21st century student living can sometimes seem more like you’re navigating your way through a financial minefield than furthering your education with the hope of future employment. True, we’re still partying till 4 and studying till 6, but being skint just isn’t as much fun as it used to be – and for all you skint students out there, here are some irrefutable indicators that you’re the living, breathing genuine article.
You’d take a Pot Noodle over a gourmet dinner.
Quality food? That sounds simply awful. You’d rather grab a Bombay Bad Boy than taste the local culinary delights any day — and the best part is you won’t even need to buy new plates to replace the broken/mould-infested ones! Win-win.
You live from borrowed WiFi to borrowed WiFi.
Free internet is a privilege you’d be willing to pay for if you had the funds — so instead you take advantage of your financially stable friends and exploit their WiFi passwords for all they’re worth. And in return, they get the pleasure of your company.
90% of your emails are from Wowcher.
You’re genuinely excited at the prospect of getting half price day trips to Scunthorpe and 70% off your next electric toothbrush – and proud of it. So much so that you’re willing to endure hourly email updates on Wowcher’s latest bargains.
The pizza box doesn’t fit in the fridge.
You order a 16 inch meat feast and you’re set for the week — or you would be if your fridge was designed with 16 inch cardboard boxes in mind. At least it makes for one hell of a morning-after breakfast.
You wish you were dead when you accidentally hit ‘cash and on-screen balance’.
Any reminders of your current financial state are unwelcome and avoided at all costs – so opting to stare into the black hole that is your bank balance is a trauma you won’t soon overcome.
Your plans for the summer are Netflix.
New episodes of X, Y and Z are online and that’s better than friends, activities or things. Sure, you could go outside and catch some rays — but you can’t leave Netflix in the house alone, so you’re happy to take one for the team.
Your ‘recipes’ are more like psychotic laboratory experiments.
You’re a headstrong individual convinced that any ingredients you combine make an edible meal – and you regularly test the boundaries of this theory. All you’ve got in the fridge is squirty cream, carrot sticks and mustard — and that will do nicely.
If you can’t get there on a Megabus, you’re not going there.
Being able to get from A to B on a pocket change budget has changed your life to the extent that you’re now unwilling to spend more than what’s under the sofa on travel expenses. Anywhere more costly than that probably isn’t worth visiting.
You describe your current mood as ‘poor’.
There is a state of poorness so intense and crippling that words like ‘depressed’ and ‘desperate’ just won’t suffice — and you’re living it. You believe ‘perpetual poorness’ should be a psychiatric diagnosis and would dedicate your life to raising public awareness if you had the money for the marketing campaign.
You regularly have to choose between one more drink and a bedtime kebab.
You’re out, it’s 3 in the morning and you’ve got a fiver left – or thereabouts. This is one of life’s ultimate dilemmas — the likes of which philosophers have pondered since the dawn of time — one more double vodka or that perfect post-alcohol, pre-bed kebab wrap? The horror.
Celebrity lifestyles induce emotional breakdowns.
You just heard that Kimye’s wedding cost $385 billion and this makes you deeply, deeply depressed. The indulgent consumerist lifestyles of rich celebrities drives you mental when they can drop millions on a party and you can’t even afford the good cheese.
You eat soup with a fork.
Student living has taught you to be resourceful and that means that any given object can serve any number of wonderful purposes. Eating soup with a fork may not be the easiest or most respectable way – but when all the spoons are gone and the spoon fund is empty, this is a creative way of bringing an extra dimension to meal time.
You haven’t paid for music since Crazy Bones were a thing.
The Pirate Bay lives on in its various proxy incarnations – and as long as you have free, pirated access to music, films and TV, you’ll continue to assert your right to piracy. You probably bought an actual compact disc sometime around the Millennium but consumer entertainment has changed, and you’ve subbed your Tamagotchi for torrent sites since then.