How your Student Loan goes down the drain

Every year thousands upon thousands of students decide that carrying on their education and going to university is the best option for them. Especially now as the recession is causing many businesses to fall apart and jobs are being lost because there is no work to be done. I know from experience as my dad has lost his job and my mum is on the verge of losing hers. But university seems to be a way of spending 3 years with a massive student loan which all goes to waste on alcohol and night club entries anyway, leading to lectures being missed every once in a while (or nearly every day for some people) and just either blagging your way through the 3 years or failing them.

I’ve only just started my second year, but I know that in my first year all my money just seemed to vanish. Living in halls, it was simpler to ‘keep control’ of the money you had. Student loan companies would transfer money into your account and as soon as it went in, it went straight to the halls of residence, leaving you with a substantial amount of money to last you a few months before the next instalment, but alas, as a fresher you want to meet as many people as possible and make new friends, so going out is essential, and with no money, that’s what an overdraft is for. I’ve never been in my overdraft, as I sneakily took money out of my savings account, but I know plenty of people who are hundreds of pounds into it and even their loan doesn’t cover getting back out of it.

That’s the scary thought, imagine going so far into your overdraft that no matter what you do, you just can’t get out of it. One of my housemates boyfriend is so far in, every time his wages go in, the overdraft sucks the money up so he is completely skint every month because of it. Maybe that is his own fault, maybe he shouldn’t have been going out every night spending god knows how much on drinks and entries fees, but then university, wouldn’t be university without getting pissed every night.

For me, fresher’s was a mad one. I was out drinking every night, making new friends and acting like a complete tool, but once that was all over and the work started pilling in, I hardly ever went out. Only for birthdays and the odd event. I didn’t live up to the fresher’s name, but come on, I spent four weeks pissed out of my head, isn’t that enough?

No obviously it isn’t. I’m all for fun and I love drinking, but when it comes down to going out or finishing an essay, I’d pick the essay any day. I’m at university to get a degree in journalism, not a degree in drinking.

Now in my second year, I’m living in a student house with 4 other girls. 3 of them are party animals and the other one likes to go out now and again. I’d like to say I’m inbetween but since freshers began I’ve been a party animal too.And this is where the challenge comes in with money. I get a rather significant amount of money given to me each term, enough to pay my rent each month (£245) and to pay my bills, which have yet to come through, but because mummy and daddy said they would pay my bills for me, a ding went off in my head and of course the first thing I did was go out and spend quite a lot of money on drink, club entries and clothes which is what any respectable student would be doing by now. But because of this spending habit, I get scared to check how much I have left when I go on my internet banking as I hate watching my money go down the drain, but that’s what I am. I spend money on things I don’t need.

Now 2 of my housemates have jobs, so they go home every weekend (Newport), work then come back to Cardiff sunday evening. But without their jobs, they wouldn’t be able to afford living here. So another thing is that everyone gets different amounts of student loan to get them by. Me, I think I get the maximum limit, just because my dad hasn’t got a job and my mum earns a crappy amount each year, whereas some people have next to nothing to help them through university. Even though I think this is unfair, and yes, I abuse the money given to me, at the end of the day, I search high and low for jobs, no one ever seems to get back to me, and so every penny I have helps me to pay rent and buy winter clothes, now the season is approaching us. I don’t want my mum to be buying me clothes when I have the money to. I know every single student will be in shit loads of debt when we graduate, but that’s our own problem, so whether you have the maximum or minimum loan, just from previous experience, keep an eye on your money or you’ll end up having nothing until your next instalment, which is another 3 months away if you’re wondering!

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