I recently read a brief piece from the ‘i’ regarding the financial struggle that majority of students will face this festive season. Firstly, I will have to try and withhold my sarcastic tone but they really are stating the obvious when they discuss the financial struggle of students – thanks to the confused student finance system paired with the rising costs of living.
There appears to be a common misconception that students have it easy, that they blow their hefty student loan on social activities and waste most of the hours in the day dossing. Now of course at some point, most students have probably committed a few of these apparent crimes, however most of the students that I socialise with, struggle to fit into this stereotypical category. I am aware of the fact that I attend a highly academic university with higher entry grades than your average university and this means that a vast majority of students at the University of Leicester are here to study and nothing else.
As I’m in my final year at the University of Leicester, the work load has shot up and this has resulted in difficulty finding jobs that provide enough money to fill the gap where your student loan doesn’t and your parents can’t. In my case, I have two part time jobs (one at university and one at home for the holiday terms), I am in my final year of studying and although on paper my parents earn enough to pay my way through, in reality those earnings go straight out to pay for their necessities, leaving not only themselves in a minus but myself as well. Therefore, my student overdraft has come in exceptionally handy.
Thus, I was offended that one of the only quotes that was utilised in the ‘i’ article, showcased a student ‘in dilemma’ due to the fact that they couldn’t afford luxurious Christmas presents but still managed to have expensive nights out. Yes, students know how to have a good time but they also know how to do a good night out on a budget.
I know that I speak for other students when I state that living alone as a student can be complicated and expensive at times. I am lucky in the sense that I can call upon my parents for unexpected letting agent fees or housing deposits but at times there have been occasions when they almost weren’t able to fork out the amount of money that student life requires. This left me wondering what I would do because on paper my parents should be able to support me, so I don’t qualify for financial help (even though they don’t even live in the country).
So, after that rant, I suppose I would appreciate it if people could understand that not all students have it easy. Living alone for the first time in your life can be very stressful and expensive and for some students (including myself), Christmas is a genuine struggle.
Click here to check out the article in question.