From finances to parking, new year brings challenges


Sergio Hernandez/The Runner

Students stroll along the red brick road at CSU Bakersfield to commence the start of Fall 2019 semester

Cecilia Torres , Opinions Writer

College is stressful. From the beginning of the semester all the way through finals week, students always have something to be stressed or worried about.

Although for some students, the beginning of the semester is perhaps the easiest part of the next 16 weeks; for many new and returning students, the first couple of days can still be the most stressful time of the semester.

Between buying expensive textbooks, late financial aid disbursements, finding classes, waitlists, add slips, and parking permits, it can all seem like too much.

Sometimes all we can do is handle one challenge at a time.

One of the biggest challenges for students is financial aid or a lack thereof.

77 percent of students received need based aid in the 2017-2018 school year according to Ema Sasin’s article “CSUB named 6th Best Bang for the Buck by Washington Monthly”

With such a large number of students receiving financial aid, it is no surprise to see the lines pouring out of the financial aid offices, as students try to put in order whatever is preventing them from receiving financial aid.

To avoid adding financial aid to the list of things you are going to be stressed out about, check your myCSUB account regularly for any missing information listed in the to “To-Do” section. This can help advance any delays in the future.

Enrolling in direct deposit can also help get you your financial aid as quickly as possible, the financial aid office can help you start the process.  Any issues regarding financial aid should be taken care of immediately, as failure to pay tuition and fees can result in getting dropped from a class.

Parking is another challenge that has always caused stress for students.

“The first week of the semester was chaotic for parking, even at the solar panel parking lot where there is usually parking all the time,” said senior computer science major Alfredo Zavala.

Not enough available parking will always be a problem at CSUB. Especially as more students enroll each year.

“In Fall 2018, CSUB served a total of 10,545 full and part-time students,” according to the CSUB Facts and Figures page on the university website.

This fall the number has since increased. CSUB President Lynette Zelezny wrote to The Record that there are currently 11,000 students enrolled.

Last Nov. which also had an increase in enrollment numbers, Police Chief Marty Williamson told Eyewitness news that CSUB did not have a parking problem. He said the problem was that there was not enough convenient parking.

“As we stand here right now, I can guarantee you, that on a daily basis there’s easily 200-300 slots on the south end of campus,” he told Eyewitness News. “It’s about a seven-minute walk. If people don’t want to walk seven minutes, then it’s easy to say there’s not enough parking.”

The fact of the matter is, the CSUB community is growing, and there doesn’t seem to be any initiative to accommodate the growing numbers.

CSUB could do more to help alleviate the stress of parking, but students also have to do their part. This includes purchasing parking passes ahead of time and arriving early to find good parking.

As far as financial aid is concerned, it is almost entirely up to the student. Make sure all paperwork is in order and financial aid should be applied to your account within 10 days before the beginning of each semester.