With the current recession, the importance of going to college and how to afford it is at the forefront of both parents and students’ minds. To help understand and plan for going to college, a 64-page glossy booklet titled ‘Flying The Coop – A Guide To Going To College’ has been has been produced by County Roscommon Youth Information Service.
The booklet covers many topics that trip up new students. There is a natural cycle kick started by the CAO offers. This begins with the decision of whether to rent, lodge in digs or to go on campus. Central to that is researching the costs and comparing it to the budget available.
Then time must be spent actually trawling through accommodation options in newspaper classifieds, college accommodation websites, making calls and then making viewings. Finally, you pay a deposit and advance rent.
Care must be taken to avoid all the pitfalls of new tenants ranging from fixed leases, to direct debit bills, and classically not doing a furniture and appliance inventory.
The next part of the cycle covers the emotional and practical side of settling into a new college course, making friends, discovering more about yourself in the process, avoiding starvation, fitting in some socialising, avoiding bills piling up, budgeting generally and meeting project deadlines and taking exams. The skills of budgeting combined with the ability to cope physically and mentally with the change and stresses are not to be underestimated and it’s important to know who can help when you need it. The booklet is distributed nationally and can be obtained from your nearest Youth Information Centre for a nominal cost of 50 cent plus post and packaging. For a list of information centres, see Golden Pages or check out www.youthinformation.ie. Alternatively, contact Roscommon Youth Information Centre, Castle Street, Roscommon town on 0906 625395 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.