As a student, it’s important to be aware of where your tuition money goes. College and university can be expensive, but it’s not just the courses you’re paying for. There are services that can help the fitness, career, extracurricular and social aspects of your student life. Here are a few things you should use to your advantage while you’re still in school:
Between tuition, books and a social life, being a student can mean a strained wallet. Student unions often provide student discounts on a number of activities such as movies, transit tickets, theme parks, sporting events and other special deals so you can go out once in a while without worrying about spending a fortune.
Tip: Check frequently for different deals. You can visit your student union’s website, stop by their office or give them a call to find out more.
For some, the gym is the perfect place to unwind before, after or in between studies. Gym memberships are included in every tuition package, but students may find themselves “too busy” or claim that the gym “isn’t their thing.” Exercise is an important part of keeping the body and mind healthy. If you’re not into lifting weights or running on the treadmill, here are a few alternatives to consider:
- Take a group class: Some gyms offer fitness classes such as yoga, zumba, pilates and cycling. There may even be some unique ones such as martial arts, aqua fitness and hip hop dance.
- Join an intramural team: Athletic councils or facilities often host intramural teams within the school. If you like to play for fun but not competitively, this is a great way to get exercise, meet new people and improve your game. Teams are usually separated by gender or in some cases, co-ed. Chances are there’s a soccer, basketball, volleyball or floor hockey team you can be a part of.
- Try out for a varsity team: If you played for a team in high school, you might be able make the team in college or university. Watch for tryouts near the beginning of each semester.
Tip: Get a copy of the exercise schedule. Try different classes by yourself or with a friend and see which ones you like best. Mark an activity or two into your weekly schedule as you would with academic classes.
Students spend most of their time at school and may not have time to go to the doctor. That’s where the health centre comes in! Health and dental coverage are included in your tuition fees, whether you have a medical plan or not. The health centre usually covers counselling services, nutrition and blood tests.
Tip: You can opt out of health and dental services and receive a refund on the fees. Check with your university for more details.
Credit requirement checks
Many students don’t realize the importance of keeping track of their credits. Registrar’s offices have academic counsellors who specifically look after credit requirements, which determine your graduation. It’s good to be aware of this as soon as possible and keep a list of your credits in mind with your academic calendar.
Tip: Make an appointment with your department’s student advisor to go over your credit requirements. One course could determine your fate at graduation. It’s always best to be sure.
You don’t have to wait until your final year of school to make use of the career centre. Getting a sense of its resources earlier on will encourage you to seek the help that is given to you. You’ll be surprised by how many students may overlook this. Some helpful services include:
- Career counselling: Make an appointment with a career counsellor. They can guide you through your career path and self development. You’ll get a sense of your values, transferable skills, areas of interest and how these align with possible career choices.
- Resume critiques: Career specialists have an expertise in resumes and cover letters. Knowing how to write a proper resume and cover letter is a skill that comes in handy for the rest of your life.
- Mock interviews: Mock interviews can help you prepare for real-life interviews, whether you’ve secured one or not. It can calm your fears, build your confidence, and get a feel for the questions that may be answered.