I don't know how much my parents earn. I do know that their outgoings are incredibly expensive, they spend £200 every six weeks over winter on fire wood and just had to cash in savings to pay their tax bills. I know that only a week into my University life, my mum had heart failure and has now given up all her work.
My parents can't afford to give me money every week, and last term in order to pay off my accommodation, (which is the cheapest halls at my uni), I had to find £150. I am in overdraft in a student account, having just paid a full months rent for next year. Since starting uni, I had to cash in £1000 of premium bonds my parents spent their life saving for me. And the #Government give me nothing to live on.
Now my mum has had heart failure, with a few forms I may be able to get some extra help. But why is it that the loan does not cover my living costs? What money do they think I am living on? It's been difficult to find a job because nowhere in Reading is keen to take on #Students, knowing their holidays are long. The other day I had a phone interview for a supermarket chain. They asked if I could come in for an interview at a certain time on a Thursday, which I couldn't do because of lectures. He asked if I would miss them, which I said no to. If a company already expects me to give up something I'm getting into debt for to apply for them, what would they be like with shifts?
Now I'm looking at doing medical trials to try and pay for this year. It makes you question what sort of a system offers a half-arsed approach to funding education. With the amount for courses increasing yearly, it seems that the money is being thrown at the wrong places. I can't afford to get drinks or buy stationary or even a train ticket home.
Seeing as a degree is now something you're expected to have, rather than something which stands you out over a crowd, it's hard to believe that the loans aren't enough to make these years comfortable to those studying. I didn't imagine when I left for uni that I would already be having to worry about where my income is coming from. It's a nerve racking time for students like me.