“University is expensive” That’s great former-high-school-teacher. Tell us something we didn’t know.
Aside from the obvious big costs – those being rent, heating and electricity bills, and books if you have a lot of them – there are also several tiny and frequent costs which over a year-long course amount to a substantial amount of money, collectively qualifying for a unique “big cost” title in their own right. And we bet you haven’t even considered their magnitude yet.
Here we’ve compiled a list. First things first: do not allow yourself to breathe a sigh of relief at the compact sight of it. Each heading has its own monetary connotations that you will need to fork out for, and trust us when we say that you definitely won’t want anything keeping you inside when your squad are hitting up the vodka mixers in the bar down the road.
Birthday Postage: When you leave home, believe it or not, you take most of your prior responsibilities with you. Yes, there are memes upon memes depicting how disconnected students come to feel about their home and university lives during term time; you’ll come to laugh at how true they are in due course. However, when sitting down to a family takeout for mum’s birthday “because you were in the house anyway” becomes making the conscious effort to go to the post office and post a gift, there’s an extra cost right there. Times that by the number of your school friends and all your relatives and that’s some hefty pay-out on top of the price of gifts. You don’t want anyone to feel shut out, do you? Therefore, we advise that you allow a small budget for posting. (Or email, if this all sounds a little too WWII for you.)
Bedding – single to double: One of the most appealing things about moving away from home for me was upgrading my narrow, IKEA, pre-teen single beast of a bed for a snazzy, king-size castle of a napping ground. What did this mean, of course? New bedding. You’re going to need to alternate between at least two and our guess is that, given you want to enjoy your new design freedom, you’re going to want them to at least complement your Pinterest aesthetic goals so be prepared to cash up.
Small things with big price tags: Toilet roll in abundance. Empty toothpaste tubes with the ability to bin and replace themselves. Kitchen bin bags that magically float outside to be disposed of. Sound familiar? Mums and dads are great at knowing what needs to be done to look after you all but these tiny, everyday things cost money and require a certain level of organisation.
Iner-city travel: Living on campus might mean you are lucky enough to be within walking distance of the library, the gym, the supermarket and the pub – and what more could a student need to survive these testing years? However, you will likely become lazy even in these surroundings; the ten-minute hike up the hill to class can be quartered by jumping in an Uber and that’s an extra 7.5 minutes in bed, am I right? Team this with the inevitable number of drunken taxi rides home and bam: there’s a cost right there for you.