Who ever said being a student was easy?
The media, the internet and social networking sites' are forever portraying the student life as some what admirable to all young adults and almost suggest that it is what they should be doing with their time. There is always something in the weekly newspaper or plastered all over Facebook about the simple life of students and how easy they have it.
Whether it be the constant nights out, the amount of money (or should I say lack of money) that students get, or possibly the fact that students always have money because they only eat beans on toast! Student deals are always out there right? so students never spend that much money on a weekly shop, that's if they even do one? with all that partying going on...
It could even be the amazing people that students meet that the media sees as admirable. The idea of them becoming best friends for life, attending each others weddings and the best man being an old university friend who has a lot to say about their wild time at university. When in reality most students live on opposite sides of the country and aren't going to see each other again once graduated. Which is sad it is not intentional its just the way life goes! you spend the best part of three or four years with these amazing people, create some of the best memories of your life but then one day you'll possibly never see them again.
So why do the media portray the student life so easy?
Are they talking from experience? do they know first hand what it's like to be a university student? Because although your time at university can be the best years of your life they are certainly not easy!
I am currently in my second year studying Law at UCLAN and I am writing this with experience! first hand experience and I can certainly say the partying is great, the discounts are amazing and the life style well, that isn't so great. I can speak on behalf of a lot of students the lifestyle isn't that admirable!
Lets start with the money. Money, money, money.
First of all you pay £9,000 to the university for just one year of your degree which is usually funded by student finance unless you or your parents earn enough to pay it. Then you need money to live. If you're eligible for the full support loan,which is dependant on your parents income then you receive extra money to buy food and pay for your student accommodation as well as fuelling the "constant nights out" that everyone seems to think we all have. Well that money only goes so far. Students do not live off beans on toast like everyone seems to think we do.This is just a myth. University students are no different to high school students living at home and eating cooked meals by their parents and not everyone likes beans!
There are only so many McDonalds vouchers that we can use before you become sick of the place or the reality that you might become fat hits you which is the last thing you want when at the end of your degree you'll probably already be depressed from the £60,000 debt you are in.
Fat and skint? lucky students.
Student accommodation is the biggest dread! on average a price of a place in student halls is between £80-£100 per week for a room with a bathroom, shared kitchen and some bills included. Correct me if I am wrong but I am almost sure you can rent a small house with that amount of money? it is tragic that landlords in student towns feel the need to rinse students pockets.
I guess working at Nandos has it perks for me. I get free food every time I work so at least twice a week I get a "decent meal" and don't rely on a tin of Heinz to get me through the day. I also get discounted entry into the popular clubs which is always handy to have!
Everyone I know who doesn't attend university has a view of what student life is like, which is just how the media portray it. "Oh you students, living off beans and toast, out partying 24/7 and never doing any real graft what more could you want?". The last time I checked there was no module that involved partying, students don't receive good marks because they have had it easy. It is not the beer goggles from the night before which has helped them pass an exam.
Nothing good comes out of wearing beer goggles, every student knows that!
Maybe everyone has an opinion of students being wild party animals because it is probably the cheapest thing to do in a student town. The local cinema in Preston is around a ten minute drive which is usually about an hour walking at 'student pace'. Once you get to the cinema it is £9 for a ticket, then you need popcorn and a drink! which is another tenner. So althogether a trip to the cinema costs around £19.
I can work for four hours and receive £25. I then buy a bottle of vodka for £15 to "pre drink" with because no student buys drinks when they're out unless they have just received their loan payment. The bottle then can last me up to 4 different nights out, there is always a bottle of lemonade that has been there since the beginning of the year in the back of the fridge that I can use to mix with my vodka. Club entry for me is £1 with my discount so it would cost me £4 entry for four nights out. So altogether 4 nights out cost me £19 which is the same price as a ticket at the not so local cinema!
One night watching a film which you can probably see on TV sometime in the future or four nights out with the best friends that you have made, after all you're probably never going to see them after university so every memory counts!
That is one of the many reasons why students are out all the time, it is the only social activity that is affordable!
Without encouraging drinking an other option could be staying in to watch Netflix! It is always handy to have and costs only £6.99 a month! If you fancy a night in but can't afford the cinema because it is expensive and you chose to go on four nights out instead then there is an excellent range of films and series on there. But I believe it is very unlikely that many students have Netflix to actually watch it... it is generally put to use as a bargaining tool, usually to invite the opposite sex to 'chill'.
Good old fashioned Netflix and chill. Almost as good as a Cheeky Nandos.