Medicine Hat Office
3257 Dunmore Road SE
AB T1B 3R2
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EXPIRES MARCH 31, 2022 41409165
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Hcaonwtrsatunsdietinotnsto life on a college campus
Much has been made of the challenges about returning to campus while also
that have faced students and their families making the transition to life on a college
during the COVID-19 pandemic. The shift campus. The following are some ways to
to remote learning and shortened school make that transition go smoothly.
days was difficult for many families,
forcing students to adapt to virtual school • Engage in the community. The
on the fly as their parents adjusted to Health, Counseling and Disability
working from home full-time while doing Access Services at the University of
their best to keep kids engaged in their Missouri-St. Louis urges students to
studies and occupied when school let take advantage of opportunities to
out each day. Given those challenges, it’s engage in their new communities as
no wonder so many families are looking early as possible. The HCDAS notes
forward to what figures to be a more that first-year experiences are designed
normal school year in 2021-22. But that to help students connect with their new
return will pose its own unique challenges life on campus and make new friends.
as well. All incoming freshmen are facing the
same set of unique circumstances
Some students may be a little anxious as as the 2021-22 school year begins.
they prepare to return to campus this fall. That includes the adjustment from
That transition could be especially difficult remote learning with limited social
for incoming college freshmen, who must contact with peers to a return to more
overcome any pandemic-related concerns traditional academic and social settings.
Navigating that transition alongside • Encourage students to share
other incoming freshmen can make it a their concerns. Opening up about
little easier to handle. any concerns they may have can
help students as they emerge from
• Plan ahead. Parents and their the pandemic. Many parents were
college-bound children can prepare concerned about returning to the office
for the coming school year by learning in person, and they can share those
about on-campus policies over the concerns and the ultimate outcomes of
summer. Will masks be mandated? Will their returns with students concerned
classrooms remain socially distanced? about moving onto a college campus.
Are vaccinations required to attend Parents are urged to periodically check
class in person? The sooner families in with college students about any
learn these policies, the sooner they anxieties they may have about being on
can begin planning for life on campus. campus.
Parents also can look into on-campus
resources designed to help students Returning to full-time, in-person learning
readjust to being back among their after the pandemic may be especially
peers. Knowing where to go for help challenging for incoming college freshmen.
should students need it can ensure Such students can work with their parents
any issues that arise are addressed over the summer to conquer their fears
promptly. and prepare for the coming school year.
102-73 7th Street SE
Medicine Hat, AB T1A 1J2
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EHoAwRNto A COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP
The cost of a college education continues to
rise. The College Board says the average cost Students who meet certain requirements
of tuition and fees for the 2015-2016 school may be eligible for scholarships. While
year was $32,405 at private colleges, $9,410 academic or athletic skills are the first criteria
for state residents at public colleges, and associated with scholarships, they are not the
$23,893 for out-of-state residents attending only avenues by which students can pursue
public universities. In 2013 and 2014, the scholarships. Scholarships may be offered
average cost of a year’s tuition at a Canadian
university was $5,772.
The high cost of education compels many
students to find ways to finance their
education. For many, that means exploring
Scholarships come in different forms and
are usually offered to students as a gift to
be put toward college or university costs.
Some schools offer scholarships, while
other scholarships are sponsored by outside
• We carry lab coats • Student color scrubs
• Stethoscopes & more.
112-1310 Kingsway Ave. SE, Medicine Hat, AB T1A 2Y4
to students of certain ethnic groups; children This is a great resource for finding locally
of employees at particular companies; or to based scholarships.
students who live in particular states. Local • Use networking contacts. Students should
branches of organizations like the Rotary Club ask anyone they know if they are aware of
or Kiwanis also may give out scholarships. any scholarship opportunities. Students who
To improve one’s odds of getting a develop a rapport with guidance counselors
scholarship, consider the following tips. or the financial aid department at their
• Get involved with the community. Many prospective colleges or universities may learn
scholarship sponsors seek individuals who are about scholarship opportunities that are not
committed to volunteerism. Plus, volunteering highly publicized. These people may have the
for various groups puts students in the path inside track on scholarship information.
of information about scholarships from these • Apply for all available scholarships.
organizations. Now is not the time for students to become
• Use scholarship search engines. Those lazy. Students should apply for as any
who search for scholarship sponsors should scholarships for which they meet the eligibility
find plenty of results if they peruse scholarship requirements.
search engines such as Scholarships.com, Scholarships can help students offset the
CollegeBoard.com and FastWeb.com. rising costs of a college education. Those
• Check the local newspaper. The coupon who are willing to put in the research, time
section of the Sunday newspaper may feature and effort to apply may find a wealth of
scholarships, as might the classified section. scholarship opportunities at their disposal.
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TIPS FOR DORM ROOM AND CAMPUS SAFETY
common places for assailants to target victims.
Life on a college campus can be exciting, If you ever feel uncomfortable, trust your
especially for freshmen enjoying their first taste instincts and err on the side of caution.
of life away from home. As exciting as campus
life can be, it also can be a bit nervewracking • Install window alarms. Many retailers sell
for students who have never before had to fend battery-operated window alarms that can be
for themselves. adhered to windows. The alarms will activate
if the window is opened or the glass breaks.
Administrators and security personnel work to These alarms can provide extra security even if
make school environments as safe as possible, your dorm room isn’t on the ground floor.
but incidents can happen on any campus. A
recent report from Campus Safety and Security, • Be alert when ridesharing. The safety
there were 38,100 reported criminal offenses, resource Safety.com says rideshare crimes
including burglary and identity theft, on college are on the rise. Always identify your driver and
campuses in the United States in 2017. vehicle before getting in and ask the driver to
identify your name, as he or she will have it
Students need not live in fear on campus, but and your destination. Wait for the ride in a safe
embracing various safety measures can make place, and try to avoid riding alone.
life at school that much safer.
• Hide or lock up valuables. You never know • Maintain personal health. Be sure
what may catch the eye of a thief. Devices and to visit the doctor and stay current on
cash are near the top of lists of most commonly necessary vaccinations, such as the one
stolen possessions, but a desperate student for meningococcal disease. The Centers for
may steal notes or even expensive textbooks if Disease Control and Prevention says the risk
he or she is struggling. Always close doors and for meningococcal disease in college students
lock dorm rooms when leaving. Keep valuables is slightly higher than the risk in other teens
out of sight at school. Consider buying a dorm and young adults who are not attending
room safe and lock your locker at all times. college. Other communicative diseases can
spread more easily on campus as well.
• Prepare for emergencies. Research the
school’s policies on emergency preparedness. Campus and dorm safety is multifaceted.
Some have text alert systems for emergency Informed students can reduce their risk of
situations like adverse weather conditions, being involved in accidents or being targeted
while others have clear guidelines on what by criminals.
students should do if they feel threatened in
any way. Participate in fire drills and learn the
nearest exits and protocols for emergency
• Utilize the buddy system. Most campuses
are safe to move around, but it can’t hurt to
schedule certain classes, particularly if they
take place after dark, with a friend so you can
walk to and from classes together. Security
experts say that elevators and stairwells are
IS NOW THE TIME FOR A GAP YEAR?
Uncertainty has reigned over many students What is a gap year?
for the last year-plus. As the COVID-19
virus spread across the globe, schools were The Gap Year Association defines a gap
forced to transition to virtual learning. Some year as “a semester or year of experiential
did so full-time, while others offered hybrid learning, typically taken after high school
learning plans that combined virtual learning and prior to career or post-secondary
with in person instruction. Confronting that education, in order to deepen one’s
transition proved exhausting for parents practical, professional, and personal
and educators, but students also could awareness.” The GYA notes that no two
not be blamed if they felt a little academic gap years are alike, though the spirit of a
fatigue as they navigated learning during gap year is to afford students a chance to
the pandemic. expand their comfort zones and have a
cross-cultural experience while ensuring
Some students may have no choice they have the time to reflect on those
but to carry on with their studies until experiences.
schools return to more traditional, full-time
classroom settings. But students about to Do gap years derail students’
graduate from high school or college may academic careers?
be wondering if now isn’t an ideal time to
take a gap year. Others may be intrigued by Parents might be concerned that a gap
gap years but not be entirely certain what year will derail students’ academic careers
they are. The following information can help by decreasing the likelihood that they will
students determine if a gap year is right for ultimately return to school. However, the
them. GYA reports that 90 percent of students
who take gap years enroll in a four-year
institution within one year of completing
their gap year. That can quell some of the grads experiencing fatigue as a result of
concerns parents and even students may those challenges may find that now is the
have about taking a year off from school ideal time to take a gap year.
at a time when many of their peers may be
moving forward with their educations.
What do students do during
their gap years?
Though the GYA notes that some space
and time to explore the unknown is vital
to a gap year, students who think a gap
year may be right for them should know
that such years are most effective when
students engage themselves in activities
designed to expand their horizons. Many
students spend their gap years volunteering
with a service organization while others may
accept an internship to see what life in a
given profession may be like.
Students have had to confront many
challenges during the pandemic. Recent
Use your student ID to get
a free public library card.
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The various ways
TO PAY OFF STUDENT LOAN DEBT
Students and families invest heavily in higher
education. Many students rely on student
loans to finance their educations. In fact,
students amassed $1.56 trillion in student loan
debt by 2020.
According to Forbes, American student loan • Work in public service. A Public Service
debt is now the second highest consumer debt Loan Forgiveness program, or PLSF, enables
category, exceeded only by mortgage debt. student loan forgiveness in exchange
The Institute for College Access and Success for working for a nonprofit or working in
says the average student loan debt is $32,731, government.
while the median student loan monthly
payment is $222. • Refinance the loans. Graduates may
not be aware that they can refinance their
Some students feel like paying off student student loans at a lower rate or choose new
loan debt is impossible. Many loan repayment loan terms, including variable or fixed rates.
schedules kick in shortly after graduation, Maturity dates can even be renegotiated
and certain borrowers may not yet be making in certain instances. It’s possible to
enough money to afford even the minimum save thousands of dollars in interest by
payments on their student loans. Thankfully, refinancing, particularly if borrowers have a
there are ways to get out from under student credit score of at least 650.
• Make more than the minimum payment.
• Investigate income-driven repayment. IDR Financial advisor Dave Ramsey says making
will lower student loan payments based on the minimum payments on student loans will
your income, and some plans even promise not get them paid off fast, and the interest
to forgive any remaining balance once the could pile up as well. By paying more than
repayment period is up. That period can the minimum payments, you can pay down
take between 20 and 25 years. the principal more quickly. Designate tax
refunds and salary increases to pay down
• Make a move. The Rural Opportunity Zone student loan debt.
program encourages Americans to move to
rural Kansas to help discourage population
decline and to give others the benefits of a
lower cost of living. Seventy-seven Kansas
counties have been authorized to offer
student loan payment incentives.
• Ask for help. Speak with your boss about
whether he or she can help pay off student
loans. Some employers offer conditional
student loan repayment to employees.
These are some of the ways that student loan
debts can be repaid quickly, efficiently and
The threat of
ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION AMONG COLLEGE STUDENTS
The moment young people arrive on college campuses and work remotely. Symptoms of depression include
and begin their lives as college students marks a feelings of sadness or hopelessness, loss of motivation,
significant milestone. College provides many young sleeplessness, trouble concentrating, changes in appetite
people with their first taste of independence, and that and body weight, and loss of interest in social activities.
newfound freedom can sometimes feel overwhelming, Anxiety
especially when it ‘s coupled with academic challenges A 2017 report from Penn State University ‘s Center for
that are much more rigorous than they were in high Collegiate Mental Health found that anxiety is one of the
school. two most common reasons college students seek mental
According to data from the National Alliance on Mental health services (the other is depression). In fact, the
Illness, 80 percent of college students feel overwhelmed Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports
by their responsibilities as a student. that 13 percent of college students have been diagnosed
Depression with a mental health condition linked to anxiety. Anxiety
Depression among college students may have been among college students can be triggered by social
exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. A 2020 and/or academic pressures. Being in constant fear,
survey conducted by the Healthy Minds Network experiencing frequent headaches, exhibiting shortness
in collaboration with the American College Health of breath, difficulty concentrating, constant feelings of
Association found that the rate of depression among stress or irritability, irregular heartbeat, and muscle pain
college students has increased since the onset of the or tension are some symptoms associated with anxiety.
pandemic. Though students typically have readily Help is available to students dealing with depression or
available access to mental health professionals on anxiety. Mental health professionals on campus can be
campus, that access has been compromised during the invaluable resources as students try to overcome issues
pandemic as students, counselors and educators learn that can affect their quality of life while on campus.
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How to face the
CHALLENGES OF SAVING FOR COLLEGE TUITION
Parents likely don’t need to be told that college • Choose a diversified portfolio. Most people are
tuition is expensive. Whether you’re a parent of a familiar with the adage, ‘Don’t put all your eggs in
high school student on the verge of applying for one basket.’ That adage is especially noteworthy
college or of a newborn with decades to go before when saving for college. Many people recognize
the first college tuition bill comes due, the burden of that simply saving for college isn’t enough, and
how to pay for higher education is likely something that directing college savings into a 529 plan that
you’ve considered. allows that money to grow is a savvy way to build
The challenge of saving for college might be more college savings accounts.
manageable if tuition costs don’t rise as sharply as
they did between 2001 and 2012. But such costs are • Take your tax deduction. Families are faced with a
unpredictable, so parents should explore other ways host of bills each month, and that can make some
to save for college tuition. parents wonder if it’s even possible to contribute
• Start saving as early as possible. It’s never to college savings accounts. Speak with an
accountant to help you make room in the budget
too early to begin saving for a child’s college for such contributions, which are often eligible
education. Expecting parents or young adults who to tax deductions that make it easier and more
one day plan to have children can open accounts sensible to save for college.
and name themselves as beneficiaries and then
change the beneficiary to their child once the Saving for college tuition can be made easier by
child is born. It might seem odd to start saving for employing various strategies to grow college savings
college tuition before you even have children, but without adversely affecting monthly budgets.
it’s never too early to start growing a college fund.
Direct Insurance Billing
Phone: (403) 526-7555
Centre for your
Students pay only
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A facility pass gains you
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EAT HEALTHY ON A TIGHT BUDGET
Nutritious food can be expensive, and it can be 3. Cook at home
difficult to eat a balanced diet that includes fruits Cooking at home can be much less expensive than
and vegetables when you’re on a tight budget. The eating out. Some find it best to cook for the entire
good news is, there are many ways you can save week on weekends, while others like to cook one
money and still eat whole foods. You don’t have to meal at a time.
break the bank to eat well. In fact, there are many 4. Cook large portions and use your leftovers
ways to eat nutrient-rich foods even on a very Cook large meals from inexpensive ingredients,
tight budget. These include planning your meals, and use your leftovers during the following days.
cooking at home, and making smart choices at the 5. Don’t shop when you’re hungry
grocery store. You really can’t put a price on your Shopping while hungry can lead to impulsive
health. buying. If you’re hungry, have a snack before you
1. Plan your meals go grocery shopping.
Plan your meals for the week and make a grocery 6. Buy whole foods
list. Only buy what you’re sure you will use, Whole foods are often less expensive than their
and check out what you already have in your processed counterparts. You can also buy them in
cupboards first. larger quantities.
2. Stick to your grocery list 7. Buy generic brands
Once you’ve planned your meals and made Most stores offer generic brands for many
your grocery list, stick to your list when you’re products. These are often of the same quality as
shopping. Shop the perimeter of the store first, more expensive national brands.
since this is where the whole foods are generally
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8. Avoid buying highly processed food They’re
Avoid buying highly processed foods. Not only are available all
they expensive, they often contain lots of sodium or year round and
sugar, with little to no nutritional value. often sold in
9. Stock up on sales large bags.
Stock up on staples and favourite products when 14. Buy in bulk
they’re on sale. Just make sure that they won’t go Many foods
bad in the meantime. are available
10. Buy cheaper cuts of meat in bulk for a way
Less expensive cuts of meat are great to use in lower price. They keep for a long time in
casseroles, soups, stews, and burritos. These airtight containers and can be used in a variety of
types of recipes usually make big meals and lots of nutritious, inexpensive dishes.
leftovers. 15. Grow your own produce
11. Replace meat with other proteins With some time and effort, it’s easy to grow your
Try replacing meat 1 or 2 times per week with own produce, such as herbs, sprouts, tomatoes,
beans, legumes, eggs or canned fish. These are all and onions.
cheap and nutritious sources of protein. 16. Pack your lunch
12. Shop for produce that’s in season Packing your own lunch reduces the expense of
Produce that is in season is typically cheaper and eating out. This can save you a lot of money in the
more nutritious. If you buy too much, freeze the rest long run.
or incorporate it into future meal plans. 17. Use coupons wisely
13. Buy frozen fruits and vegetables Coupons may be a great way to stock up on
Frozen fruits, berries, and vegetables are usually just cleaning products and nutrient-rich foods. Just
as nutritious as their fresh counterparts. make sure to avoid the coupons that involve
Go see why they’re
Medicine Hat’s Best!
Giving and Receiving LTD
547 2nd Street SE • In The Heart of Downtown Medicine Hat
Hatcher Dr NE
19 St NE
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Designed with colleg8SeTNE students in mind,
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with numerous stopPsarkviewalong the way.
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7 Ave SW 6 St SE Bridge St SE
Bullivant Cres SW
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11 St SE Allowance Ave SE
Spencer St SE Ravine Dr SE 17 St SE
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28 St SE Southview Dr SE
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