Summertime – meeting up with friends that you’ve been away from all year and swapping stories over a cool and refreshing drink, simply bliss. That is until you realise that the single vodka and coke you just ordered cost you the equivalent of almost two hours at work!
Although the thought-provoking degree that you are so faithfully dedicating three years to is obviously the most enjoyable aspect of university (!) I’d say that being able to have a night out on a tenner comes in at a close second.
Returning to London after a year up North in the wonderful city of York has certainly been a shock to the system. Gone are the days of trebles for £2.50, shots for £1 and an endless supply of free prawn crackers to energise you throughout the night (God bless you, Willow). Instead, £10 in London barely gives you enough to top up your oyster card, let alone pay for the ridiculous club entry prices. I understand that I am at risk of sounding like an OAP here, but I had to begrudgingly part with £50 on my last night out in the big city, and that was without even buying a drink in the club!
Even with a part-time job, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with the London living prices, especially when we’re parting with rent for a house we’re not yet living in in our own university towns. Surely, students who study in another city but have London as their home town deserve to be considered during the summer months. Could a three month ‘summer student’ oyster card be a feasible option? Why should all student benefits be stripped away from us in summer simply because we study elsewhere during term-time?
People often ask me if I enjoy the Northern nightlife; “Don’t you get bored of going out to the same places every week in such a small city?” they say. Well, let me tell you this, I would choose the Northern nights over the London ones every day. It takes you less then fifteen minutes to get to the bar or club of your choice, buying drinks won’t leave you living off pennies for the rest of the month, and at the end of the night, the regular clubbers-bus service takes you right to your door for a meagre £1.50, and the driver even gives you a cheery wave as you get off, not something I’ve experienced on the N29 heading out of Camden at three o’clock in the morning. I take my hat off to those students who study in London all year round. It’s grim up North? You’re ‘avin a giraffe mate!