I’ve got my glasses, but I actually need the contacts to take part in martial arts class because I don’t want to wreck my glasses and I can’t see without them, but also, I’ve got astigmatisms in my eyes which make it hard for me to see at night. My contacts are designed specifically for astigmatisms, so they reduce the glare from street lights and other cars. Basically, I can’t drive after dark unless I’m wearing my contacts. The only problem, because they are ‘special’ contacts and not just basic ones that most people get, they double in price. :S
So, here I was, dwelling on all of this, knowing I can’t afford to replace shocks on my car or buy new contacts for at least a month or two, until summer hits and I can start working full-time. Something came to my attention, though, that I hadn’t been aware of.
When you apply for a student loan, the government factors in an expected contribution from your parents which is to be split between all children going to university. My brother did not apply for a student loan until January, so he had no expected parental contribution because it had all been taken from my loans.
I knew if I was reaccessed that the parental contribution would be split, but then my brother would get less money on his loan. I talked to him about this and he was okay with this fact, because he was receiving loans for the entire year. He had paid for his first semester out of his pocket, but he was, in effect, receiving loans for all the tuition he already paid, as well as his full second semester. The money he would receive for his first semester, which was already completed, would be like extra money that he didn’t need because he still is getting enough to cover his second semester tuition and a living allowance – he lives in Medicine Hat, a city in Alberta, Saskatchewan’s neighbouring province.
Sufficed to say, I contacted Student Loans, got reaccessed and received money for my second semester tuition. Because I had already paid for my tuition, this money was, essentially, mine. It was like a big relief in the form of a big check. In an instant my stress was gone because I knew I would have enough for my car, my contacts, and some payments. I no longer have to worry about missing payments or being contact-less, which is a major relief.
Now the stress is gone, and I can really focus on school and writing once again. I’d rather have this extra money now, even if it is a loan, because I’m not making a crapload from work. Student loans are interest and payment free until after you’re finished school, so I can worry about paying them back when I actually have a job that pays more than $13/hr.
My only problem is that I felt like it was a bit of unfair stress. If a person is approved for student loans, I think it’s only fair that all of their tuition be covered by the loan.
On the other hand, do I need my little, red 2005 Hyundai Tiberun SE Edition? I probably don’t…but to be fair I bought it used in 2009 (when I was 16) and have been making payments on it for the last four years. I’ve only got 16 payments left before it’s mine and I absolutely love it. It runs so quiet and smooth, and the shocks and rear break pads going are the only problems I’ve had with it in four years, so that’s not bad at all. Besides, it’s a sweet, little, two-door sports car with a sun roof and real leather interior. I got to have some fun, right?
And I did buy it before university. I worked hard saving up that $2,000 down payment when I was 16, so I’m not about to get rid of the car now. 😉 It all worked out for the better, though, and I am once again stress free. Until final exams next month…. 😉
Thanks for reading!