Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The high cost of low living

For the first time in my life, i have an overdraft. My money is in negative numbers now. That's a strange thought. I'm minus £190. I'm in debt! Luckily, i get up to £1000 free overdraft with my student bank account, so i'm safe for a while. I can hardly wait for the next instalment of my student loan :)
I haven't actually been spending the money on huge amounts of alcohol, contrary to the stereotype. Most of it has gone on clothes and records. Sadly i've had to sell some of my CDs on ebay to regain some money.
I've sort of sorted out my accommodation for next year. Me and Harriet applied for self-catered accommodation on campus, but if we don't like it or don't get it we'll apply for private accommodation like most second-years do. I've been hanging with her and that lot a lot lately. We have shared loves, like Monty Python, The Simpsons, The Smiths, The Beatles, HIM (well, me and Emily like them), Dave Gorman, Wayne's World, The Goodies, and gently taking the mick out of Neighbours, and we're all from Duryard: me and Deborah are from Jessie Montgomery House, Emily is from Duryard Mews which is next to Jessie, Dan and Chris are from Hetherington which is opposite, and Harriet is from Murray which is next to Hetherington.
For standard halls, and especially for Duryard, the Mews are luxury. Like Jessie, they have the added luxury of plastered walls. They don't actually look like prison cells! Unlike Jessie, the rooms are really big, well-lit and warm (the radiators work properly and aren't miles from the beds!), and have nice furniture and lots of electrical sockets. Hetherington, universally described as "a shithole", is pretty bad, but not too bad (i.e. it looks like a prison, but it's just about habitable), although i can see why they want to knock it down. Will Young used to live there and he once said something like, "They should knock it down, it was horrendous, a breezeblock building." (Us lot in JM can beat Hetherington for celebrity inmates, i mean alumni, as J.K. Rowling used to live here.) Murray is about the same as Hetherington, slightly better, and JM is between them and the Mews. It's a tad unfair that we all pay the same amount as we aren't all getting the same quality. It's also a waste that they're knocking down the Mews during the summer, as they're in really good condition. Nowadays, people want en-suite accommodation, so they're knocking down lots of old halls and replacing them with en-suite halls. En-suite is nice but you can live without it. I'm guessing that some people have en-suite rooms at home so they're used to it and want it at university too.
Anyway, so with this bunch of friends i have been shopping, checking out next year's accommodation, eating, drinking, going to the movies (Serenity last Sunday, and The Constant Gardener the Sunday before that - the campus cinema is only £3, or £1.50 if you join CinSoc, good price i think) and watching way too much telly (the aforementioned shows and films) for the last few weeks. I haven't abandoned my corridor or any of my other friends, i just think i needed a break from socialising by getting completely lashed (if you're wondering, i mean "getting lashed" as in "getting really drunk", not some sort of S&M activity!) with them, so lately i've been socialising in other ways with people who don't like getting drunk so often. I like drinking, and i like getting drunk, but not to the extent that some people in my corridor do. Also I have three 9 o'clock lectures a week, and every day of the week i have morning lectures, plus i will be doing work experience soon, so i want to avoid getting hangovers every day. I think it's working, as i've recently re-mastered the art of getting up in time for lectures. Hooray! I think i'm also getting better at typing. (Typing when drunk is disastrous.)
Last night our corridor celebrated Ralph's birthday, we made him drink the Welly and he downed it in seconds, it was amazing. He's got a talent for downing drinks, i reckon he can relax his throat muscles like sword-swallowers do. After that most of our corridor lot went to Arena nightclub, but i didn't go as (a) i had a 10am lecture the next day, (b) i was feeling sleepy, and (c) Arena smells of puke so i don't like it very much (i would ignore the puke smell and go more often if the place had more redeeming features, e.g. played more good music/ less bad music, was nearer, etc. like the Cavern).
To be fair to my corridor, they're not all drunks, they can socialise sans alcool too: last Thursday we went to a Chinese restaurant and got all-you-can-eat 3-course meals for £10.50 each, which was excellent value for money and very tasty (better than halls' food!). I would love it if we could socialise like that more often (we are planning going there again, but i don't know when). They're very nice people and i'm friends with them, it's just a lot of them don't have 9am lectures so they get drunk a lot.
It's Valentine's Day today, and i would like to wish you, dear reader, a good day. I used to really hate V-day at high school, there was so much pressure to have a boyfriend, and pressure to "go out" with one from the "in" crowd, and around V-day that pressure would just intensify. A lot of the "harmless" "teasing" over "puppy love" that grown-ups saw was borderline bullying, and it wasn't exactly very nice. If you like someone, go out with them, show them your feelings, whenever you want: you shouldn't be pressured by peers and there's no reason to wait for a specific day in February anyway. V-day wasn't a problem at my first 2 schools, when i was a kid, and it wasn't much of a problem in sixth form, but in high school it was hell, i used to ask my mum to let me bunk off that day (she wouldn't let me). Last year's V-day didn't actually suck, for once, and in the afternoon i was thinking it might be the first V-day in years that didn't totally suck. Then my grandmother, who was one of my best friends, passed away. Today has been a good day, there's been no pressure like at school, most people see V-day as a bit silly, the weather isn't too bad (apart from a shower earlier, it's a beautiful day), people are being nice to each other, but the fact it's the first anniversary of her death is upsetting. My dad isn't well and i wonder if it's because he's depressed over it (she was his mum). I don't know what to do though, should i phone my family in case they want to talk, or should i leave them alone in case they don't want a reminder?
There is a huge hole in the lives of all my family. I don't know how to help the others. I don't want to end this post on such a negative note, so i'll try and find something positive to say. I am having a great time at uni, it really can be "the time of your life", and i'm sure she wanted that. I'll go now, i have work to do. I've got just under 2 hours before my next lecture, which i could use for good, i want to avoid wasting valuable work-time on the 'net (that's why i don't use msn much any more, it's soooo distracting, plus my neighbour Pete, who is the only person in my corridor who i don't get on well with, keeps messaging me with it... well, he used to, until i blocked him because he was getting annoying). I've got a lecture 4pm-5pm today (groan... but at least it's not as bad as criminal law workshops, which are 5pm-6pm on Fridays!) so i hope i get home in time for dinner and telly.

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