Monthly Archives: September 2013

Wanted Talents

There is one talent that I’d love to have and that would be to be able to play the piano perfectly.

Or is it to speak fluently in a foreign language.

Maybe it was to be able to ride a bike with no hands.

Whatever it is, I have accepted that I don’t have it.


The Unfair Student Finance

As a student, the one thing that I find most unfair is how the amount of student finance you receive depends on your household income.

Because of this, students from varying backgrounds arrive at University to find that some are in a better financial place than others based on something out of their control.

It doesn’t take into account that parents may earn a lot of money to cover the costs of many things. They may have many more children to look after, they would have a car to insure and fill with petrol, a mortgage to pay and things to buy for themselves.

I know a few people who get the minimum loan with no grant and the money they receive does not cover the cost of their accommodation. In most cases I’ve seen, their parents aren’t in the best position to help with the costs and ended up relying on their overdraft.

After accommodation costs you need to actually feed, clean and clothe yourself but if you can’t even pay for the roof over your head, how can you pay for these basic necessities?

The government should know that the cost of accommodation at University is more often than not at least £3,500. You then need money on top of this to pay for food, toiletries, and other necessary basics.

The minimum student maintenance loan that students can potentially receive could be as low as £3,575. Such students receive no grant.

The maximum student maintenance loan and grant could be £8,854.

A difference of over £5,000.

Why do the government think that these low household income students need so much?

Are parents expected to provide the extra £5,000 to those who cannot receive this amount?

It’s ridiculous.

I believe that there are two possible solutions, either:

  1. Raise the minimum maintenance loan available. That way, the basics are covered. The government should research accommodation and food costs to find a reasonable amount which gives students enough to not find themselves struggling. Fair enough, sacrifices must be made – those en suit halls may have to be given a miss but when the cheapest of places is unaffordable, something has to be done.
  2. Give all students the same amount of money. Everyone will owe the same amount, everyone is in the same boat. People won’t find themselves struggling to buy a tin of beans with the minimum loan while others could be strutting around the campus with new clothes and gadgets courtesy of their hefty loan. Any other money which students receive will either be from working hard in the holidays or a treat from the parents.

Sociable at the Social

Moving into the second year of my University degree means helping out the first years to settle in smoothly. This week I’ve attended a lunch and a welcome party and got to know some of the first year students.

I really enjoy meeting new people and I hate that physics students are stereotyped as shy, unsociable introverts. I am the complete opposite, I’m definitely not shy, I love to mingle and am very out going.

I literally went up to a group of the new students and started chatting.

I feel really helpful when I can answer questions and queries and know what I’m taking about. I got a few lads who I’m getting on with quite well. There are so many more students this year then there were last year in my group.

Tomorrow, we’re all meeting at the local Wetherspoon’s for a late lunch and a few drinks to continue the friendly mingle. I am really looking forward to it.

A secret door, a door undiscovered

The title is the third line from the song “The Symphony” by Snow Patrol. It was the last song I listened to and I’m writing this in response to today’s daily prompt:

To me a secret is something intentionally kept from the knowledge of others while if something is undiscovered then it simply hasn’t been found yet.

People can sometimes mistake a secret from knowledge that is simply undiscovered. I’m not keeping the fact that I have a bar of Galaxy chocolate in the top shelf of the fridge at home a secret. It just so happens that no one has found out about it.

An intentionally hidden door, to something like a lair or a panic room, is a secret. But the door hidden naturally by ivy on the side of a building is undiscovered until someone pulls back the leafy curtain.

I suppose a secret is undiscovered, but something undiscovered isn’t necessarily a secret.

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