Throwing away tuition dollars‘Tis the season: the season for stress.

We have reached the middle of the semester, when students are overcome with anxiety over, well, everything. You’ve just experienced the trauma that occurs when five midterm exams are crammed into a period of three days. You’ve coped with writing those ridiculously long papers with ridiculous amounts of procrastination. You’re realizing that your one campus crush whom you thought had the potential to be your one way ticket to a “ring by spring” has found love elsewhere. For an added burst of disappointment, you no longer have shame eating nothing but peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches for all three meals of the day… every day.

But wait, there’s more! Chances are that while you’ve been distracted by the stress brought on by the frenzy of the mid-semester, you’ve also been wasting a significant portion of your tuition money by not utilizing the many resources that have been made available, free of charge, to all students that probably could have eased the stress a bit.

Let that sink in for a moment.

The cost of tuition for an undergraduate student is $15,708 per semester. That’s a pretty hefty price for a lot of students, and that’s without the additional cost of housing, meal plans, parking permits, etc. Given, we all come from different financial backgrounds so 15 grand may not be an issue for some students, but let’s be real: Nobody wants $15,708 to be wasted if we can help it.

While many of us may complain about the cost of going to school here, what we don’t realize is that a large amount of this payment is going to the maintenance and advancement of many on-campus services that APU offers.

Some of these services include the Learning Enrichment Center, Writing Center, Career Services, Campus Pastors Office, University Counseling Center, Student Health Center, Women’s Resource Center, Student Center of Reconciliation and Diversity, Fitness Center, etc.

Over the course of the spring 2013 semester, the Writing Center filled a total of 1,393 sessions. With a full-time undergraduate student body of 5,412 students, that means that only about 26 percent of the student population has made use of this resource, and that is assuming that each session was used by a different student each time.

These resources are here for a purpose, but a large portion of the student body chooses to ignore them, whether it is because of ignorance, laziness or some other excuse with which students have managed to come up.

“You might as well take advantage of the free sessions because, outside of school, it’s not free,” junior cinematic arts major Christian Sanchez said. “At APU, it’s possible to have professional help when it’s offered.”

The professional help that can be offered at any of these given centers will not only retain your mid-semester stress; this could be that preservation of sanity that you’ve been desperately needing.

Do you have anxiety over that paper that you’re worried won’t be top notch? The Writing Center can help. You’re about to apply for an internship, and you realize that your resume hasn’t been updated since high school? Visit the Career Center. Noticing that the “freshman 15” is sneaking up on you? The Fitness Center is the place for you. The amenities go on and on. However, your stress (and money-wasting) won’t go away until you make the first initiative of simply showing up.

Some students like sophomore marketing major Jake Lindley share a mindset that although they don’t want to seek out help from resources personally, the ones offered have the potential to be exactly the help that other students need.

“I don’t want to take away the time that these professionals could be using for other people that probably need the help more than I do,” Lindley said.

This form of chivalry could be used elsewhere. The “I’ll sacrifice myself so that you can prosper” mindset shows honor, but in the end, these students are missing out on the assistance that they could use, whether they realize it or not.

Go on and keep complaining about the fact that you’re a broke college student; it’s not going to make the lack of money in your bank account any better. However, what you can do is acknowledge the fact that your money is already being put toward these resources on campus that you may or may not be using regularly. Since your money is already going there, you would be doing yourself (or your parents) a favor by actually taking advantage of these services.