Blog & Opinion
4 January 2019 • Montana Sazias
So you’re pockets are empty. You’re only halfway through the month and you’ve already spent all your money. What’s going on? How can it be possible that you don’t even have two cents to rub together even though you still live with your parents, your travel costs are paid by the state, and you don’t need to look after anyone apart from yourself?
It’s well known that living as a student is not exactly made easy these days. It’s becoming harder and harder to find a place to live. The Randstad urban conurbation is becoming more populated, causing supply to shrink and prices to go through the roof. You might say that staying at home in your early twenties should make a difference.
I’ve discovered that there is an appreciable contrast between taking a gap year in which you work fulltime and living as a student in which you have plenty of time left over to prepare a decent meal. It takes a little getting used to, particularly during the first few months of your studies. During my gap year, I did become accustomed to having money to spend most of the time. I didn’t have to worry so much about whether or not I would be in the black at the end of the month. However, you are dependent on yourself. After all, if you don’t work, then you don’t have an income. It’s different when you’re a student. Then you have the option, or the right, to a monthly grant or you apply for a loan. I carefully looked into whether this is the best way and whether I really did need it. Couldn’t I do things differently? After all, unfortunately loans do not come without repercussions.
I found this a tough choice, because I would like to fully devote myself to my studies. This means that I want to be distracted as little as possible by things such as money or part-time jobs. I have to come clean now and tell you that I do not excel when it comes to staying focused on various tasks at the same time. I prefer to focus my attention on one main job, rather than on two smaller jobs.
Ultimately this is also what led me to the conclusion that a loan currently gives me a little more peace, support, and freedom during the transition from work to school. It means that I can get away a little from the hectic environment that you are suddenly plunged into and make sure that the initial period, or kickstart, is as successful as possible.
Now I realise that student life is more expensive and hectic than one might think. Nevertheless, I am really looking forward to the next academic year and everything it will bring. As regards the ‘money problems’, I know that they are temporary. I also know that the majority of students deal with these problems and that there are bigger problems in the world than my problem of ‘having to skip the odd meal’. To be honest, it just motivates me even more, as I know full well that I don’t want my later life restricted by money.
Montana Sazias began European Studies after a gap year. This academic year she is blogging about her experiences as a first-year student at THUAS.