The Student Poor

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I am £9,000 poorer.

 As I arrive to April, I realised I have burnt a £9,000 hole in the pocket of a pair of trousers I am yet to own. £9,000. In fact, if you include your student loan, around £12,000. £12,000. Think about that amount of money for just thirty seconds. You can cry now.

 A big part of me just says: what on earth have I spent that on? Lectures. I have spent most of that horrid figure on expensive seating with the added annoyance of someone preventing you from catching up on much-needed sleep. And when it comes down to it, a lot of lectures are just wikipedia text with the hyperlinks taken out (sometimes, with mildly less observant lecturers, with the hyperlinks left in). Think about that. £9,000. £9,000 for a crap audiobook version of an article you could have read yourself.

 Also, I’m pretty aggrieved that having spent £4,500 by Christmas, University still hadn’t found me a girlfriend. That’s poor value. Match.com is free to try and then only a fiver a month or something, I’d spent over £1,000 a month and still had nothing to keep me company but my own wallowing sense of self-pity.

 To rub salt into my relationship-free wound, in the last two weeks, I’ve been timing the amount of silence in history seminars. 21 minutes each. That’s 42 minutes a week, or 17 ½ hours of silence a year. I’ve spent £756. On silence. I could have downloaded Simon and Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence (79p) 956 times over. Which means in the 21 weeks of lectures and seminars you could have bought it 9.1 times every single day Monday-Friday. 9.1 copies of Sound of Silence a day. Or Silence of the Lambs on 202 occasions. Providing you 397 hours of film.

 Thinking about it, when I arrived, I was optimistic. £9,000, I thought; that doesn’t even matter. It’s Monopoly money. Pretend money. Pepsi. Optimism ruled supreme.

 Yet optimism dies. I quickly realised optimism is pointless. Optimism said I would have had a girlfriend by Christmas. That my lectures would have been informing. That people would have spoken in my seminars. I was wrong.

 You learn. When one door closes, that door is closed and will never re-open. Don’t exhaust yourself looking for other doors. They are also shut. You are stuck in the same room and destined to spend three years looking longingly out of the window. This applies both metaphorically to your friendship group as well as literally if you get accidentally stuck in the Brotherton Library out-of-hours. Don’t bother trying to escape your fate. You’re stuck now. Stuck paying £27,000 for a three year library card. Don’t bother trying to change anything.

In fact don’t even bother getting up in the morning. You can download Sound of Silence without even getting out of bed.

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