"This is the most exciting time of your life" or "you have zero responsibilities; enjoy living in your youth!" are difficult statements to hear when the 'most exciting time of my life' is full of price comparisons and the 'zero responsibilities' include deciding if I want to afford a birthday cocktail or a food shop! Being a student in 2023 has harsher realities that our elders struggle to understand and here is my insight:
As a struggling university student in the UK, I have experienced first-hand the numerous challenges that come with pursuing higher education. From managing finances to balancing academic and personal responsibilities, being a student can often feel overwhelming. In this article, I would like to share my experiences and offer some tips for fellow students who may be struggling to make ends meet.
One of the biggest challenges I have faced as a student is managing my finances. With tuition fees, living expenses, and the cost of books and other materials, the cost of attending university can add up quickly. Let alone the overdue pandemic partying! I, among others of a similar age, feel robbed!
In the wake of the pandemic, the government announced cuts to student funding, including maintenance grants and bursaries, which are designed to help students cover their living costs. This has left many students with an empty pocket. To make ends meet, I have had to work part-time jobs, take advantage of student discounts, and limit my spending on non-essential items.
Choosing whether to stay in or go out can be a difficult decision for a student, particularly when it comes to financial considerations. Both options come with their own set of financial challenges and it's important to weigh up the pros and cons carefully.
Staying in can help to save money in the short term. With the cost of eating out, drinks, entertainment, and transportation, it's often more affordable to stay at home and cook your own meals, watch movies, or read a book. In addition, staying in can help you to avoid impulse purchases and reduce your overall spending. However, it can also lead to feelings of boredom, loneliness, and isolation, which can have a negative impact on your mental health and general wellbeing.
Going out, on the other hand, can be expensive, especially if you're eating at restaurants or participating in expensive activities. However, it can also provide an opportunity to socialise, have fun, and create new memories. Going out can be a great way to relieve stress, improve your mood, and boost your overall well-being. It can also help you to build relationships and create a sense of community.
Ultimately, the choice between staying in and going out has been made for us. With the current financial crisis businesses have no option than to stretch margins at the consumers expense. Whilst in the past budgeting and sensibility would give you best of both worlds now we are forced to accept the truth ..... clubbing and socialising is reserved for the old and wealthy. See you in Popworld Grandma!
In order to make university life more manageable, I have also found it helpful to reach out to friends, family, and support services for help when needed. Whether it's seeking advice on finances or finding someone to talk to about personal problems, having a support system in place can make all the difference.
For other students who may be struggling, my advice would be to stay organised, stay focused, and never be afraid to reach out for help. Remember, you are not alone and there are resources available to support you. Whether it's through your university, a local student organisation, or a community center, there are always people and organisations that are willing to help.
In conclusion, being a university student can be a challenging experience, but, to me at least, the positives of friendships, education and worldly experiences outlay the hardships of our economy. If you are struggling, don't be afraid to ask for help and remember that there is always a way to make things work.
You can contact Student Finance England by phone by calling 0300 100 0607. The phone lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm and Saturday to Sunday, 9am to 4pm