Category Archives: Comment

The Five Devastating Consequences of No Longer Having a Valid Student Card

For many years you will curse your student card for the terrible Dracula-esque photo that was taken on a dreadful hangover, and the fact it means you actually have to study. But when that fateful day of expiry comes, there will be a number of awful consequences.

1. No more Topshop discount

Or New Look. Or Urban Outfitters. Or anywhere for that matter. You can also kiss goodbye to student lock-ins. While the odd ten or twenty percent off a new pair of jeans might not have seemed that much over the years, it becomes increasingly hard to justify a spending spree without saving some pennies. Soon you’ll be raiding your mum’s 80s wardrobe in a desperate attempt to update your style.

 regina george ugly skirt

In the words of Regina George “that is the ugliest effing skirt I have ever seen.”

2. Goodbye to cheap lunches

Going to uni and the thought of having to cook for myself was terrifying. But I, along with every other student, soon discovered the perk of 2 for 1 and 50% off deals, which meant you could score a great lunch for a fiver (as long as you avoided sides and only drank tap water). But all those great deals on the SR app disappear when your student card expires, meaning you actually have to cook for yourself. ALL. THE. TIME.

 Jess crying

WHY GOD WHY???

3. Paying a lot to get in da clubs

Aside from the fact that you are now probably working and therefore cannot go out mid-week to get super steam-boats on £1 spirit-mixes and have to splash your cash on expensive weekend nights out instead, you also have to start paying full price to get in. I was always too drunk on entering clubs to remember flashing my student card, but it turns out it cuts the entry fee in half. I mean that’s the cost of at least two drinks. No wonder adults stop going out past the age of 25.

 Ross giving the finger

Eff you nightclubs!

4. Free McDonald’s cheeseburgers are a thing of the past

A little known secret always spreads like Chinese whispers through starving students stumbling home from a drunken night out. If you buy a regular McDonalds meal and show your student card, YOU GET A FREE CHEESEBURGER! HALLELUJAH! However, once your student card expires you can no longer take advantage of this generous offer and are left begging the fed up cashier for a few extra chips. It turns out a regular meal just isn’t enough anymore.

 please sir

“Please sir, I want some more.”

5. You can no longer access the library

No I’m not a weirdo who misses the smell of books or studying alongside thousands of other crazed students trying desperately to memorise their textbooks. The library was one of my least favourite places as a student, as it was for many people. However, on those freezing cold winter days when you were forced to spend any time in your flat wrapped up in thermals, trackies and about 5 jumpers, the library became a safe, warm haven for you. Even if you just went to watch the episode of Dr. Who you missed on BBC iPlayer. Without that haven you might have to, god forbid, turn the heating on in your flat. Or go to a coffee shop and actually pay for something. Of course this won’t apply if you’ve moved back home with your parents – but then you probably have a bunch of other problems to deal with.

 Luke Skywalker freezing

You. In your frozen flat this winter.

So if you are a graduate and are yet to land your dream job, then these problems are likely affecting you too. The only solution I can offer is to try scraping off the date of your student card and still passing it off as valid. But if it gets refused, it will probably be the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you. Ever. I know from personal experience.

-Claire Flynn

Advertisements

An Ode To My Bed

“When am I in my element?”

That was what I asked my boyfriend after I spotted this writing competition advertised on The Debrief. I had been mulling it over for a while and couldn’t decide whether it was writing, playing guitar or exercising (to be fair that was one was definitely a stretch – I hate the gym) and I wanted a second opinion.

However, he didn’t agree with any of my suggestions and instead replied “in bed.”

Those of you raising your eyebrows and wondering whether the rest of this article will be devoted to praising my sexual prowess, don’t worry – it’s not. That’s not what he meant. I know because when I smiled and winked at him, he swiftly added “and not in the dirty way.”

So after a fairly extensive argument, I conceded that being in bed is actually when I am most in my element. Whether it’s sleeping, reading or watching episode after episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with a cup of tea and a jumbo bag of salt and vinegar crisps, my bed is my favourite place to be and I could genuinely spend all day there. But couldn’t everyone? Apparently not.

My boyfriend, for one, is insanely active – when he’s not too busy with his medical degree, he’s at swimming training, 5-a-side football or the gym, and rarely takes the time for a duvet day or even a lie-in. And one of my former flatmates gets up at 7 am every morning without fail, including on a Sunday. I swear the only time I witnessed her sleep in (until 9) was the morning after she drank a bottle of tequila and attempted to make-out with a stone pillar.

So maybe I enjoy my time in bed a little too much. But, despite the fact that in the digital age it is possible to do virtually any task from your bed provided you have a laptop/smartphone/tablet, I don’t actually spend all my time there. Even now that I have a home-based job, I make myself get up and work at the kitchen table. I go out and see friends, shop and even force myself to the gym from time to time (that really is a struggle though). No I’m not showing off about the fact I do stuff – my point is that, while my bed remains my one true love, I’m constantly forcing myself to live out of my element, because, in all honesty, life in the comfort zone must get dull after a while.

While my rant about how much I love my bed was not riveting enough to win 850 squids, you can rest easy knowing that if I had won, it would have all been spent on new blankets, my Netflix subscription and a shit-ton of salt and vinegar crisps.

-Claire Flynn

-Image courtesy of Joel Kramer (flickr.com/photos/75001512@N00/)

Apocalypse Now… ish?

21/12/12- The date we have feared in recent years as doomsday, the end of the world, our reckoning… or whatever you want to call it. This was the date at the end of the Mayan Calendar leading many to cite it as the end of days.

So I don’t know how you spent the 21st but I, along with many others around the globe, was having a great time at an End of the World party. So when it reached midnight and there was still no sign of the Four Horsemen, asteroids or aliens planning on demolishing our planet for an intergalactic highway, I, along with most, didn’t even notice. Things continued as normal, with no real elation that the world had not ended.

This is because no one had ever truly expected it to end. The word apocalypse carries very little weight with it these days. It has been reduced from a word capable of inspiring global terror to an excuse to have a party or make a film.

Maybe it is the sheer volume of false predictions of the apocalypse that have been made throughout history that have heightened our cynicism to the extent of complete disbelief. Because let’s face it- there have been hundreds

Let’s begin with the example of the prediction by the Assyrians. A clay tablet found dating around 2800 BC held the words ‘Our Earth is degenerate. In these latter days there are signs that the world is coming to an end. Bribery and corruption are common.’ Bribery and corruption remain common but the Assyrian prediction of the end of days was inaccurate… obviously.

Over the rest of history various people including religious leaders, Columbus, mathematicians and scientists have predicted different apocalyptic events that will bring about the end of our world.  American Christian radio broadcaster, Harold Camping, has predicted six different dates for our day of judgement over the past two decades. Every time one proves to be wrong he just picks another date. You have to give him kudos for perseverance at least.

And the latest apocalyptic prediction- the end of the Mayan Calendar on the 21st of December, caused imaginations to run wild and bring about many suggestions for the end of the world. These ideas included a galactic alignment, a geomagnetic reversal of the poles, an alien invasion, the earth being destroyed by a supernova and the list goes on…

However, yet again the prediction proved false. This may have been due to a simple misreading of the calendar, as has been suggested, but it was still a little disappointing.

But never fear. There are plenty more predictions of the end of all things to look forward to. Foerster wrote in a science magazine in 1960 that on November the 13th 2026 the world’s population would reach infinity, which was a result of the ‘Doomsday Equation.’ However, he later suggested that this article was written in jest so again this date is unlikely to see our fiery demise. But don’t worry we also have the NASA prediction of an asteroid hitting the planet in 2036 and if that fails, Nostradamus pointed out that prophecies ended in 3797 suggesting the end of the world. And there will doubtless be hundreds of other predictions made over the progressing years to keep us going.

In fact, whilst we’re at it I’m going to throw one in there. I predict doomsday, the destruction of Earth and all it’s inhabitants, the day of judgement, the ultimate apocalypse will be on the 31st of July 2022. For no other reason than it’s my 30th birthday and I would love to celebrate it at another End of the World Party. The last one I was at was just thrilling.

-Claire Flynn

-Image courtesy of Michael Lehenbauer (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikelehen/)

It’s Christmas Time…

It’s coming to that time of year again. Festive tunes are blaring out of every Ipod, the advent calendars are being placed upon walls and the decorations are being dusted off. It’s time for Christmas; a time of joy, of happiness and of giving.

But also a time of stress, fighting and spending the entire day with your family- which, almost never ends well.

It is one of the days of the year we’ll all count down to but let’s be honest we tend to gloss over the bad stuff about Christmas Day.

Some of you jolly little carollers may be gasping at my negative Christmas attitude… but just let me explain.

You start off getting up at some ridiculous hour in the morning. Christmas is supposed to be a holiday so why do we still have to get up at 7am. Santa isn’t going to take the presents back- he’s not real! And if you do make the decision to have a sensible lie in and make everyone wait for you to open presents you inevitably wake up to a younger sibling pouring freezing cold water over your face: ‘Woops sorry didn’t mean that. But seeing as you’re up…’

And then there’s the opening of presents and pretending like you needed five pair of reindeer socks- ‘Aww yeah Mum that’s exactly what I wanted.’ All the while what you really want is to go back to bed. And then you have to wear every single item of clothing you have been bought so as not to offend anyone, even if it’s ugly or impractical. If you got bought five jumpers, a hat and a scarf, you’re going to have a toasty day.

Then we get to the centrepiece- Christmas dinner. What’s wrong with the Christmas dinner, you may ask? Well aside from the stress of making it- someone always breaks down over the not-quite-right gravy and someone else gets mad that the parsnips are burnt- there is also the awkward moment when there is only one roast potato left:

‘Can I have the last roast potato?’

‘You had it last year!’

‘No she had it last year!’

‘No…!’

But the dinner is generally good; everyone gets drunk and seems happy. Everyone settles down to watch television…

That’s the calm before the storm.

The time in between television and bed is taken up by one thing and one thing only:

Board games.

Different families will opt for different games. Some will go for the classics: Monopoly, Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit. Some will opt for the more modern and alternative: Cranium, Mousetrap or Articulate. Regardless of the one you choose, chaos will ensue. Someone will get punched square in the face; someone else will burst into tears and someone will storm out half way through. Oh and everyone will accuse the winner of cheating.

And then Christmas day comes to a close with everyone slinking off to bed in a huff.

But don’t call me Scrooge. I’ll be counting the days until Christmas with the rest of you. I can’t wait to open my presents and stuff my face with food. I just know that when midnight of that fateful day comes I’ll be thanking the universe that I have to wait another year for it to come around again.