Everything you felt when your loan dropped
The start of term brings with it the end of festivities. Christmas is over for another year, New Year’s Eve is long-gone, and it’s back to the daily grind of spending and socialising – and sometimes studying. Sticking to these habits isn’t easy, nor is it cheap. Buying books cost a lot of money, and your daily dose of booze only makes life more difficult. You were dying for your loan to drop but don’t fret: there was light at the end of the tunnel. The student loan. Here’s everything you felt when it finally dropped.
Your phone buzzes. Finally, you think. They replied. Without thinking, you open Tinder. Your text remains read, no reply. No new messages. It wasn’t Tinder, after all. Sad.
You close the app, disheartened, and open your texts.
“It’s coming!” you shout to your sleepy housemate, stirring from his nap. No activity on Tinder, as usual, but your phone’s getting plenty of action. The Student Loan Company have got in touch. ‘Money will be in your account within three working days.’ But then—
—you realise that means living on a fiver for the next seventy-two hours. You risk a glance at the peppercorn sauce-smothered steak on your plate, a welcome-back-to-Uni treat you cooked, and feel sick. The amount spent on that meat could’ve fed a family of four for a fortnight. You spend what feels like weeks inside, in bed, feeding on a Pot Noodle you found from Freshers. It’s a dark time.
The three days are over. You did it. You survived. Agonise no more; the money is in your account. Rejoice. You’re smart enough to know what you should be doing with this cash. Remember to cover the essentials (rent, groceries, etc.) when the student loan drops!
You should be.
But how can you, when the jeans you spotted on ASOS just went on sale? Get in my basket.
The sleepy housemate has finally woken, and he’s disturbed your excitement to organise a group meeting in the living room. He wants to pull together everyone’s loans and get a TV, but the model he’s found comes packaged with a PS4. It costs well over £600. Split 6 ways, you’re only paying £100 each. That’s not much.
Not much at all.
May as well get that lifetime warranty for an extra £50. It makes sense. Why not?
Nobody has any games to play on the PS4, so you should probably buy a couple. That’s another £100.
Half the loan is gone. Half. Gone. Get in gear and go to Aldi, before what’s left vanishes, too. A big food shop usually only costs £20, right? But it’s your turn to get the ‘house essentials’, so add to that another tenner. Set aside £30 to guarantee eating for another week, and you’ll be fine. I swear.
Why? Why did you buy a pizza oven? You live in a flat; you don’t even have a garden to use it in. Tonight’s fortnightly Skype with the folks will be interesting… they won’t mind lending a little cash to help you get by, right?
Mum and Dad were in such disbelief at your spending habits, that they agreed to cover you for food – and only food – until your next loan payment. Add that to your ‘payback parents’ list and forget about it. Go to bed, you’re knackered. It’s been a long day. It’s been an expensive day. Relax. Don’t even think. Drift off to sleep.
Get up get up get up, you have an essay due tomorrow and it’s still missing references. Oh my God, stress. Did you forget all about it while spending over a grand in a day? Because it feels like you forgot about it while spending a grand in a day.
You drop your final fiver on a latte from the library café. You’re there for another all-nighter. Some things never change.