For many new students, university life seems like a breeze – roll out of bed for a lecture, cook some noodles for dinner and spend the evening drinking at the SU bar. However, as the year goes on, you start to notice all the little irritable things that you wouldn’t have even thought of before. And that’s when the complaining starts.
Accommodation has to be the biggest area for complaints, with poor heating being voted the number one gripe according to the latest poll by specialists VitaStuden com. Location is another big factor linked to accommodation satisfaction and it comes to no surprise that many complaints are about poorly located halls of residence. For some reason, many universities decide to place non-campus accommodation in the less-appealing areas of town, with London universities being the biggest culprits of this.
Having lived in university accommodation that was located between a brothel where Pete Doherty once worked in and a homeless shelter for women (which ironically looked better than our halls of residence), I can say that when it comes to locating accommodation for students, universities don’t always choose what’s best for us. Yet we are still charged ludicrous fees for a box-room that will actually only be lived in for half its tenancy anyway – let’s face it, not that not many first year students spend the majority of their time in their rooms.
But the list of university gripes does not end there. Some of the smaller issues include no Wi-Fi and slow internet connections, which may not seem like the biggest problem but in reality is actually quite annoying – a laptop that has to constantly be connected to a network point in your room slightly defeats the purpose of having a laptop.
Another thing that seems to irritate a lot of students is the fact we have to pay to do washing. The combination of no money and dirty laundry does not equal a very clean student!
It’s a real shame that paying £5,500 a year does not include a washing machine in our communal living area. Instead, we are required to haul our wash baskets to the laundry room and pay £2 for a cycle. This may not be as much of an issue to those who are not concerned about separating whites from colours and delicate from jeans, but for those who are, the cost of laundry can really add up.
A dishwasher is another thing that would really come in handy but, like a washing machine, is not present in our kitchens. Walk into any kitchen occupied by students and you will find a pile of dirty plates and cutlery, all waiting to somehow magically clean themselves.
As annoying as those things may be, nothing compares to the dreaded TV licence – as if students don’t already pay ridiculous amounts of money to the government to learn, we also have to pay to watch TV! You would think that a licence at home would cover a student who is living away from home during term time, but no, that would simply be too easy. £145.50 is a lot to ask from a student who is living off baked beans and paying up to £9,000 to study. But the £1000 fine is probably enough to scare most of us into purchasing the licence.
We must ask though, are students simply complaining too much? Are we expecting too much from university life? It doesn’t seem like it, as almost every student you come across will have at least one thing to complain about, the amount depending on the comfort of the accommodation itself.
Recently, there has been a surge in a new class of student accommodation being opened, with luxury facilities like double beds and a free gym or games room (to name a few). But with the luxury comes a very high price tag, with some premium rooms costing up to £10,000 for a 48 week occupancy period. Some may argue that a price like that is simply too much to pay but is it enough to stop those lucky students from complaining at all?
University nitpicks will always exist, regardless of where a student lives or how much they are spending; it is just something that comes with university life and we must get used to it.
You can read the complete survey at www.vitastudent.com