So it’s finally that time of year when you get paid. You’ve spent ages on the computer, on the phone and licking envelope seals just to get the government to finance your course and after all those ridiculous documents they asked you to send, you’re finally reaping the rewards. The only thing is, now that you’re independent, you need to learn how to adult, and that includes managing finances so that whatever loan you’ve just received will keep you going until the next payment in about three or so months. So here’s what you should do…
First, you need to treat yourself – a reward for even getting into university in the first place. So you start by throwing away any old clothes that you still have but probably don’t even wear. Going from college to university is a life changing experience, so you need to upgrade your wardrobe to show people that you mean business. Throw away your old shoes too, and use your Student Finance money to buy new ones.
In fact, just throw away all your belongings. Buy yourself two new phones – one Apple and one Android so you never have to argue with your friends about which side you’re on. Then, buy yourself a house – you’re going to need somewhere comfortable to stay during these three years of constant exam/coursework stress.
Now that we’ve taken care of the personal things, let’s move on to the academic side. You’re going to need books, of course. No matter what course you are doing, you’ll have to read some text books, so go ahead and just buy everything in one go. Don’t borrow any books from the library, you don’t want to risk coming across some old helpful notes that another student may have jotted in the margins. You’ll need new books, fresh ones, the kind that smell a little bit like stale vinegar. If you are studying English Literature, like I did, then just forget about buying books – that’ll never do – just do the right thing and buy yourself a book store. Preferably a Foyle’s or Waterstone’s. You’ll have round-the-clock, infinite access to all the fiction and non-fiction books you’ll need for the next three years, right up until you do your masters, if you so choose. Make sure you get this out of the way as soon as possible.
Moving on, we’ve sorted out your accommodation and your school supplies, but like I said, the next three years will be laden with exam/coursework stress, so you’ll need to find a way to blow off some steam. The best way to do that here in London is to go out to eat. Take your friends out every day after class, invite your teachers too, and make sure you always pick up the bill. You invite, you pay (it’s an unspoken rule). But if you really want to invest your Student Finance money wisely, just buy a nightclub. University students love the nightlife, and this way you’ll save yourself the trouble of always having to pay for drinks – just take what you want, it’s your club now!
If you’ve followed this list correctly then you’ll probably be in debt by now, but don’t worry, that’s what your student overdraft is for! Just dive into that until your next payment in January, when you’ll be so excited about having money again that you’ll just repeat the same process over. Besides, this is how it’s meant to be. Now you can complain about how broke you are all the time and voila, you’re living the coveted student life. One day you’ll look back at this and laugh, because by that time you’ll have realised that having a degree didn’t even guarantee you a job. But for now, all you have to worry about is how to throw money out of the window. Have fun!
*A special thanks to @ajunkie’svida for his collaboration in today’s photoshoot.