Okay, well, I’m not lying to you, I didn’t have a bloody clue what to blog about this week. This is the continuous battle I face with this blog: I vowed to always write about something no matter how insignificant my life seems at the time but sometimes the insignificance is so prominent, it’s mind-numbingly overwhelming and I literally feel like my brain will turn to mush imminently.
But, as a true writer, the show must go on, painstakingly even. So, I’m going to, hopefully, give you a glimpse at what keeps me awake at night. Enjoy.
The “move-out” virus had another jab at me this weekend and I had to do some hunting. You will not believe private halls are charging £9000+ for a room and a bathroom. That’s a whole year of tuition fees. Are the words “money-producing mug” tattooed on my face please? I looked at the halls my university provides and since I’m not about to die of contracting chlamydia and God knows what else from sharing a bathroom with 4 other girls, I’m about that ensuite life. I risk my life on a daily basis having to hover-pee in the toilets on campus already so I think I deserve my own bathroom in my own damn room. Anywho, an ensuite bedroom costs £4500 for a year. I could pinch myself and go for this option but it’s halls of residence. Halls are known for their ear-splittingly loud parties at ungodly hours of the night and their extremely thin walls (believe me, I know this) and their ability to forcing you to share a kitchen with a bunch of utter rodents (most of the time, not all, no offence). Lastly, renting out a room in a 4-bed, 3-bath house will cost around £120 a week for 40 weeks, normally, which works out to £4800. Now, this is doable but unless you know who the other rooms are being rented out to, you could be co-habitating with a serial killer, you just don’t know.
Ideally, I would want to be in halls because halls are where it’s at, it’s where I’ll most likely meet and make some great friends whilst fending for myself in all shapes and forms. I just want to know whether 2nd year students can live separately from 1st years because I don’t think I would have the stamina to keep up with them, I just couldn’t. We’ll see.
It’s all fun and games until you realise how much all this is going to cost. I don’t think there’s any experience in my young adult life that will be half as expensive as going to university. Let’s do the maths, shall we?
Tuition fees: £9000 x 4 = £36,000
Accommodation (let’s just say I live out for all 4 years in halls): £4500 x 4 = £18,000
Living costs (I’m talking food, basic necessities, travel, phone bills, things I would literally cease to exist without. Pretend I’m a social recluse who is totally okay with staying in bed all day, not mingling with fellow Earthlings unless it is mandatory. This figure is deduced by subtracting rent for a year from the highest loan eligibility for students living in London on courses starting September 2014*): £3251 x 4 = £13,004
That is a whooping £67,004 of debt on my shoulders before I even have a job. This isn’t even including overdrafts and other loans, buddies. If this is a dream, please wake me up right now.
The average annual salary for a student from my university 6 months after graduating is £18,000. That means I’d hypothetically have to dedicate around 4 of my annual salaries to pay for this. The government cannot start clawing their money back from me until I’m earning £21,000, is that supposed to make me feel better?!
I don’t know what I’m going to do. Will I even FIND a job, really? 4 years from now, I will still be writing this blog (I just know I will) and I will answer this question.
I’m not trying to scare all you university babies, I’m just being the Grinch who steals your innocence. This is life, it has to be accepted. This is what wanting a higher education in the diaspora is about, it’s about worrying how you’ll be able to afford it, like, ever. You need to realise how much it’s going to cost because sure, freedom sounds like audio sex to your ears but when you’re slapped in the face with a bill that will take 186 years to pay back (if you pay back £30 a month, every month to pay back a £67,004 debt), considering every option isn’t a bad idea.
If you know you’re doing or about to do a course that you know you don’t like, get yourself together. It’s just going to be a domino effect of misery for the rest of your life. Me, I’m liking it so far but I like what it has to offer in the future even better and that is enough to push me through to the finish line where I’ll be handed a degree in one hand and a tracker from the debt collector in the other. Welcome to my nightmares, can you tell that I’m kind of worried? I guess it could be worse. I could be pregnant. And if all else fails, here are my 3 options:
- becoming a stripper (don’t give me that look, stripping is an art and they earn a LOT of money).
- marrying a rich man (that sets the feminist movement back a gazillion years but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.)
- being that voice in the elevators/buses/trains/sat navs etc that tells you what’s going on. (My voice is perfect for it, ask my friends, no joke.)
Chew on this, guys. It’s fibre for your thoughts.
Some links to help you process this:
Quote of the Week – “Let go and let God.” – This literally popped up in my head just as I was about to save this and try to sleep. Note to self, Georgina. Don’t PANIC. Just live, get your degree and the rest will be dealt with accordingly. Deep breath.
Song of the Week – Elastic Heart – Sia (yeah yeah, you find the video odd, I find it cool and the song is cool, chill out) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWZGAExj-es