The Reality of Student Life
A Big Up to Amazing Housemates
Ah, the student life: something that some experience, some resent, some live and some have absolutely no idea about. For the most part, every student tires of hearing the same old "oh students have it so easy," and how much "discount" we get on booze. The reality is, the discount helps but it doesn’t have that much impact on finance at all, and saying we have it easy it like saying minimum wage is fair. It isn’t.
Student finance, unless you get lucky and receive some huge bursary or get funding for specific courses by the NHS, is around £3,600 per year. Excepting that, most students pay between £80-£135 per week on rent; it's pittance. Plus, you have to pay that back, alongside a hefty £9,250 per year that you pay to actually be taught (and this is on the increase). That isn’t to say we aren’t grateful. What people need to know is that most of student life isn’t all about going out and partying and laughing off how easy the work is, because it simply isn’t true. (OK, the first year tends to be a little mad on the party front, but once second year kicks in and certainly when third year does, the panic starts and the workload really does hit).
In my experience, the actual joys of student life come from the genuine niceness that coincides with living with good friends. Once you move into a student house, you will spend more time with your housemates than you do with your family—for a lot of people, more time than you have ever spent with your family. Every day for almost the entire year you are surrounded by these people, you live with them, drink tea with them, party with them, talk with them, cry with them, and support them. So choose to move in with people you love; your student house becomes your home and your uni friends are your family. For better or worse, you love them to bits. The real tragedies of university stories are not only when people leave with the grade they don’t want, but when people don’t have the amazing friendships and memories that university so easily helps to create.
There are times when you are scrimping money for food, wondering how the hell you can magic up the hundreds of pounds you need for rent that finance doesn’t stretch to, and times when deadlines creep up so fast you don’t sleep for five days just to reach the word count. There are other times when you couldn’t think of anything better than spending every day in the company of your nearest and dearest friends. Being there with a brew when one of you gets back from a hard day at work, spending an hour catching up before you all head to your bedrooms to read books and prepare for the next day’s seminar. The real beauty of the student life is that every single one of you is desperate to succeed and every single one of you can help the others to achieve their dreams. It’s a constant loop of experience and learning, and every student understands that.
There is nothing with the same diversity as a student house; everyone studying a different course, everyone with different ambition and taste, yet everyone comes together in such a caring manner to be there for the others. It’s an experience unlike any other, and as long as you are willing to put in the effort in the classroom (and out of the classroom), I can’t recommend it enough.