Sacrificing for school

Post-secondary education can have huge effects on your social life

Post-secondary education can have huge effects on a person’s future, but can also have unwelcoming effects on their social life.

Post-secondary education affects average earnings, mental stability and even physical health, but perhaps the most pervasive impacts are the changes to a person’s social life.

Andrew Gast is a radio and broadcast student at NAIT, currently doing a practicum in P.E.I., who has experienced drastic changes to his social life since starting his program in 2015.

“I moved across the country and the only people I know are either people I’ve tried to date or I work with, so I’m mostly alone, besides my job and that is strictly, well — radio people,” said Gast.

Jacob Watson, a computer science student who is close to earning his degree in Lethbridge had a similar limiting experience.

He said when he was in the thick of it with classes, he was spending almost all of his time outside of class working on schoolwork.

“You’re spending a lot of time with the other computer science students but that’s not exactly socializing,” said Watson.

“During those times, it impacted my social life negatively to be perfectly honest,” said Watson.

Between the high cost of tuition and the heavy time commitment, students already contemplate whether or not to attend college or university.

Another factor involved in the decision-making process is whether or not students want to shift focus toward assignments and classes and away from friends and fun.

Gast is unsure if the sacrifice is worth it.

He said he didn’t make much of a sacrifice and that people in his life will always let him back in. But another part of him says, “I’m foolish for testing the limits of said circle.”

Watson believes the sacrifice will be well worth it in the long run.

It’s allowed him the opportunity to work for Alberta Health Services and heavily supplement his student loans throughout his career.

“Now I’m almost done and have another cooler job lined up.”

He summed up his experience saying, “I couldn’t be getting the degree without making that sacrifice, and couldn’t get the jobs without the degree.”

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