Good morning, Monks – a very happy Tuesday to you all.
I’m not too far away from my own college days that I still remember what it felt like to walk around campus with $6 to my name.
I worked on campus, as an intramural referee. I blew it mostly on stupid things. So stupid, actually, that I can’t even think of a witty example to share! I also took out some serious student loans. My friends and I would go to the late-night pizza spot on campus, and I couldn’t pitch in for the food we’d share at our table. Luckily, I had friends who didn’t give me a hard time, or made me feel bad.
Let’s just say, I wasn’t aware of the importance of college finances, and most troubling, I didn’t want to be aware.
Saving money is hard. Thinking about money can be scary. Worrying about money is exhausting (as if you didn’t have enough to worry about). And yet, it’s a reality we have to deal with.
In preparing to come back (or, for the Class of 2024, arrive for the first time) – I’d like to challenge, ever so gently, your thoughts about college finances.
- Strongly consider working. A lot of you do. On-campus if you can, but working off-campus if you have transportation to do so, can also be extremely rewarding. You’ll get some experience you can talk about in a job interview, reference in a graduate school application. Student employment is one of the highest predictors of student success around. It’s because you’re contributing to your campus, all the while getting some jingle in your pocket. The job that you really want on-campus isn’t posted? Don’t let that deter you. Email the director/coordinator/lead of that department and ask if you can have a job. Yes, that strategy still works at Saint Joe’s.
- Don’t forget about existing campus resources here to support students in tough times. Dean Lynn Brown, in the Student Financial Services office, is a great resource, and a great person for students to speak with if something comes up, you have a question about your bill or your aid package, or you feel like you’re otherwise drowning. (actually, we have other resources if you’re actually drowning……but you get my point).
- It’s around here somewhere (shifts papers around….) but we also have an amazing Counseling Center staff, and you might consider emailing them (firstname.lastname@example.org) to set up an appointment. Why the Counseling Center, when I’m talking about money? Well, if money is making you stressed, anxious, moody, irritable – and money can certainly do those things – it’s tied to your mental well-being. About 30% of all of our students have seen, see, or will see, one of our staff at some point in their time at Saint Joe’s. We’re proud of that – and not just because the number is high, but because our Monks are great about attending to their mental wellness.
There are so many things out there that can cause us to stress (relationships, an election year, the census, viruses) – let’s make this the year when money doesn’t have to take up so much space in our brain.
Be well everyone, have a great day.
Matt Goodwin is the Dean of Students at Saint Joseph’s College.
Along with a team of penny-pinching, antique-loving, repurposing-recycling Campus Life professionals in the areas of Student Engagement & Residential Living, Counseling Center, Health & Wellness Center, Campus Safety, and the Mercy Center, Campus Life supports students’ holistic personal development, learning, and empowerment in service to a global community.