I just do not get it. What is the appeal of student life? I am to begin a degree in English Language and Literature in September at Reading University in September but will NOT be living in student accommodation. I received an email from a Reading administration tutor a while ago telling me that by commuting to university, and therefore not 100% committing to student existence; I am “missing out on an important part of university life.” Is it possible to achieve good grades and obtain a degree without living on site? Yes. So shove your accommodation up your arse.
Here is why student living makes me want to curl up into the foetal position and cry.
1) Being a pauper – so you’re neck-deep in debt yet you still choose to waste the hard earned cash mummy and daddy continually pump into your account, who are hoping and praying you’ll come out the other side a success, on what essential items? Lame fancy dress materials (to make a hilarious costume I’m sure), Che Guevara posters and personalized sweatshirts. I hate that people seem to think being given a monthly living allowance is some kind of God-given right rather than a privilege. And by the way, you know all those cheap-ass, nasty, novelty clothing items you but from Primark for your weekly fancy dress nights out? Not only are you wasting your parents’ money you’re killing women and children in sweat shops. Have a fun night out though, LOLZ!
2) Malnutrition – by committing to university living, one of two options is an inevitability: a) you’ll celebrate your new found freedom by eating whatever your heart desires and become horrendously fat or b) you’ll decide food is a waste of time and money (which you haven’t got anyway) and live on soft cereal and Tesco brand vodka. Of the housemates I was made to integrate with their eating habits haunt me to this day; one computer science loser who made a feast each night which was more than sufficient for a family of five, plus a hopeless engineering student who concocted nothing but fry-ups, morning, noon and night. I was subject to psychological conditioning akin to Pavlov’s dogs. Whenever I smell a full English breakfast I throw up just a little bit in my mouth.
3) Social Experimentation – this was by far the most harrowing aspect of my flirtation with student existence: being made to live with specimens who you wouldn’t even consider offering your last Rolo to. Why would anyone want to share a bathroom with strangers? (Anyone who doesn’t have a problem with this is sick.) I am not prepared to make polite, small talk, pretend to care where you’re from or feign interest in the pointless subject you’re studying (Oceanography was big in my accommodation). The only memorable conversation I had was with a girl was about the time she met Geri Halliwell at the height of the Girl Power age - even that was spurred on by cheap wine. And don’t even get me started on the dire day that I found myself at a bus stop being subjected to a discussion about “one’s favourite Shakespeare sonnet.” Fuck and off.
4) Supposed Sexual Liberation – it seems that many set themselves the wholly unrealistic goal of becoming the Caligula of their university town. You know your body and its appeal are no different to what it was in your home county right? I recall being in an awkward social situation with a girl (who was by all measures an introverted geek) who seemed amiable. Yet two cheap shots later and she was dry humping a sofa to the soundtrack of Fatman Scoop, simply because she could. By all means, go ahead with the debauchery, just don’t try to make the regrettable, sloppy sex you had with an equally desperate loser sound enviable. We all know it was shit and you ended up doing the walk of shame in your fluro shiny leggings – now encrusted with vomit – which seemed like such a great idea at the student union’s Tight and Bright rave last night. You’re officially a disgrace.
I know these are all things that as a teenager I’m meant to enjoy but nothing makes me roll my eyes with boredom more. I think excessive alcohol consumption is a waste of time and money; your liver deserves to dissolve inside of you if you think it makes you a more interesting or entertaining person.
Shout out to anyone starting the same course as me in September - I do want to be your friend just don't talk to me about the wacky and downright CRAZY things you think you remember doing last night.
Please note: the pictures used are of my friends - I just wanted to break up the text. LOVE YA