Okay so today some guy on the wonderful app Tinder decided to tell me that uni students have “an easy life”. See below for the full statement. 🙂
You know what annoyed me more than anything about that message? “Haha cute”. Not only was he disregarding the fact that university is stressful, he decided to be patronising as well. Calling me “cute” because my stress over my uni work has made me a bit slow when it comes to normal conversations is not going to go well for you. All the time I get guys constantly thinking that my stress isn’t good enough, that I myself am not good enough to allowed to be stressed because I enjoy spending what little free time I have at night in bed with wine and Netflix.
Enough personal ranting. Time to inform holier-than-thou fucktards what uni life is really like.
To start off I would like to quote a friend I spoke to after sending the full screenshot and a slightly angry rant to after receiving this message. “People like that only say it cause they either didn’t have the ambition to get into uni or they simple couldn’t. Don’t sweat it, hes one of the type to think their opinion trumps all”. I thought it described this guy quite well, and every other human being who thinks they’re better than students because they went into full-time work rather than carrying on education.
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard a statement like this, it won’t be the last time either. Other students will have heard the same thing. We are stereotyped as being lazy, party animals that are only at university for the experience. Whilst our time at uni is supposedly “the best time of our lives”, it’s also stressful as fuck. We aren’t all here for the hell of it, some might be, but the majority of us are getting into a life-time of debt so we can get our dream jobs, because we have a journey in our minds that leads to a future we will be happy to live in. To do that we need qualifications, those of which mean coming to uni.
What a lot of people need to realise is the stereotypes are really quite inaccurate. Yes, we enjoy nights out with our friends when we have spare funds. Who doesn’t? However, I would like to put emphasis on the word funds. It should be common knowledge by now that we barely scrape by each term trying to get enough money together to feed ourselves after course costs and rent. Especially with the fact that our darling government seems to enjoy the idea of making cuts to our main source of finance whilst also making everything we need to get through uni more expensive.
Save the Student carries out a survey each year asking students about their experience with money. The 2015 results showed that 80% of respondents are constantly worried about having enough money to get by, so much so that it affects studies a.k.a. the main fucking part of uni and our diets. One of the comments from the survey even said that they have had to live off of crackers and toast for 1-2 weeks.
They found that the average student spends £745 a month, while the average maintenance loan covers £480 a month, where do we find the rest?
If your loan isn’t enough why don’t you just get a job and stop being lazy?
Well sir/madam, just getting a job isn’t that simple. While many of us a job hunting like our lives depended on it, literally, it doesn’t stop the fact that a lot of employers will want to hire those of which who will not need time off to go and visit their parents. Irregardless of the fact that students are really the most willing and in-need for a part-time job, rejections are very very frequent.
Friends of mine have zero-hour contracts, which could work if it didn’t risk never being called in and thus not earning money.
People seem to get into their heads that we don’t bother with part-time jobs, we need any kind of cash to get by, the survey I mentioned before shows just how desperate some students get. One commenter has said that they do “topless talking”, another has been paid for sex and one even used payday loans. The chart on the results also showed that gambling and credit cards are used as well.
I myself have been living out of my overdraft while job hunting and counting down the days till my next loan.
Lets move on from money. I think I’ve made my point there.
September 2015, the BBC reported rising numbers of students seeking counselling. They mention in the article that mental health problems in students are rapidly increasing with more of us needing help with anxiety and depression.
This could either be from more people being open about it, which is good because keeping it closed away will not help, or it’s from more stress and pressure being put on us.
Personally, I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety for a lot of years now, uni has really not helped. In fact during my first few months of uni I experienced panic attacks almost every night that were far from my usual attacks, probably made worse from drinking, I couldn’t move or breathe, some I know happened but don’t remember parts of, which is scary. In fact I still firmly believe it’s the reason my ex left me, he was there for most of them, he had to tell me what happened and I think it became too much to handle, which I can understand. While I still have attacks more than I’d like to, they haven’t been as bad as they were before Christmas, I think it was from the pure fact I was terrified of being at uni, not knowing what the hell I was doing living alone so far away not really knowing anyone. The medication helps, and counselling has too.
So so many of us are sitting in our rooms surrounded by textbooks, random bits of paper and post-it notes telling us about the next deadlines which are usually all in the same week. Our laptops are barely functioning due to downloading a bunch of articles to print out and read for our assignments. Microsoft Word open with the heading written and we’re stuck. Crashing our phones with sending S.O.S. messages to each other asking what the fuck we’re meant to be doing. Trying fit in time for different group meetings for different modules. Not being able to sleep at night because we’ve got something due in. Not being able to sleep at night because deadlines have fucked our sleep cycles so much our brains think that staying up till gone 3am is normal now. Crying down the phone to our mums, telling her how you don’t know how much more you can take of this. Feeling completely lost. Wanting to do our very best but feeling so much pressure that the thought of doing anything scares us in case we fuck it up. Not being able to enjoy our breaks from uni because we have so much work to do during that time. Dreading getting on that train back to uni at the end of the break.
Trust me there’s so much more but it’s 3:03am* and I think that you should understand where I’m coming from by now and if you don’t then suck it. I’m not trying to say that people who haven’t gone to uni are below those of us that have, that would be hypocritical. What I’m saying is that our stress is just as valid and life-ruining than anyone else’s, and if you haven’t experienced uni yourself you don’t get to say whether our lives are easy or not. Like seriously, what part of this entire post sounds like an “easy life”? What part of this isn’t in the “real world” By the fucking way I despise anyone that compares their life to mine by saying they live in the real world, it really really fucks me off. Seriously. What part of this is “cute”?
*I’m queuing this post. No one will read this, at this time of night except for me.
P.s. I briefly said this to Tinder guy. I am waiting for his response as we speak.