Leeds Students Find Finances More Stressful Than Academic Work

University is the best three years of your life; making friends, drinking and partying, with the occasional lecture. However, many students feel stressed over how they can financially fund the university lifestyle, often causing isolation and depression.

Fourth year student at Leeds Beckett Emily, works in Wetherspoons part time and feels this is necessary to fund life at university. “If I didn’t have the support of my parents, I would worry about money and it would stop me doing things I would normally do”.

However, some students want to be independent and feel reluctant to ask parents for support. Luke, a student at Leeds Trinity, says he “feels cheeky asking for money from parents all the time”.

However most students are unaware of the financial help that universities offer to struggling students. Alexander Sheckleton at Leeds Beckett student hub provides information on hardship funds and emergency loans. ‘Loans and grants can be given to students in emergencies depending on their circumstances. The university don’t want to see anyone struggle or unable to support themselves”. These awards  can be applied for through most university support teams.

Mixing with people from different backgrounds at university puts struggling students under pressure, often feeling left out and inadequate.

Amy, studying sports therapy at Leeds Beckett, missed out on the ‘fresher experience’ after not receiving her student loan. ‘I struggled to mix with other students and make friends as everything involved spending money. I stayed in my flat instead of going out and felt lonely and depressed. Since receiving my loan and getting a job i’ve felt happier as I can eat better and socialise with friends”.   

However not all students have time in their hectic schedule to think about their bank balance. Isaac Nelson, 19, first year student at Leeds Beckett thinks life is too short to think about money. “Socially, I have done whatever I want since being in Leeds and i’m not going to let money stop me. If I come to struggle, I will face that at the time, or just not eat ”.


Reflection One

Over the past few weeks, my view of Journalism has been confirmed. However, my understanding of the different aspects of the industry has improved and I have learnt what a broad subject it is. I have been inspired by the professionals around me, providing their own advice and experiences whilst teaching. The most shocking thing for me was during the introductory lecture when senior lecturer ‘Sean Dodson’ told us that only 20% of undergraduates in the room would actually become journalists. These stats surprised me as it taught me what a harsh and competitive industry I will be entering into.

Over the next 10 weeks I am excited to start creating my own work, using new techniques/technology and meeting new people. As well as writing about things that interest me, I am excited to stretch my mind to new and challenging areas of journalism as I feel it is important to have a wide range of experience. I know I have made the right decision in my course choice as I will be practicing  transferable skills over the next three years that will help me further my career, no matter what area of journalism I choose to pursue.

What Kind of Journalist Am I?

Travel, Fitness and Fashion
I have always been interested in fashion especially journalism relating to fashion and beauty. I have followed amateur and celebrity bloggers since a young age, looking for tips and inspiration. I currently work for ‘Zara’, a high fashion retailer, which encourages and enables me to follow current trends. Having travelled Europe over the past year, I have also found a love for documenting trips and studying photography at A Level has encouraged me to incorporate images in my work, helping support my writing. Photography is a massive love of mine and is an area of journalism that I deem vital, after all  ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’.

I am a lover of both healthy eating and fitness and I am always keen to read up on related topics that interest me. I find reading blogs related to fitness inspiring and motivating and I would love to have this affect on others through my writing. Having recently moved away from home for the first time, I am enjoying exploring food, nutrition and the health benefits of eating well. This is also an area that enthuses me and would love to write about.

I feel keeping up to date with current affairs is a major aspect of journalism, despite the content. I therefore follow online apps for news updates and read both local and national papers when possible.

Despite online and print journalism, my main area of interest is tv/radio and PR. Despite having no practical experience in these areas as of yet, I am excited to explore and develop new skills during the course of the next three years.          

Blogs, news sites and forums that interest me
I am always researching and reading new blogs and websites by various writers. However, I love to follow certain sites and have become a fan of particular blogs. I regularly follow celebrity blogger Tanya Burr:  http://www.tanyaburr.co.uk/?blog=. I feel her social media presence provides a platform for her work to be seen, however I appreciate that she claimed her fame through her journalistic work. I love fitness blog ‘Eat Lift And Be Happy’: http://www.negharfonooni.com/blog/ . I feel it is an easy and enjoyable read, relatable to the reader. It uses interesting ways other than simple articles such as lists and photography to engage the reader. For current affair new I regularly follow both the BBC website and mobile app, whilst on the go; http://www.bbc.co.uk/news.

My Interests and Hobbies
Outside my studies, I am an avid member of the gym. I love being motivated with fitness, both on my own and attending classes with friends. I have always had a strong work ethic, working since I was 16. I currently work for ‘Zara’, a high fashion retailer, which encourages and enables me to follow current trends and love the fast pace and busy atmosphere of the job. Whilst in my first year of university, I want to challenge myself to learn a new language. This is something that I have always been interested in and now that opportunity has arose, I am excited to learn this new skill.