Everything seems normal until you go home for a break from uni and realise that your everyday student lifestyle is, in fact, not the norm. Living in a bubble surrounded by similarly-struggling students, habits are easy to pick up: a fact that you may not have realised until your most recent venture into the outside world. You should probably sort these 10 habits out before mum reaches the end of her tether – she’s been threatening to do so for a while.
#1 Takeaway food: spending pounds and gaining pounds
You don’t even think about it now; by the time you’re off the bus, your money is out and you’re screeching ‘EXTRA MAYO’ at the guy behind the counter… but do you really need to eat at this time? Is this the best way to spend your dwindling student loan? Is it worth the relentlessly-lingering garlic breath in the morning? Is this why your mum bluntly tells you that you’ve gotten fat? Quite honestly… you’ve probably answered ‘yes’ to all.
#2 Tagging people in the dankest of memes
You don’t think it’s weird until granny asks ‘what is a Harambe?’, or who you referred ‘tag your friend if she’s a potato’ to. Hours are spent in a constant stream of notifications from the same person and ‘omg literally us’ comments.
#3 Washing up: an artistic discipline
It does not ‘need to soak’ for three days, Ben. Get a grip. There’s an advanced game of plate-Tetris balanced precariously on the draining board, a pile of unforgotten teaspoons and spatulas by the sink (‘I’ll do it later’ – everyone et al.) and something is growing on the sponge. This is the type of décor unique to uni digs.
#4 Nocturnal lifestyle
You used to get up for school at 7:30 every day, but ‘HOW?’ you ponder, whilst waiting for your pasta to boil at half past 1 at night. Even when you don’t go OUT out, the thought of going to bed before the clock strikes 3 is ridiculous. The postman gives you a look of pity, but you no longer feel the shame of answering the door at 11:30am, rocking the bedhead in your pyjamas.
#5 Weird TV shows
‘Have you watched any good TV lately?’ mum naively asks, expecting a decent conversation about Attenborough’s latest exploits or whether I figured out who kidnapped the child before it was revealed. By the time you’ve finished telling her about ‘Half Man, Half Tree’, the concept of ‘Naked Attraction’ and the 27 back-to-back episodes of ‘My Strange Addiction’ that you watched last weekend, her look of horror says enough.
#6 A strong reliance on napping
Napping used to be uncool when you were younger. You’re surprised at how quickly it became a staple aspect of your daily routine.
#7 Discount envy
Was it even a thing before uni? The reduced section in supermarkets is your starting point every time you need to buy food. Meal plans are based on what sort of soggy veg you can find, and you are well aware of the prime time for amazing deals before shops close. We’ve all suffered that pang of jealousy as you casually approach the golden aisle (pretending that you’ve just stumbled upon it… that it wasn’t the only reason you entered the shop) and somebody is already there, raiding the best stock. You should have been happy for your housemate when she managed to get five blocks of brie for 80p, but you can’t help but wish it had happened to a better person… to you.
#8 Snapchat: the ‘voice changer’ was a game changer
The overwhelming need to check which Snapchat filters are available each day has gotten out of control. It started off being ironic, but now you spend every waking moment wondering when the ‘rainbow puke’ will make a return, and wishing that a three-face dog filter would make its debut.
#9 Scrolling during lectures
You may very well be sat in a lecture theatre with ‘week 7’ written at the top of your page, but spending the whole time checking your stagnant Twitter feed or adding a disgustingly beautiful amount of clothes to your ASOS ‘saved items’ list does not constitute a worthwhile morning spent. It’s during revision season that you realise how much you overestimated your multitasking skills.
Gone are the days when weekends were used for completing work, so we could start a new week afresh. Why would they set a deadline if they expected us to finish it earlier? By leaving work until the last minute, you’re maximising the time you invested into it, and thus completing it to the best of your ability: as your oldest and wisest self. Please note, however, that this kind of bullshit justification does not work back home when mum returns from work and you still haven’t emptied the dishwasher.
Now take a step back and marvel at the atrocity that you have become. Your student account is dwindling, as is your coursework, and you live in a nest of squalor. It would be easy to sort yourself out – turn your phone off in lectures, have a money jar for those spare pennies, go to bed before 11pm once in a while – but it’s too easy to ignore the outside world isn’t it? You’re back at uni now there’s no need to think about anything else for a while…
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