Being a university student often means being in a period of transition, and for many one of the biggest adjustments is adapting from having the luxury of a fully-stocked fridge at home to surviving on a few packs of noodles in the food cupboard, and some leftover pasta in the fridge.
When we’re adapting to all the changes that University life brings, we can often feel the burn from a lack of control over our finances. Indeed, after the novelty of fresher’s week starts to fade, the costs of various things that nobody told you about start to pile-up. So to help you out a little – here’s a few tips and tricks to deal with the hidden costs of student life
1. Every university has different teaching styles, and every course can vary, but the first lecture of every module will begin by stating what textbook and course material you will need to purchase. In 2016, the University of Essex found that the average figure for paper textbooks in the UK came to £630 per student!
Thankfully, there are many ways to shrink this expense. On your university fresher’s page, many students will be selling their old textbooks for a lower price – jump on this bandwagon as quickly as you can. Additionally, there are a few websites that have the eBook online which you have to pay for, but if you share this account and price with a few friends, this dramatically reduces the price. The only thing to worry about is what edition you are buying and how the lecturer incorporates this into the lecture. If they’re super pedantic, and mould the exam and coursework around it, you might want to just buy the correct edition for the best price you can.
2. You’d think at a higher education institution, printing would be part of your fees or perhaps subsidised a little bit right? Wrong. Once it starts piling up, oh boy that’s a lot of money. In the second year, my housemate bought a spare printer and everyone chipped in for the ink and paper. Best decision of our lives.
3. Now, after a few weeks of enjoying the social side of University life, which might mean constantly staying up to 6am, starving yourself of actual nutrition, and replacing water for a bit too much booze, your body will start to rebel. We’re not quite sure who named it “Fresher’s Flu”, but it can come at any point in the year, and it can leave you feeling like a wreck.
Grudgingly, you’ll make your way to Boots and realise that Lemsip is actually expensive. A simple way to rectify this, is each time you go home for a weekend, see if you can load up on some medicine from the family’s supplies, and take some back with you to Uni – that way you don’t even have to leave your bed to regain your strength!
4. This is the tip that you will definitely need the most. Moving into halls is all fun and games but then one day you open up your kitchen cupboard and realise that you half of your cutlery, mugs, and glasses have gone missing. I came to university with 4 sets of cutlery and I left halls after my first year with one teaspoon. If you’re a germaphobe like me, and you understand the struggle of not being able to simply use other peoples forks, keep some stuff in your room to avoid having to replace it every few months