This Christmas marks the first that I would be grateful to receive socks. But despite the financial hell of going to university – I won’t look back.
University has taken its physical, emotional and mental toll. That’s a given. It’s a massive change to the system unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. I have to cook, clean and work without getting pissed off at chunks of food and cutlery lodged in the sink by my elusive flatmate Gavin.
Despite this I’m certain, three months in, that I won’t be looking back. Going to university has been an adventure, a challenge, but – most importantly – a reward to undertake.
Living at university is a bit like camping at a festival – with more responsibility, more debt, and more fire alarms. Many fire alarms. Screw having a ‘Silent Night’: if you live in halls, you will be woken up by the person above you having loud sex, you will trip over several nos canisters on your daily run, and you will witness the consumption of an incredible amount of alcohol. Hence, a bit like a festival.
My university experience in numbers
Looking back over my bank accounts, I’ve spent £379.63 at our Union alone. That’s just on cheap breakfasts, Starbucks, and 3 VKs for £5. I have tried to justify it as me giving to charity because the Union is a registered charity – but there are only so many ways you can polish a turd.
I only spent £335.38 at Tesco. In all likelihood, I spent more money on alcohol at the Union than I did on actual, human, well-needed, non-alcoholic food.
And, there’s a reason why my flatmate Montana calls me “the Amazon kid” – I spent a total of £453.91 on Amazon, without including my Christmas shopping for my family. Is there a reason why Amazon has a 6-month free trial for students – yes. Shmuckers like me.
That’s not everything, believe me. More money has been spent in ways I’d care not to admit – legal ways I must clarify, but shameful ways nonetheless.
Lessons have been learnt
Moving forward though, I can achieve something through being more transparent with my accounts than Donald Trump – a chance to pick up on my errors, and build on them for 2017 onward.
A total of £769.56 has left my account courtesy of Apple Pay. Perhaps, just perhaps, my own stupidity, frivolity and financial flexibility could be curbed by tucking my money away behind a 4 digit PIN rather than just my fingerprint.
And, thinking of the fact I’ve been spiked whilst on nights out here on campus, I’ve decided to cut down how much I drink. When you end up in hospital for an assortment of reasons, you realise your time could be better spent than in Liquid or Academy.
All of this semi-self-loathing doesn’t subtract from one, very important thing. I’m glad I came here. It’s been amazing at Brunel, it really has.
It’s a just a shame it’s so expensive.