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An Idiot's Guide to Student Life

Updated on August 19, 2011

Student life can be hard, then again it can be ridiculously fun. What's for sure is that it's rarely boring. For most, it is a little bubble of poverty where responsibilities and looking after yourself are for other people. It can be a difficult time, existing in a limbo between being an adult and a child, most students just give up on the adult bit altogether, I know I did. Having recently left the student world, I’ve gone back to being a civilian and I’ve taken it upon myself to write a few tips on how to maximise the good times, and avoid a meltdown during the bad. These are all lessons that have been learnt the hard way, by me. Be sure to heed my advice but the rest is up to you. Don't come running to me if the boilers broken, you're partner's left you and you've got a 3,000 word essay due in an hour.

Me with a stripy sweater, panda hat and devil eyes.
Me with a stripy sweater, panda hat and devil eyes.

Tip 1 - Buy a stripy sweater

Sting is called sting because he had a stripy sweater that made him look like a wasp in university, now look at him. He is the man who everyone used to like. You could be that too, all you have to do is buy yourself a stripy sweater. Other advantages include marking yourself out as a student, meaning that charity workers won’t go anywhere near you, as they will instantly know that you are poor. And receiving discount after you’ve left uni, just put the sweater on and you’re due 10% off. No shop assistant is going to think that someone with a job would consider wearing such a stupid item of clothing.

Tip 2 - Don’t move into a house with people that you hate

This one sounds obvious but it’s surprisingly easy to do. When all the decent houses are getting snapped up and time is running out, living with fools may seem like a necessary evil to get the house of your dreams. However living in a crappy house with good people is better than living in a good house with crappy people. I speak from experience, the last thing you want is a soap opera that you can’t switch off going on in the corridor outside your bedroom. You couldn’t care less who cheated with who’s boyfriend, you just want to masturbate in peace. Living with annoying people will ruin everything, including that.

Tip 3 - Join a society but don’t let it take over your life

Definitely join a society; it would be a waste of your money not to. They are a good way to meet people as well as providing a break away from studying. But be careful not to fall into the trap of forgetting why you came to university in the first place. That’s right, because you’d be a failure in your parent’s eyes if you didn’t, unless you chose to study Media, then that’s already the case. In all seriousness you didn’t pay £3000 per year (up to £9000 soon) so you can be secretary for the Jim Carrey Appreciation society. There’s plenty of time you to climb a pointless hierarchy when you start work, so limit the time you attempt to do this in your society.

This student is so stressed he's started to eat his books, don't be like him.
This student is so stressed he's started to eat his books, don't be like him.

Tip 4 - Don't peak too soon

This can apply to a few things at university: drinking, sexual encounters, trying to do an essay all-nighter. But I’m talking about the whole degree. The way you’re assessed is there for a reason, it lets students make their mistakes early and find their feet before it starts to assess too heavily. The way things are usually done with a three year degree in the UK is: year 1 = 0% (you just need to pass the year), year 2 = 1/3 of the degree and year 3 = 2/3. This should mean that you put the equivalent amount of effort in for these years. Have your fun in first year and make sure you get things in on time. It doesn’t matter if your work is diabolical, having your name on it will probably be enough for a pass. 2nd year means raising the game a little, it starts to count so do a bit more research and make sure the marks are picking up. 3rd year and you’ve had 2 years for fun so if you haven’t that’s your fault. If you have it’s time to stop and knuckle down, hit the library and use going out as a reward for your efforts rather than just something that you do of an evening. The important thing to remember is that it’s very easy to stress out when deadlines come in for 1st year. Just put it all in perspective and remember to have a good time. If you don’t, then it’ll suddenly be 3rd year and if you choose to start making up for lost time then, you’ll commit academic suicide.

Money saving tips

  • Don’t buy a games console, use somebody elses.
  • Just use forks, they’ll be plenty of time for knives in the real world.
  • Invest in a wealthy friend who has a car, saving valuable pennies and the planet at the same time.
  • Work in a supermarket and reduce the price of your weekly shop using the price gun.
  • Find a girlfriend/boyfriend, this will save you a lot of money in the long run that would have been spent on prostitutes/tissues.
  • Don’t go to gigs, recreate the experience by buying a 6 pack of cheap larger and bath in it. Be sure to get someone to push you whilst doing this.
  • Don’t buy an apple computer if you’re only intending to write essays on it, swallow your pride and by a PC.
  • Save money getting drunk by using initiative. Swallow your mouthwash, raid the Chemisty lab and smell some perfume for slightly too long, they're all full of alcohol!


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