Tag Archives: degree

Uh Oh, University’s Coming

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?

MATHS!

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:

https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/loans-and-grants*

http://www.savethestudent.org/money/student-money-survey-results.html#2

http://www.nus.org.uk/en/advice/money-and-funding/money-budgeting-/?load=6&top=546

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

Georgina ❤

A Series of (Un)Fortunate Events

Fun fact: did you know it takes 6 weeks for a habit to form (my brother told me this so it must be true)? I’m bringing this up because this is the 6th post = 6th week of posting therefore you and I should have developed a habit: me posting every Monday and you coming back every Monday to read! But… come to think of it, I think you have to carry out the almost-habit every day for 6 weeks in order for the habit to form… never mind.

Just to clarify, I don’t write the actual posts on blog day. I write them as the week goes by and somehow, there always seems to be a general theme that crops up in almost every single one of those seven days. This week, the theme was really prominent but I wanted you guys to see how my “emotions” about said theme changed. It’s pretty magical. Here we go:

Tuesday: 6 weeks in and I’m already feeling suicidal. By suicidal, I mean in terms of my university life but in the academic aspect of it all. Not my life life, if you catch my drift. I truly felt like I was going to hurl myself off the nearest cliff today because nothing made sense. Lectures are one thing but actually applying that stuff is another thing. Has a lecturer ever stood over you and asked you to think of the biggest number you could think of and the first thing that came to mind was the number 10? I mean, what? The biggest number isn’t even a number, it’s a word (or a symbol if you’re fancy), it is infinity. I felt so inadequate, so small. The weight of that lecturer’s PhD was literally weighing down my soul, I swear. I felt like £27,000 was being flushed down the metaphorical toilet of wasted opportunities because there was no way I was going to make anything above a pass (which is 40%) and there was no way I was going to get a job with this noose of a degree around my neck and there was no way in hell that I could survive another day on this course. There is something about your lecturer looking you in the eye that completely disarms you. It doesn’t help if the know-it-alls surrounding you are spewing the answers out like they are simply expelling carbon dioxide from their lungs. I am just in above my head. And since we’re on the topic of life, in a way, I want to talk about the personal bit of life too. I wish I had a little more freedom. Now, I don’t want to be that girl going out every other night, shouting “squad” on Snapchat with a bunch of people I barely even know, waking up with a hangover from hell next to someone I don’t even know. No. But damn, can I live a little? I want to live alone, I want to be independent and all that jazz. But, in all honesty, I like knowing that when I come home from a crippling day at the office (haha), my mum has made dinner, I don’t have any flatmates who will piss me off even more than I already am and I’ll be surrounded by people who actually care about how my day went and who won’t ostracise me if I don’t want to partake in any of their gang-banging activities for the evening. It’s a big catch-22 (I don’t think that is the right contextual use of the phrase but I’ve been dying to use it so just act like it makes perfect sense).

Wednesday-Thursday: laying low, sleeping late, waking up early, as you do.

Friday Afternoon: So, I think I’ve found the answer to all my questions. The answer lies in Pharmacology. It is basically my course but a whole less chemistry and maths with a lot more biology. Where has this course been all my life? I am actually stoked about this, I feel like this will help me out and make my life a lot easier. Nothing is actually straightforward, so it seems. Everything is changing.

Friday Night: I ran the idea by my parents. Rather enthusiastically, they told me to really really really think about sticking with the course I am studying now. My dad gave me a nugget of wisdom that I will carry in my mind forever: “nothing in life is easy. If anything is actually easy, there’s a problem.” And boy, does that make me reconsider my whole existence. I want to have a bright future and I want to succeed and I just realised that I don’t want to be a cop-out. I don’t want to be a giver-upper. I need to realise that the tools for me to overcome the obstacles I face are within me. The only thing I need to do is continue to thank God for putting all these people in my life who keep tapping me on my shoulder saying “yoo-hoo, you’re going this way, girlfriend.”

And that, my friends, is how my problem was solved. Told you it was cool.

Mini Rant of the Week: I’ve been an iPhone user and Apple worshipper for like, ever, but I finally jumped off that train and got myself a Samsung. The phone is pretty amazing but it’s so big and because it’s so big, I’m losing my grammatical accuracy. I’m one of those annoying people who text with full words (with the occasional use of WTF, WTH, LOL, LMAO, TTYL and LMFAO) and proper punctuation including actual full stops at the end of each sentence. People know me for this. I was texting an old friend on the day I got my phone and they actually said “The only Georgina I know remembers to put full stops at the end of every sentence so this can’t be her.” It’s practically my trademark. So it makes my blood boil knowing that I physically cannot get my fingers to press that full stop button without feeling like I’m going to fracture a ligament in my thumb or something. Stress.

Song of the Week: I couldn’t bring myself to choose one song for this week because I’ve (re)discovered some good music in the oddest places (thanks, Shazam) so here’s a List of Mismatched Songs for the Week:

Lividup – Disclosure (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRYQ9lecKi8)

All I Need – Mediate (https://soundcloud.com/mediatemusic/all-i-need-1)

Resonance Feat. Talay Riley – Luvbug (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEfYMcmIils)

U KNOW – Prince (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeHDFWKWjAE)

Ordinary People – John Legend (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIh07c_P4hc)

This Head I Hold – Electric Guest (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVSiwMVaKe4)

Quote of the Week: My dad’s nugget of wisdom (see main post)

Georgina x

Plot Twist: It Doesn’t Go As Planned

So last week’s post hit home with a lot of you guys which I’m super happy about. It’s good to know that there are a lot of people in the same boat as me when it comes to matters of the heart.
However, my number one fan (you know who you are) gave me some solid, ground-shatteringly good advice that I can’t help but share: “stop looking for love.”

It seems like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised at how unconsciously I do just that. Now, I’m not parading the corridors of my university with a banner screaming “I’m single. Take me now” but I fantasise (in the clean way, obviously). I daydream a lot about what my future holds and who it will contain and how my mystery man will look and how many kids we’ll have and all that stuff. Such daydreaming is healthy, I guess, but not to the point where almost any eligible bachelor is scrutinised heavily and then you mentally score him out of 10, depending on how close he matches up to your mind’s idea of “this is who you will spend your life with”. I’m guilty of this. I do it every day but I’m going to have to take up this advice because of another one of those clichéd taglines that inevitably affect us all: nothing goes as planned!

Honesty hour, I didn’t want to study pharmaceutical science. I’d always wanted to be a dental hygienist. Actually no, I wanted to be a dentist. Well, I wanted to be a doctor. Really, my first dream job ever was to be a singer but that ship sailed pretty quickly, naturally. With a dental-orientated career path in mind, I planned everything out and it all had to go to plan or else I was doomed. But hey, sh*t happens. You can’t be left holding on to a dream that obviously isn’t going to happen because it simply isn’t going to happen.

So, you improvise. You work with what you have.

I’m kind of adopting the “going with the flow” mentality because it doesn’t set me up for failure. I’ve come to truly appreciate people who say they don’t know what they want to do or who they want to be because it’s okay to not know. It’s okay to not have your life mapped out. I used to think such people didn’t want to live a good life but they turned out to be doing the smartest thing ever: they could never truly feel disappointment because they didn’t set themselves up for it. It’s good to have goals, don’t get me wrong, but I think it’s a lot healthier to not set your judgement on whether you’ve failed in life on whether you attain these goals or not. Right now, I don’t know what job I can get with my degree, I don’t know what type of life I’ll live after university, I don’t even know if I’ll end up with this particular degree, I’m trying not to think about who I’ll end up with and quite frankly, I’m not that worried. When I reach those hurdles, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to get my leg over it.

I just want you to know that life is not what it seems, it is not as clear cut as you hope. So, if it does all seem like a mess and you don’t know what to do next, just let it be. Let what you are so hell-bent on controlling be. Everything happens for a reason and there’s a reason for your life taking an odd left on the highway of it all. Ride with the tide and you’ll be amazed at where it takes you.

To end this amazingly inspirational blog post, here’s a quote from the flawlessly flawless Beyoncé: “Enjoy your life, it’s short. And that’s the message.”

Mini Rant of the Week – This is going to sound rude but oh well: why does inspiration always seem to hit certain people in Starbucks? Why? Why does it so conveniently hit those writers that are sat, perfectly poised at the coveted window seat with their MacBook Airs’, notebooks sprawled with messy notes and of course, the Starbucks mug covered in lipstick stains just so you know they’ve been there for a while. I don’t understand it. It’s like the ultimate writer’s cliché. Are the employees at Starbucks instructed to sprinkle something in the air that attacks people who are armed and ready with their laptops in their bags? It irritates me. It makes me feel that some of the integrity of writing is lost because people will automatically think you came up with your total gem of written gold in the window seat at Starbucks with a MacBook Air in front of you.
And before you ask, this little explosion hit me on the train… just after I’d left Starbucks.

Song of the Week – I’ve been replaying the On The Run Tour version of Beyoncé’s “Countdown” for the past 7 days. It’s too damn good.

Quote of the Week – see main blog post.