BY MEGAN FIELDS `17
As college seniors, we don’t like to think about the world after graduation until someone tells us we’re running out of time. Fears like student loans, paying rent, and saving for retirement all seem like they’re off in a distant future that isn’t ours yet.
That’s, unfortunately, not the case. To help we seniors prepare for the world we aren’t ready to accept yet, the Nichols College Career and Professional Development Center and Student Financial Services collaborated to give students a leg up on these issues. During their Oct. 14, 2016, “Finding Easy Street” program, various presenters from within Nichols, as well as outside contributors, delivered informational sessions to increase our understanding as to what the world will demand of us after Commencement in May.
Lindsay Louis, Nichols assistant director of financial assistance, presented on “Loans After Graduation,” a wake-up call on what we need to know about our student loans, when we need to start paying them, and what happens if we can’t.
Considering 98 percent of students enrolled at Nichols for the 2016-2017 year received some form of financial aid, this is a topic that is applicable to nearly everyone. Of course, none of us want to think about paying off debt to the government and private lenders when we get our first paycheck, but six months down the line from graduation, it’s going to start being a pretty big deal.
Another presentation addressing issues relevant to nearly every student was “Getting Off on the Right Foot,” which was given by Ingrid Adade of Leominster Credit Union. Her session answered the questions: “What bank has the accounts I want?”, “What kind of fees and rates does this bank offer?”, and—perhaps most importantly—“Is my money safe?”
Although most seniors probably dreaded attending these finance-related sessions—especially if you’re like me and have Fridays off—there is no doubt the information provided is useful to anyone about to jump headfirst into the “real world” like we are about to.
Personally, I’m not looking forward to starting to pay off my student loans next year, but since I have to, I want to know what I’m doing. Thanks to this program, I have learned the first steps to take to get in front of my loans, and what I should be looking for in a bank account. These are some of the most important lessons we can learn this close to Commencement.
Megan Fields is a Nichols College senior marketing major and psychology minor. She interns for the Nichols College Office of Marketing and Communications.