In a story about student challenges a female student at her desk in front of a computer

Challenges That Students Are Facing in 2023

The world is facing unprecedented challenges and nowhere are they being felt more keenly than in the student world.
August 24, 2023
6 mins read

As graduation approaches, it’s make your mind up time, not just as regards what job you’re going for, but what effect your decision is going to have on the planet. There is no point in thinking it’s just little old you and it’s not going to make a difference one way or the other what you do with your life. It is precisely little old you, and millions like you, who are going to dictate what happens to this motley collection of landmasses and oceans we call home.

There is a collective responsibility facing this generation that previous ones weren’t up against, or rather they didn’t realize the responsibility they had. The class of 2023 has inherited a world of uncertainty. However, all is not lost, and this doesn’t have to be a world of pain: it can be a world of triumph and redemption. So, buck up, students of today, and let’s see how we can sort this place out.

Charity Begins at Home

The start of a career is popularly perceived as the beginning of prosperous times, and it certainly can be that. But first you may have to deal with a millstone that’s around your neck right now: we’re talking about a student loan refinance, because that large sum of money some financial institution provided to see you through college has done all the giving it’s going to do.

Now it’s going to start taking, in the form of repayments, and how you deal with this is going to affect your whole future, because here comes a new assessment of you: your credit score. Calling it a score gives it a kind of energy, as if it were a sporting activity. More accurately, it’s a credit rating, which makes it clear that someone else’s opinion is in play here. You’re about to start being rated for your financial responsibility quotient. You know you’re a good person (within limits), but the rest of the world does not. An algorithm that doesn’t care one way or the other is about to express its blinkered, hardheaded, unromantic opinion of how credit worthy you are.

That’s because the student loan is not the last loan you’re going to have. It is probably just the first in a long line, and all the subsequent ones are going to be subject to how this one was dealt with. So, here’s an idea: if the repayments are not to your liking, whether that’s because you can’t afford them or, at the other end of the scale, you’ve got a better income than you expected and this loan is just dragging on unnecessarily, there’s a recurring strategy that needs to enter your thinking and stay there: negotiate.

Everything is Negotiable

When you took out the student loan, chances are you didn’t know many money saving tips for students and you probably also did not do much talking, but just accepted what was offered. Now you can go back to the lender and state your case and see what they can do. If they don’t go for it, shop around and see who will. In fact, you should do that research before you go see your lender, so you’ve got the thing in perspective and know what is possible elsewhere.

So, student loan taken care of, all you’ve got to do is make it work out there in the real world, with the cost of living rising inexorably as governments in your own country and others send prices into orbit along with the satellites and the private space projects.  The forward-thinkers of your generation are going to be keeping an eye on these sorts of things, because there’s always someone out there with a hidden agenda and you must be careful what you subscribe to.  Beware charismatic leaders. Sure, it’s good to have a bit of charisma standing in front of us at the microphone, but all too often it can be selling us something that, in retrospect, we don’t want. Are the space pioneers really looking for another planet to relocate to, and if they are, does that mean they know more about the earth than they’re telling us?

It doesn’t pay to be alarmist, though, so let’s enjoy life as we know it. At this stage of your life, it’s a time for optimism, but let that optimism be informed by a healthy dose of realism. Your generation can be the saviors if you take the whole thing seriously. 2023 is continuing to throw curve ball after curve ball to students so be sure to reach out to people in your circle and see how you can work together to overcome some of those challenges and make the world, and your college experience, the best it can be.

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