A guide to student survival // Be prepared to…

As I walked around H&M yesterday, I acknowledged two middle aged women walk into the shop and instantly see the ‘20% off for students’ sign. Intriguingly, one of women proclaimed ‘Well, I wish I was a bloody student’. Well, let me tell you ladies a measly 20% off H&M is the least of your worries as a student.

1. Be prepared to step into an environment that is completely foreign to you.
Flatmates. You’ll either get the best or the worst. I’ve heard stories of partying till 5am each night and kitchen sinks that take on the look of the leaning tower of Pisa. Everyone is different and if this is your cup of tea then you’ve found your match. Just be sure that the tower is down before move out day comes along. You don’t want to loose that outrageous deposit that no previous uni student told you about.

2. Be prepared to have an overdraft.
You start university with summer earned money and your first payment of student finance. This first payment into your bank account will light up your eyes but it won’t be there for long. Night’s out, eating out, travel and the odd clothes shop will lead you to eating out of tins in your last weeks of term three. I’m not gonna preach about budgeting because honestly I don’t practise it. So, make sure to get familiar with all the canned goods you can find in Sainsbury’s.

3. Be prepared to leave deadlines till the last minute.
You will go into university wanting to turn over a new leaf, proclaiming that you will plan. It won’t happen. You’ll get to engrossed in a new series that contributes nothing to your life which ties perfectly into…

4. Be prepared to watch everything on Netflix.
It will be your saviour when suffering from a hangover, dying from the winter cold from hell and when you decided to change your degree to BA (Hons) in Procrastination. You will also be great in a general knowledge quiz after university due to watching documentaries usually involving David Attenborough.

5. Be prepared to have to think about your own survival.
Shopping for your own food sounds great at the start but in the end you realise that it’s tedious. Your bank statement will consist of nothing but supermarkets and rightly so, due to a good two thirds of your money being spent on food.

6. Be prepared to have a ridiculous sleeping pattern.
You will either be kept up by next doors party or either be at it. Either way you’ll be pulling yourself out of bed for that 9am lecture that you only found out existed last week.

7. Be prepared to feel constantly out of fashion.
Going to university gives anyone an excuse to buy a new wardrobe. The first term you will be on trend and totally loving the fact that you have something new to wear each day. Second term comes and you realise that this second student finance payment just about covers rent and food. Looking on trend goes out the window from about January onwards..

8. Be prepared to hate laundry.
If you’re in halls, laundry is your worst nightmare. Normal logic would be to put enough washing machines to serve the capacity of your halls building. Oh no. You’ll be doing washing at 2am just to find a gap. Laundry rooms are also not always reliable. Be prepared to hang your washing across the kitchen using hair dryers to dry them due to putting your washing in the only broken dryer of the pack.

9. Be prepared to spend loads of money on things for your course that you’ll never use.
First introduction lecture and the reading lists are handed out. Utter panic washes over all your fellow classmates faces as you realise the A4 piece of paper given is double sided. The panic will only heighten when you establish the money that you’re going to be spending. Don’t buy the books.The library will be your saviour, it’s there to assist you in your studies, so take it, it’s free.

10. Be prepared to not use Wikipedia as a reference.
Baffled, I know. All those years at A level and GCSE when Wiki was your only trusty source. You’ll be dumping this source and cheating on it with higher classed sources of information called books, journals and articles. Don’t worry Wikipedia will still be there for you from time to time but it just won’t get the credit in your reference list.

So, you see us students deserve student discount as a little reward for just surviving another day, ladies.