The Sunday Times Column: VIP students are missing the whole point of uni


Now I’m a grown-up with a proper job, who can afford to put the heating on full and eat Waitrose organic ham whenever I want, I can reminisce rosily about my impoverished student life: halcyon nights shivering to sleep under a slim Primark duvet; eating dinners of cold baked beans from dented cans.

When I was a student, slumming it was a lifestyle choice. As undergrads, we boasted about our fetid squats and Young Ones lives. We turned being broke into a competitive sport, spending seminars swapping stories of deprivation: “I ate nothing but reduced tripe from Lidl this week.” “Our house is so cold, the mice have moved out.” “Our house is so skint, we barbecued our mice.”

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