Spotlight On: Student Priorities

Fraser Bryce

Recently, Virgin Media decided to conduct a survey amongst students, seeing as it was the new term and all. The question asked was “What items do you think are most important for university?” The results came in the form of a 20 item list, and, well, to be honest, the results are both shocking and hilarious in equal amounts. Among my personal highlights are a sewing kit coming ahead of a first aid kit – because a ripped shirt is more important to tend to than a broken arm – and fancy dress costumes coming ahead of a timetable – because it doesn’t matter if you miss a lecture when you’re dressed as a banana – with, not so surprisingly, alcohol comes in at number 6.

Not just alcohol, Jagermeister to be exact: the sweet, black nectar of the Gods. Either one of two things has happened here: 1) the students asked were just really excited about Fresher’s week and their opinions will all change after their courses start; or 2) the students asked legitimately think that getting hammered is more important than their course. If you are one of these people, you really shouldn’t be here; pack up your stuff and leave. The whole point of going to university is to continue studying the subject that you enjoy, whilst expanding your knowledge and slowly introducing you to how to function in the real world.

Granted, universities are partially to blame here.  As they basically dedicate an entire week to getting so drunk you can’t see, but surely after that week is finished, your focus should shift to, you know, actually trying to do well? The fact that drinks are dirt cheap in the Union probably doesn’t help either, although I can find very few reasons to complain about £1 for a Jack Daniels and Coke.

Let’s take a look at some of the things this survey ranked a bottle of Jager above: painkillers, stationery, timetables, notebooks, first aid kits and, bizarrely, drinking glasses. And now let’s imagine a scenario here: it’s the week before you start university, and you can only buy one item – yes it’s a bit far-fetched but hear me out – what do you choose, stationery or some jager? If you picked Jager, you lost. Sorry. If you picked jager, you basically decided that you don’t need writing utensils, all you need to learn is powerful alcohol. Good luck with those essays and exams; it’s only the taking part that counts anyway right? Wrong, get some perspective.

I get the feeling I’m beginning to sound like a drink responsibly advert. Don’t get me wrong here, I love a drink (or seven) as much as the next person, but there comes a point where you stop being someone who enjoys a drink and become someone who relies on the stuff, and, if you ask me, drinking taking priority over the most difficult years of education of your life is the start of that. Basically, what I’m saying is, go out, get drunk, have a good time; but don’t do it before you feel you’ve done everything you can today to do well in your course. Anyway, it’s Friday night and I’m off out to get wasted, because I’ve finished writing this article and I can.d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);