How much is Freshers’ Week costing your teen? Research released this week shows that students across the UK can spend more than £400 in Freshers’ Week. Put this in the context of the average annual student maintenance loan of £1500 and the reality of the maths is scary.
As the mother to a Fresher myself this year, I know first hand the financial pressures involved and whilst staggering, sadly this figure does not surprise me.
Tuition fees and accommodation costs aside, before even setting foot on campus for Freshers’ Week, students have numerous additional start up expenses including insurance, the TV licence fee, access to the university internet, a student rail card and of course the all important books. Yes of course some of these costs span generations and had to be paid in my university days, but for the 21st century student the impact of inflation on day to day living, makes that first week so much tougher.
Paying for entry to Freshers’ parties, signing up to become a member of various clubs and societies and simply going out and being sociable with new-found friends, places huge financial pressure upon our teens and it is easy to see how this number can be reached so quickly.
In fact the rising cost of being a student has meant that twice as many students who graduated last year compared to 2015 or earlier, felt unable to actually enjoy themselves at Fresher’s Week and with such a current emphasis on the mental health of our young people this is a worrying statistic, with potentially far-reaching consequences.
For many leaving home for the first time, keeping track of their spending is a daunting task. They have worked hard for their exams but it does’t end there, there is still more to come. Going through our son’s allowance with him last week before he headed off, it suddenly dawned on him that he would need to manage his budget carefully.
He worked to save for the customary bucket holidays with his mates over the summer as a final farewell to those fond and cossetted