Students often encounter barriers to their success that stem from the personal rather than the student side of their lives. Being a student in a post-secondary program requires dedication and hard work. Unfortunately, the other demands of your busy life will not disappear.
The information and suggestions on this page may help you prepare yourself and those close to you. And remember, the Counselling Services team are always ready to help as well.
Important areas to consider in order to manage their personal lives effectively while at school, include:
Adjusting to school after being in the workforce
Although some returning students may be excited about the prospect of going back to school, others might have uncertainty about their re-entry into an educational environment.
Strengths that a mature student brings are:
- They have not stopped learning. They have picked up skills and knowledge in whatever they have been doing since leaving school.
- They tend to be very goal directed. They know why they are returning to school and are intent upon working toward and achieving their goals.
- They tend to be very motivated. In many cases, they have given up a pay cheque, time with their families and made other sacrifices to return to school. They are willing to devote the time and effort to reach their goals.
Finding a place to live
This is very important to student success. If you don't feel safe and comfortable within your living space, it will be difficult for you to concentrate on the big job of being a student. If you have roommates, you will want them to have a similar lifestyle to what you will have as a student.
Ideally, you will want your accommodation to:
- Have easy access to the campus you are attending
- Be affordable - within your budget
- Be comfortable and secure enough to meet your needs
- Provide access to the services you require
- Have a quiet space to do your school work
Saskatchewan Polytechnic Student Associations' maintain housing registries in all our campus cities and student family housing is available in Prince Albert and in all our campus cities. Check these resources on the housing page.
The Office of Residential Tenancies can also provide you with information about the landlord/tenant relationship and your rights and responsibilities.
Relationships, family and community
Here are some relationship tips to minimize stress during post-secondary studies:
- Have a discussion about how the people in your life can support you.
- Discuss the long-term benefits of getting educated.
Paying for your education
Each year, there are students who must leave their program because they didn't have the money to make ends meet. While some sacrifices in lifestyle must be made to obtain an education, your basic needs for food, shelter and clothing must be met. If they're not, the resulting stress can frustrate your effort to be a successful student.
Essentially, there are two funding considerations:
1. How much will I need?
Add your expenses together making sure to include rent, food, toiletries, transportation, utilities (electricity, phone and heat), recreation and other personal costs as well as tuition and books. Then look at your financial resources from loans, savings, parental support and scholarships or bursaries. If you are unsure of amounts speak to other students, a counsellor or advisor.
Can Learn is a government of Canada website that can help you estimate how much money you will need for your post-secondary education and offers links to post-secondary financial resources.
2. What sources of funding are possible?
- The most common source of funding for Saskatchewan Polytechnic students is through student loans
- You may be eligible for sponsorship through the provincial employment services.
- You can apply for scholarships, bursaries and awards. Saskatchewan Polytechnic will give away $1.5 million in awards each academic year and awards in every certificate and diploma program.
Additional funding sources for Aboriginal Students are also listed on the saskpolytech.ca/scholarships page.
If the points above aren't enough to convince you, please be comforted by the fact that Saskatchewan Polytechnic has a number of people who want to help you succeed.
You can get help with study skills, time management, test taking strategies, essay writing and many others by contacting Learning Services. Instructors can help you when you are having academic difficulties.