ifIknew is a health initiative for young adults that uses a multi media approach, including social media and in person programs, to address the contemporary issues that impact the well-being, self-image, careers, and relationships of people in their 20's and 30's.

If I Knew is a prevention education project that raises awareness about risky behaviors that can profoundly impact lives.

Filtering by Tag: student loans

Who Says You Can't Go Home?

The economy is in a rut and the student loan collectors are beginning to call. So where do you go next? The answer for many of us is moving back in with our “ ‘rents.” Moving home after being independent for an extended period of time can feel like a major downer.  It’s easy to feel demotivated and depressed as you confront this major lifestyle change.  However, it really doesn’t have to be that bad! Here are some tips to help make living with the “ ’rents” a more positive experience:

1)      Remember first and foremost that your parents are doing you a favor by providing you free or discounted shelter.  Remember to say thank you – your parents will appreciate your gratitude.

2)      Set a time frame for how long you plan to live at home. If you are job-hunting, don’t allow yourself to get too distracted.  Make yourself a schedule and stick to it.

3)      Set ground rules with your parents.  If you are living with any new roommates, it’s important to assert your needs and set boundaries.  Your dad might not want you coming home after the sun has already risen…however, you also have the right to tell him not to snoop through your stuff.   Mutual respect will go a long way.

4)      Remind yourself that your time with your parents is still an opportunity to move forward and build your life.  You can continue seeing friends, dating, and more.

5)      Establish local support networks.  Give your friend from high school a call, hang out in local coffee shops, and reintegrate yourself in your community.  Seek new friends.

6)      Stay the responsible adult you are or are becoming. Contribute. Regressing to being taken care of by our folks is so tempting but so stunting. You don’t want to be living on their couch in your 30’s.


Financials Freaking You Out?

Student loans... Almost as common as the latest fashion trends, except no one really wants them. As an undergraduate student in psychology and women’s studies, this is something that’s been creeping up on me for a while. As my father likes to say, “Psychology is code for ‘graduate school.’”  He’s right.  I will have to go to graduate school, and someone’s going to have to pay for it. And guess what? It ain’t cheap! Unless I win the mega-million lottery in the next year and a half, student loans seem like the best way to go. So what happens when I get my master’s degree?  Can you see it now?  I look at the statement to see how much I owe and I nearly drop dead.

But that’s where you’re wrong! I’m a sensible, emotionally stable woman, and I’ve got myself together. My advice?  If you’re a student with loans, remember this: you took out student loans for a reason! Student loans are an investment for the future. You took these blasted loans to pay for something worthwhile. You made an investment in yourself that’s sure to benefit its stakeholders in the future. And if it doesn’t... well, that’s another blog.

Some other things to remember: Banks aren’t totally evil. They know that students need time to pay off their tuition, so student loans have comparatively low interest rates. Loans can also boost your good credit score, as long as you pay them off. And lastly, there are several loan forgiveness programs offered specifically to students who are unable to pay on time.

So, what can you do now? Make yourself a financial plan. Don’t let yourself be surprised by the amount of money you owe when you graduate.  Making a budget will help you keep track of your expenses and will ensure that you’re living within your means during your college years. There’s even online software that can help you track your spending.

Take advantage of your school’s resources.  Most universities offer some kind of counseling, whether it’s for career and financial needs or emotional ones. Even better—these services are included in tuition! This way, you can manage your financial business as well as your stress. Ahh, I feel better already.

So don’t freak out about your student loans! Take a deep breath and consider what is stressing you and what good things can come out of this situation.  Do some research and use the resources available to you.   You’ll come to see that you don’t have to handle this all by yourself. It’s going to be all right.

For more ideas and resources on this: Go Ask Alice http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/looming-student-loans-emotional-distress