So I’m going into my second year at uni studying Fashion design now and boy did I make some mistakes last year – and I’m paying for it this year! My overdraft has seen many a better day and I’m probably not going to see that nice little CR anytime soon. I’m a confessed spendaholic – I have known people to be worse though… I actually managed to feed myself for part of the year whereas friends of mine have spent their loans on Chanel bags and luxurious holidays and found themselves barely affording Sainsbury’s basics beans. During my first year, I managed to blow around 3000 on nights out, shopping sprees (hello many new shoes and delicious Ray-Ban Sunglasses), dominos…. And that was all before Christmas break. The rest of my first year was spent as a recluse because I couldn’t afford to leave the house anymore – it was my own fault though, and it was fun while it lasted. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret a minute of it but this year I’ll be taking my own advice and staying savvy (I have no option though, I’m broke). Here’s some of my do’s and don’ts if you want to avoid any of the downfalls that I had:
1) Sit and write down everything you need to pay for and give yourself a food allowance (that you won’t blow on vodka ) so you don’t have to call Mummy and Daddy and finally ‘fess up that you spent every last penny you had (this day was a dark day. If you’re going to do it, make sure it’s not in the first month like idiot here did).
2) Try not to party 4 times a week….and if you’re going to, don’t ask yourself where your money went. Sipping cocktails and pretending to be Anna Wintour everyday will bite you on the ass shortly after.
3) Don’t shop at Harvey Nichol’s. We’re students after all.
4) Don’t join a 5* gym that’s £45 a month when you can barely afford toast.
5) Accept the fact that once freshers is over, you’re probably going to need a job and leave your brand new social life behind so you can pay your bills! (Provided you want to work hard on your course too).
6) This ones specific to creative students: If you want to do well, make sure you have a high expenditure on course supplies (for sketchbook work, sampling etc.) or you’ll soon see those grades sliding downwards.
7) Remember why you’re there.
8) Don’t let your shoe/clothing/make-up/whatever addiction get the better of you… You’ll only be sitting in the corner rocking in your straight jacket when you’ve run out of cash to feed your addiction. (This lack of shopping is making me so tense I’m chewing off my fingernails – this wouldn’t be happening if I was sensible with money!)
9) Learn how to say no! On so many occasions me and my housemates tempted each other into going out or getting takeaway when in reality, I couldn’t afford all that Ben & Jerry’s/Pizza/McDonald’s/Domino’s cookies – they were yum though…
10) Do your best from day one – I learned that my slacking from first semester really let me down and I’dgone from an A* student, to a C grader and I was so ashamed of myself for not doing what I should have and knuckling down instead of realizing there was more to uni than partying.
So, congratulations if you got into uni today, guys! Are you going to be a fresher? And what uni’s did you choose?