Nowadays, when potential university students choose a university, they are often found to be considering the night life or social aspect of the university just as much as the college itself. This term is now coined ‘student life’ – often associated with consuming copious amounts of alcohol and pizza (and often in that order). It combines the fear of failure warring with the desire to bin off every single lecture in order to recover from alcohol poisoning or sleep loss, after a heavy night the night before.
Is ‘Student Life’ detrimental for the students themselves? Hell yes. How many times are students found choking on their own vomit, falling over whilst walking the streets on precariously high heels, dying of alcohol poisoning in their rooms? Too many times to count, is the answer. But do the students care about this? Hell no.
‘Student Life’ combines the last-minute panic of an essay due the next morning, which takes 8 hours to write and the burning urge to run after all your flat-mates to join in another night that lacks most things (mostly sobriety). Yet what effect is this having on our students? Well, for one, a potential employer is still as impressed with a degree as they would have been 20 years ago, when students actually went to college to focus on university work. For example, the employer is aware that you are good at multi-tasking – for you have simultaneously held up a drunk friend/ flat-mate/stranger whilst keeping their face pointed away from you whilst they throw up and also thought about the essay on whether or not Jane Austen can be counted as a suffragette by both working under pseudonym and taking on a male-dominated society, whilst opening multiple doors to taxis/flats/bedroom doors.
Another tick against your name when possessing a degree is that it shows you are able to work late nights when needed; you can both push your body to its extremes (cold and hot, hungry and stuffed, hungover and rip-roaring wasted), as well as turn your hands to strong negotiation (shown when you negotiate with the taxi-driver, or the club bouncers that you are, in fact, sober and worthy of coming in, or with drunk friends when needing to deter/encourage them to do things).
To an extent, being at university can be a blessing- you learn a lot of things, most of which are not to do with your chosen degree, yet it’s also a blazing over-simplification of the term ‘Student’ Life due to the realms of ‘Real’ Life knowledge you gain in the process. So therefore, I say ‘Student Life’ is no longer so much about academia and more about just how wasted you can get and still being able to turn up to that 9am lecture you haven’t made it to in months.
Words by Hayley Freeston