In our last tip, we encouraged using your faculty’s office hours. Let’s keep with the theme of using the resources at your finger tips. With a little bit of research, you’ll likely find a LOT of very helpful resources on campus, and best of all – they’re probably FREE! Resources vary from campus to campus, so ask around at your institution. Here’s a sampling of the types of services that are likely available for you:
- Your recreation/wellness center probably gives you free, or low-cost, access to fitness equipment, the pool, and a variety of wellness classes.
- Aside from journals and books that you may need for coursework, your library probably has an interesting collection of DVDs and music. While these might not be the newest releases, don’t immediately write them off; some libraries have a really wide range of classic, international, indie and Oscar-winning films. Likewise, they probably have an eclectic collection of music that’s hard to find anywhere else.
- Some very large (US) colleges are able to offer very low cost health insurance to students; in some cases, coverage is at, or close to, 100%. While the cost of health and dental services can vary from campus to campus, one of the real benefits is proximity. If you’re living away from home, having access to medical staff on campus is especially handy! Also, many health centers provides flu shots at a reduced rate to students.
- Counseling services are another incredible resource available on most campuses, and let’s face it, college can be stressful. They’ll provide crisis intervention, and support for a variety of emotional needs. Apart from individual counseling, some counseling departments also provide workshops and resources in promotion of a wide range of topics, including relationships, mental health and stress management.
- Some campuses provide free or low cost financial advising to students and alumni. This service may or may not be offered by your financial aid office, a finance club, or even an alumni association.
- Professional associations are tremendous resources, especially when it comes to researching specific fields and networking with professionals. Many associations have special pricing for student membership. Your institution, or your department, may already be a member of an organization you’re interested in joining. Ask around; you may already have access to member benefits.
- Your campus may also have relationships with different vendors for anything from computers, software, peripherals, transit, food, fitness centers, entertainment, etc. Even if you campus doesn’t have the relationship, by virtue of being a student, you may get special perks from different companies. In most cases, you’re offered reduced pricing after proving you’re a current student. (For example, Sweet Careers Consulting provides free resume and cover letter reviews for college students and recent graduates.)
Do you know of other free or low-cost products or services available just for students? List them in the comments!