There’s a saying that has developed over time for young people on the verge of starting a new adventure heading into university. “University is the best time of your life, make every minute of it count”. This is probably because this is a primary time where university students experiencing less responsibilities just before entering the workforce on a full time basis. While university students are juggling their different responsibilities there is an ongoing issue that university students are continuously facing , financial stress. This is currently affecting different parts of their wellbeing in their everyday life as university students.
This article highlights how financial stress is causing 2 ongoing problems for university students. These ongoing problems highlight two aspects of university students health that are currently being affected by financial stress.
Before highlighting university students struggle with financial stress it would very important to observe the bigger picture of the everyday life of a university student. Their life revolves around the following responsibilities that vary in different ways: academic life, social life, and part time employment.
The academic life of every university student takes the majority of a students time unless the student is only enrolled in their studies on a part time basis. Every student’ schedule is different as they are all in different programs. Their academic life will have them encounter assignments, academic papers, pop quizzes, midterms and final exams. The overview of all this may sound pretty exciting or mentally demanding.
Although the academic life does take a bulk of a students time , university students always find a way to find some time to fit a social life around their schedules. Where there is a will there’s a way! Students figure out around their schedules to make time with developing their relationships with family, friends and peers. As well as keeping themselves accountable for their different mundane domestic chores such as grocery shopping and household chores. Finally, your health is your wealth , frequent fitness is something else that students take great consideration for. So many necessities to be managed with other responsibilities
Part Time Employment
Majority of university students find a way of managing their time to have a part time job in various industries. Their reasons for being engaged in part time employment vary from boosting income from receiving student loans or covering living and personal expenses. However, there has been a growing concern of university students experiencing financial stress about their personal finances with the issues of having to be concerned about having enough money to pay off student loan debt and finding ways to pay for monthly expenses.
What is Financial Stress?
Financial stress is referred to as the difficulty that an individual or household may have in meeting their financial commitments due to a shortage of money.
According to the Times Higher Education (THE) , from 2017, 15% of 2 000 university students from the UK identified managing personal finances while in university to be the 3rd most stressful aspect of university from the other 12 aspects they identified. The other two aspects that are rated as more stressful are related towards academic life.
How does Financial Stress affect Students’ Health?
University students over time have been developing an ongoing battle with managing their finances and this has resulted in financial stress affecting their health and wellbeing in the following categories:
- Mental Health
- Nutrition and fitness
How is Financial Stress affecting University Students Mental Health?
According to THE , research by NUS Insight revealed that more than a third of UK university students identified that financial concerns affects their mental health from more than 2 000 students. Also, they discovered that the highest level of mental health problems due to financial stress. According to Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth, students also highlighted that their mental health suffered due to having to sacrifice health pursuits such as any forms of fitness because of financial commitments. Some students discussed how financial hardship fluctuated their emotional stress from their financial situations and that affected their level of focus for their studies.
Is Financial Stress affecting Nutrition and Fitness?
Second, according to the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth, students found their academic commitments physically and financially demanding. They acknowledged a number of beneficial ways to save money and avoid financial stress. However, these ways resulted in students skipping meals , sacrificing their health that later affected their study concentration. Furthermore, some students stated that due to financial stress they weren’t able to afford basic health services, leaving their health unattended to, resulting in allowing their other aspects of their health being affected.
From these perspectives from the United Kingdom and Australia, they unveil the common theme of financial stress is having an effect on university students’ health and wellbeing.
These case studies reflect a growing unattended situation that university students are experiencing. This is an opportunity for further development of financial support programs that can assist with helping university students finding a healthy balance with managing their financial hardships in different ways that do not harm their health and wellbeing.
The development and introduction of financial education and literacy is a growing necessity to help students find solutions towards their ongoing challenges with financial stress in their everyday lives.