These tips for college students stressed about money are inspired by a reader. He asked how to get good grades when he’s worried about his college loan debt…
“How do you get better grades when you’re stressing about money?” asks M. on How to Get Better Grades for College Students. “I have academic goals but can’t get close to them because I’m scared about the amount of college loan debt I have. I had to get $20,000 in loans to cover my education costs. Got any tips for a stressed college student?”
My first tip is to look into scholarships! You don’t need to be a brainiac or a nerd to get an academic scholarship, nor do you need to know the right people. You just need to know what scholarships are out there, so you can target the right ones.
Check out The Ultimate Scholarship Book 2012: Billions of Dollars in Scholarships, Grants and Prizes – it’ll help you figure out if a scholarship could be yours. The financial freedom that comes with a scholarship is worth the time and energy it takes to do the research and hunt the right one down.
And, here are a few ideas on how to get good college grades when you’re a financially stressed student…
Tips for Getting Good Grades When You’re Stressed About Money
First, here’s more from our anxiety-ridden college student:
“I’m going into my fourth year of college, and am scared about not getting a job after I graduate. What if I can’t pay off all my debt? I don’t want my last year of college to be ruined by stress, fear, and anxiety.”
I’ve been there, my friend. I had to take two student loans out for my university degrees, and none of the jobs I’ve ever worked at paid me more than $35,000 a year! My degrees are in Psychology and Education, which is why I earn so little.
So, take it from me: it’s not worth stressing about. Here are a few tips for college students who are distracted by student loan debt and other life problems…
Don’t worry about getting a job after college
Focus on this year, this semester, this month, this week, this day, and this hour! Don’t sabotage your ability to work for good grades by stressing about the future – which you have absolutely no control over.
What can you do right now to get better grades? Maybe you need a peer tutor, or maybe you just need more sleep. Maybe you need to drop an activity or two, or spend less time socializing. I don’t know what you need to do to get better college grades – but worrying about the future isn’t one of those things!
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Stop fortune telling about your future financial and career problems
“Fortune telling is predicting the future negatively and emotionally reacting as if it is already happening or it is imminent,” says psychologist Elizabeth R. Lombardo, PhD, creator of Control Stress For Good. “For example, people are often not worried about the here and now, but rather what they think will happen. If they are working, they are fearful they will lose their job. If they have foreclosed on their home, they are emotionally reacting as if they will be homeless forever. If they want to retire at a certain age, they are upset they will probably not be able to do that.”
She encourages people to find the balance between living in the moment and preparing for a secure financial future.
Get and stay healthy – such as not drinking coffee before breakfast
“Excess caffeine leads to headaches, muscle tremors, sleep disturbances, and high blood sugar levels,” says psychologist Joseph Cilona. “High glucose levels have been associated with impaired attention, decreased speed of information processing, impaired memory, lethargy, agitation, anxiety, and mood disturbance. These effects can have a dramatic negative impact on our ability to cope with daily stressors and usually compromise mental functioning significantly.”
Drinking coffee on an empty stomach causes sugar levels to spike 250% higher than with food, which lowers your coping skills. If you want to get good college grades, you need to keep your wits about you — which means staying as physically healthy as possible.
If you need health tips for college students, let me know below. I’d be happy to round them up!
Take advantage of the college’s resources to get good grades
Peer tutoring, free health clinic visits, free counseling, reduced fees for certain services — it’s been a long time since I was in university, but I remember being shocked and excited by all the benefits college students get! Don’t stress alone, my friend. Get help if you’re seriously struggling with anxiety, frustration, or your course load.
And, figure out why you’re so focused on getting good college grades. I don’t know how many employers look at college grades when deciding who to hire, but I suspect other things are just as important on your resume.
Maximize your money, and minimize your spending habits
Maybe you’re stressed about money because you have poor financial management skills – or you’re buried in credit card or other types of debt! If you’re a dummy about money, learn all you can about spending less money, saving more money, and maximizing your money management skills. Money Saving Tips for College Students – Beyond the Basics is a great place to start.
And if you can’t get a scholarship to help pay for college, read 5 Reasons to Get a Student Loan If You Can’t Afford College. Getting a student loan isn’t as bad as you might think!
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What do you think – got any questions or tips on getting good grades in college, achieving academic goals, and coping with financial stress?