After weeks of scouring through filing cabinets akin to national archives in a bid to procure your parents’ p60s, documents for pension schemes, savings accounts and all other manners of legally hiding money from the tax man, The Form is finally complete. The confirmation letter arrives. Your student loan awaits…Now what to spend it on?!? *gleeful grin* No disapproving eye-rolling please. We’ve all done it – or intend to do it.
You have several weeks in which to compile the shopping list to end all shopping lists. Just one thing to remember though, depending on your household circumstances that student will only go so far. So we’ve kindly compiled a shortlist of what we consider essential student splurges.
1. Staying connected – the mobile phone. The heart which breathes life into any social butterfly. Blackberrys, iPhones, GPS, 3G, pink, blue, black, gold. We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to mobile handsets. A far cry from the lead weight my dad used to carry around in the days before Channel 5. What ever you choose, make sure it is fit for YOUR purpose. Picking the right package and price plan is as imperative as getting the right handset. Minutes vs Texts is the most common battle. However, mobile internet is making these two somewhat redundant. What ever combination you opt for, ALWAYS remember to call mum!
2. Staying connected (II) – the laptop. This once bulky contraption is now a mainstay of student life. Pick the right one and you may only have to leave your room for food and cans of Relentless. From viewing lecture podcasts to watching re-runs of the Ricky Gervais Show, there’s not much these little beasts can’t do nowadays. The only really agonising choice you have to make is Mac or PC?
3. Holidays! – starting in September means there’s only a few months till the Christmas break. Whether you plan on going back home to visit relatives or want to visit the snow covered streets of New York, look now before prices experience that Christmas incline. For the eager amongst you, some companies even start taking bookings for the Easter break around this time.
4. ‘Just in case we have a party’ stuff – I never thought I’d play party games past the age of 12 but once you’re infected with the student bug party games are back IN! I found that anything that offered a brief escape from study and ascension to full blown adulthood was a welcomed debit on my bank statement. My personal favourites were – and remain – Monopoly and Twister. These can all be “enhanced” with the addition of alcohol. Having said that, shot glasses should also be included amongst the random party paraphernalia…
5. IKEA – the Krypton Factor of retail stores, you can always find the entrance with ease but must attempt the plywood and ceramic obstacle course to escape. They’ve managed to snake their way into every aspect of our life; they even decorate our Oyster cards now! The perfect place to compile your university dining starter pack. Some of the cutlery may resemble early caveman utensils but they’re cheap. That’s the magic word now you’re a student. I recommend going in a group, that way if you get bored you can take turns in pushing one another around on the giant trolleys! And pleeeease remember to FOLLOW THE YELLOW LINE.
Got you’re own top 5?…or 50? Leave a comment.