So much has changed in our world in such a short time. It’s like all the rules have been re-written in a flash and our understanding of life has been turned completely upside down. Almost more than any time in human history, save for planetary extinction events, we find ourselves collectively at the mercy of a global event that has swept away so much of what we knew.
These monumental changes have hit college and university students particularly hard. After years spent excitedly looking forward to their high school graduation and the magic of their college years, today’s students instead find themselves in an uncertain world where remote learning has replaced the dynamic environment of the university campus. Worse yet, university administrators for the most part are not even certain of their plans for the new academic year.
Look at Creative Ways to Finance Your Education
If you are a student who was counting on federal work-study stipends to help pay for your education, you may have to think again. The virus has disrupted in-person work opportunities and many individuals may find that previous offers of these funds are now greatly restricted on even rescinded in some cases. With concerns over social distancing and the rapid viral spread, the opportunities for work-study are greatly curtailed.
Part-time work opportunities in college and university towns will also be affected. To offset the loss of work and your earning options, you’ll need to quickly adapt to assure you have the money you need to pay for school. One of the best options is to apply for and take out private student loans. These loans, which are offered by banks, credit unions and finance companies, allow you to pay for your education now and continue with your degree program.
Choosing Between Dorm Living and Off-Campus Apartments
Traditionally, most first-year college students would reside in the dormitories and residence halls to create an easier transition from living at home to living completely independently. Older students also found the dorms to be a great alternative, given their proximity to classes and the close communities they helped create. Now, with the pandemic, living on campus in close quarters may be the least attractive option.
Within the residence halls, everyone is packed in together for hours on end in one indoor space. Bathrooms are shared and there is no opportunity for social distancing as you walk the narrow halls. Off-campus apartments now represent a far better choice. Typically, each student has their own bedroom and private bathroom and instead of navigating crowded hallways you can typically get outside by simply exiting your private doorway.
Changing How You Get Your Meals Every Day
If you decide to live on campus, you’ll also have to purchase a student meal plan, since you won’t have your own kitchen facilities in the dorms. Unfortunately, being able to eat a leisurely meal in a dining hall with friends in safety is now a thing of the past. If the schools open their food service facilities completely, then you’ll be sharing the same indoor space with far too many people. If they offer take out options, then you’ll have to navigate the dorm hallways again and eat your meal in an overcrowded room with your roommates.
Off-campus apartments offer a better alternative at this time. You can share an apartment with just a couple fellow roommates. It’s also possible to rent studio or one-bedroom apartments so you don’t share the space with anyone at all. In that case, you’ll have your own kitchen so you can prepare your meals in a safe place. To further minimise your exposure and risk, many grocery stores offer free contact-less pickup or can deliver the groceries you ordered online right to your door.