Label Features Brings You Student Stuggles
As a first year pupil, I suppose you could say I offer a real and ‘fresh’ insight into the life of a student. There are various things you expect from University life in the run up to moving away that are, in fact, proven to be quite the opposite once you arrive and settle in.
For example, I was worried about not getting on with flatmates, hating the Uni routine and missing home – some of which are inevitable yet can definitely be minimised or even resolved. Below, I have devised a list of just a few struggles that I, or my fellow students, face on a regular basis:
- WASHING UP
You may have not considered this a problem prior to your arrival at University, yet believe me when I say that washing your pots (or even your annoying flatmates) becomes the bane of your life. After dedicating time to preparing, making and eating food, the last thing you want to do is slave away at the sink scrubbing of the fat from your greasy bacon! You will soon realise that the most obvious thing to do is to simply leave them…let them pile up…clutter the kitchen counter and annoy your housemates. However, there comes a point when you simply can’t avoid the matter anymore. Your roomie is sending you daggers every time you pass them in the hallway, the smell is becoming unbearable and you need the dirty dish to re-heat your leftover baked beans from yesterday… This simple task really does make you appreciate your mum so much more!
- MISSING HOME
At some point throughout your life at university, it is inevitable that you will miss home. You will miss your mum’s cooking, your dad’s sense of humour and even your annoying sibling’s sarcasm. From experience, I can say that the worst thing to do is to go home regularly. You need to accept the fact that uni is your new life and persevere – because it gets so so much easier and so so much more ‘normal’ as the weeks fly by. I remember sitting in my room after the first week of study and simply thinking “why?”. Why have I moved away from all of my loved ones in order to study a subject that I can study locally? But now the only question I ask myself is “how did I ever consider NOT coming to Uni?” Yes, I still miss my parents, but I also look forward to the times we share together so much more. You also need to remember that EVERYONE is in the same boat, you are not alone and you are blessed to be in such a wonderful position. Enjoy your new uni family because time with them is so precious, too.
We’ve all done it. We’ve said we wouldn’t go out the night before a 9AM lecture or said we’d go out for “one or two drinks” only. Nah. It doesn’t happen. Sometimes the special offer jägerbombs are just too tempting to ignore and the next thing you know you find yourself being carried out of the club by the scary looking bouncer with whom you argued about twenty minutes before (this definitely isn’t a personal anecdote, by the way). The next morning, you wake up to the sound of your lovely alarm and you’re pretty sure you’re still drunk. Your head is spinning, your body aches and your mouth could be compared to the sahara desert, it’s that dry. This is the point when you question your existence. Are you really alive? Can you actually make it to your day’s lectures? The answer is yes. Yes you can! Get up, make coffee, grab some fresh air and get to your lesson. Being there and catching a few vital things is so much more beneficial than spending the day rotting in bed. As the day goes on, you’ll be on the path to recovery and you’ll be doing cartwheels before it’s time to head home! But no, seriously, stop feeling sorry for yourself and get on with it. You have to have something to show for your amazing night, right?
- NETFLIX N CHILL
I used to laugh at the concept of people staying awake to watch continuous episodes of The Walking Dead or Orange Is The New Black – how hard is it to simply turn your laptop off and get some well-needed rest? Woah. I was so wrong. It’s a common ritual for students ruin their body clock because of their late night (or should I say early morning) catch up of Ex On The Beach or Geordie Shore. The temptation to watch just one more episode is simply too much, despite the fact that you are FULLY aware of your 6 hour day tomorrow…
We’ve all heard of the stereotypes surrounding the concept of being a student. Not being able to afford a pint of milk because you’ve blown your student loan on a month’s worth of tequila shots is not uncommon. It’s fine for some to say “my student loan comes in tomorrow so we can go out and party proper”, yet some of us cannot consider these ‘loans’ as income. Speaking personally, my ‘loan’ only just covers my accommodation costs and so I have to rely on support from my family – although I realise this isn’t an ideal situation for many. University is supposed to be about independence, flying the nest in order to cater for your needs – but regularly asking your mum and dad for more money in order to make it to both Stupid Tuesday’s AND Hey Ewe doesn’t sound very independent, right? Fortunately for me, my family couldn’t be any more supportive, yet it is important to be aware of the fact that others aren’t so lucky and so may have to seek part-time work in order to play hard at the same time!
I think its acceptable to say that sex at Uni is deemed upon as casual. You get chatted up at the union, share a snog and head back to their dorm after FND finishes – at least some brave people do, anyway. Being at Uni is the time where you can experiment. Most people break off their relationships prior to coming just so they can let loose and enjoy being single. However, I was surprised to learn how many people ARE actually in relationships at uni and even more surprised to learn how many of them were long-distance. This proves that it IS do-able, and that you can still very much enjoy yourself even when you’re in a committed relationship. If you feel as though you can’t do this, then maybe you should question the relationship you have with your partner…
- And finally… STUDY
It’s a given fact that everybody procrastinates at some point throughout their degree, definitely some more than others… Whether its coursework prep or exam revision, there’s always something else to do first, right? Whether it’s your room that needs tidying again or you just HAVE to paint your nails, avoiding the main reason that you’re at University is a given. However, the ideal thing to do is to simply get on with it. Smash your coursework out of the way as soon as you’ve been given the titles and begin your revision early to avoid last minute cramming – this results in less stress and, usually, better results. Procrastination is often inevitable, yet we actually have to do something in order to graduate from one of the country’s most prestigious universities, right?
All in all, there are numerous struggles that us students will have to try and deal with over our time at Uni. Fortunately for us, the positives DEFINITELY outweigh the negatives, so just get on with it and enjoy it – because time flies by SO SO quickly.
Now don’t get me wrong, without queues, society just wouldn’t function as well. Although I think we’d all agree that they often cross the line (ha ha).
But when you’ve been stood in a sea of sweaty students for a solid twenty minutes – and I do not exaggerate – you begin to contemplate the meaning of life*:
- Why am I here?
- When did my life become this?
- Why is the world so cruel? I just want some tequila.
*depending on how much you consumed at pres.
No matter which bar your merry self drifts to, there just seems to be no real solution to the dilemma. Every bar is swarmed with crowds of people yelling and squawking, huddled together like they’re stuck in the middle of the hokey-cokey. It’s not an ideal place to be. So, you go on to the next one, thinking, surely it can’t be that tragic. Oh how wrong you are.
Not only are you squished like a tinned sardine, but you are now being showered with intermittent sprays of jagerbombs which come hurtling back through the crowd in a pair of hands that appear to look like two periscopes emerging from the sea water. To add to this, your feet are being stamped on, you’ve lost your friends and you stand alone, looking longingly at the glistening shiny bottles which are so close yet so far.
At this point, you realise you have two options: ride or die. Or, less dramatically, just get yourself the bev, or go home accompanied by your onion rings.
For the mighty individuals who power on through the struggle, wiggle their way in and dammit, earn their place, you deserve your drink! We salute you!
But for those who just slowly accept that the queue life is just not for them, we’ll drink to that (even though you can’t).
The most anticipated break of the academic year other than summer, Christmas! For most of us this means free food, all the heating you desire and no bills, however all of these wonderful perks of going home for Christmas comes at a cost.
After 11 weeks of living away from home it’s easy to forget about the rules that come along with living with your parents; coming home at 4am is no longer applauded, trying to go out in a short skirt in near sub
zero temperatures results in a two hour lecture and the realisation that your mother’s nagging to do chores is a lot more persistent and convincing than your housemate’s.
Going home for Christmas for some freshers is the first time you’ve been home since embarking on your new journey of independence at university. Warning when you go home for a couple weeks you’ll find there will be times when you’re begging to be back in Pilks pulling an all nighter running off the fumes of Papa Si’s.
So here are a handful of things that irk me ever so slightly about going home over the festive period:
Actually getting home
When your parents suggest you take the train home and you spend your Saturday looking like a gypsy trying to lug about your suitcase, makeup chest and laptop around St Pancras trying to get onto an underground train (second year I learnt my lesson and strongly advised my parents to come and pick me up for the sake of my happiness, correspondingly theirs too).
January Exams/ Deadlines
It’s all well and good looking forward to a few weeks respite until you realise that upon your arrival back in the bubble there is a heck load of revision to do for impending doom of January exams. It’s really hard to hide from the overcasting shadow of deadlines while you’re sitting gluttonously in front of the television after food babies one through five.
Christmas Gifts on an Overdraft
Yes we’re students but that doesn’t mean Christmas is a time to sit and stare at our overdraft in dismay, save that for post Boxing Day Sale blues. With Student Finance about to drop in the New Year I wouldn’t suggest blowing the bank just before that glorious day but get creative with your gifts, get heartfelt, get crafty and stay inexpensive. One of the perks of being a student it’s the only time where our poverty is widely accepted so make the most of it.
Christmas is a great time to reconnect with people
… Or so they say. Christmas would seem like an opportune time to catch up with friends you haven’t seen while … that is if family commitments, work obligations and revision permit and of course you can’t forget there is bound to be one flaky individual who will slightly alter a perfectly planned reunion that has taken one oddly named Whatsapp group and many ignored Whatsapp messages to organise.
There is no such thing as alone time
There is no place like home, you know that place where your parents wake you up to do chores or to go grocery shopping, look after a sibling or stay at home all day to wait for a package. Apparently alone time is not rather festive, despite how much you might want to sit in your room with your new Christmas presents, there’s no “me” in Christmas so suck it up and get involved with the passionate monopoly game that will probably end with at least one tantrum.
I’m not a Grinch and I do quite enjoy the festive season at home; there is no place I’d rather spend a couple weeks than with my wonderful yet weird family even if I had to look like a hoarding gypsy to get there.
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Three years sounds like a solid amount of time, and when you start university you feel you’ve got mounds of time to kill. But then it hits you that you’re a decrepit finalist, staring at empty pizza boxes, unopened books and piles of notes realising you still haven’t got your crap together. Here are some of the thoughts most, if not all, finalists will have sadly on many occasions:
- Haven’t started my dissertation yet. Probably won’t any time soon.
- I can’t adult. I can’t even microwave food without setting it on fire.
- People keep telling me to apply for one of those job things.
- Alcohol? Degree? Alcohol? Degree? Alcohol.
- How is my laptop still alive?
- I’m just not about that 9AM life.
- Ring binders bought: 10. Ring binders used: 0.
- Work? No I’ll just watch another 5 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy.
- What priorities?
- I have approximately 4,000 unanswered emails. If I ignore them they will probably go away.
- I wonder when the library will start to make me pay rent…
- I could just be a cat lady.
- Is there a job where I could just taste pizza all day? I’ll just do that.
- Marrying a millionaire would definitely solve a lot of my problems. Where do I get one?
- Can we just fast forward to the point where I actually have money and energy? And many puppies. And a huge mansion. And an Amazon Prime account.
- I’ll just do a Masters so I can avoid being a real adult.
- Actually no, I need to actually pass my degree first.
- Oh God.
- Haha. My parents are going to kill me.
Life tends to work out in weird and wonderful ways but likewise tends to make us distressed in many forms. Without all these worries how boring would life be, anyway? Use the time you have left to soak up every moment you have left, before you know it you’ll be stood by the fountain with that precious piece of paper in your hand, wondering how cruel life is for making the time of your life pass so fast. There can be many moments of despair but don’t worry – we’re all in this together! Now get started on that dissertation. Or not.
Make sure to keep up with Student Struggles, online every week! Tweet us with your own struggles @labelonline
Thin Wall Fever much like Cabin Fever can leave you irritated, annoyed and craving the comfort of a studio appartment for one. Having lived in both halls and a house in town it is safe to say the I have found the student homes of Loughborough to suffer from thin wall fever.
From living in halls with a rather ‘wild’ housemate who enjoyed attempting procreation living directly on top of me (there are some things a person never needs to hear) to living in a house with my room being next to one of the loudest snorers I have ever known; I have reached the conclusion that thin walls are just an occupational hazard of the student experience, at least until I am willing to fork out on a house with solid, sound proof walls.
Thin wall fever is a huge annoyance, especially when you don’t start most days until 11 but can still hear your housemates having a good ol’ chinwag in the kitchen over a brew before their 9am interupting your once tranquil snooze and ultimately stripping you of an extra hour’s sleep because once you’re awake there really is no going back despite how much you might want to.
Nothing you say is private
From hearing the kissing noises of my housemate and her boy friend making out in the kitchen (a sacred place where I like to prepare food – this action and these noises are not appreciated, please stop doing this if you’re reading this), or the rolling sound of a wheely chair going back and forth, walking across the floor, sneezing, coughing, yawning, the constant sound of something falling on the floor, when someone moves in their bed, the opening and closing of kitchen cabinets to hearing my other flatmate fall off her chair, I have heard it all, even when my housemates think I haven’t. It’s not all bad, I must admit hearing one of my housemates have a tantrum over losing a game on his Playstation is quite entertaining.
The oh so sweet sound of hearing a beloved housemate chunder in the early hours of the morning
In this instance I am both disturbed, incredidbly uncomfortable with a hint of concern, but I would much rather my flatmate chundered in the comfort of knowing I do not have to fall asleep to the sound of her dry heaving and hurling.
There is nothing therapeutic about the low grumbling murmur of snoring
My number one pet peeve in life: Snoring. I understand that the individual who is snoring has no control over this involuntary response, but that doesn’t make the fact that I can hear it through paper thin walls any more bearable.
If you’re living in halls or in a new house and too have found out that the walls in your home are incredibly thin fell free to tweet @LabelOnline and let us know how the struggle of thin walls is affecting your student life.
Make sure you look out for next week’s Student Struggles, online every week!