After four months of working the same shift everyday or relaxing on the beach, we seem to forget how to get back in the groove of things.
While we are all a little shaky trying to get back into the swing of school, it’s important to keep a good school-life balance. The best way to do that is by knowing the resources available on campus.
All students have the option of using the support services at the Wellness Centre, Pride Centre, Women’s Centre, Aboriginal Students’ Centre, Childcare Centre, Food Centre, Help Centre and Access and Equity Services, among others.
Are you living in residence this year? There is even a Counsellor-in-Residence program and free tutoring which includes the Faculty-in-Residence as well. Make sure to ask your resident attendant for more information on these programs because they have some great resources to share with you.
Speaking about resources needed for classes, let’s take a look at the most archaic learning tool — textbooks. They are expensive but they don’t have to be. If a syllabus says it’s optional, think about whether or not you need it. If it says required, wait for the first week to find out if you will actually need it — sometimes it’s just a suggested book to read.
Last year, I made the mistake of purchasing a $180 textbook that was not even used in the course.
Once you figure out what you need, check the U of S used textbooks Facebook page first. If you can’t find the book you need there, check Amazon. This year I saved $90 by purchasing one required text on Amazon. If both of those options are a no-go, you may just have to purchase through the bookstore. If you are in need of English novels, Westgate Books is an amazing place.
On the topic of money, budgeting in university is important. Make sure to figure out how much income you have coming in and how much your expenses are. Next time you are grocery shopping, look at the prices carefully and the price per grams or price per 100 ml.
You can often find a better deal by purchasing off-brand items as well. By doing this you will also ease your future stress.
Keeping track of your budget, resources, appointments and classes may be a daunting task but a day-planner is the best way to figure this out. Indigo sells amazing planners, but if you are looking for a customized planner, check out personalplanner.com. For apps, two good ones to try are My Homework and Pocket Schedule Planner.
Lastly, do not be afraid to be choosy about friends. With 22,400 students on campus, don’t settle for people who are not good for you. Relationships are important, so if you do not have a healthy friendship or romantic relationship, there are other people on campus for you.
Throw yourself into activities to meet more people. Show up to events on campus, talk to the person next to you in class, join a club or sign up for a recreational team. Find things you enjoy, and you will meet people with similar interests.
After all, university is about growth.
Hope N.S. Jeffery
Photo: Victoria Becker/ Photo Editor