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Have you ever stopped to ask yourself what a student really can’t live without? Skipping the obvious: love, family, friends, faith, financial security, food and housing, we’ll fast forward to the subtle but crucial necessities of our situation. Hailing from a small American university located amidst the snowy, cow-speckled fields of Minnesota, I certainly have quite a different list in my mind of what I can’t live without. However, I’m going to share my observations and potentially grossly over exaggerated assumptions of what Brits at Lancaster University really can’t go without.
Style – Second to beans on toast, fashion seems like such an important part of student life in Lancaster, and I don’t just mean for the Ladies. Men here are of the stylish sort too, wearing skinny jeans and scarves and shockingly shoes that are not just trainers. The fashion forward females wearing heels, boots and full make-up with styled hair prompt the question whether it’s acceptable to wear just sweatpants and a hoodie to seminars anymore?
Social Life – Alongside the sterling fashion credentials comes the nights out, something almost every student can’t live without. For most, this starts and ends with The Carleton. Where else can you go on your birthday in fancy dress and have your friends order you luminous drink after luminous drink? After all, who doesn’t enjoy dancing to Cotton Eyed Joe and the Cha Cha Slide?
Rain – Rain and overall lousy weather in general. Since it’s physically impossible to live without bad weather here it could be seen as the ultimate student essential that Lancaster students can’t avoid. While I made sure to pack a nice pair of rain boots or wellies as you call them, they’re not doing me any good now besides adding color to the back of my closet. Proving my first observation correct, you do put fashion first, even on rainy days. Why should I be the loner in my rain boots, when all I see are high heels and fashionable boots clicking through puddles?
Your electronic family – Everyone on campus is somehow plugged in somewhere. On laptops, Ipods and Ipads the list is endless. Then there’s Facebook, the ultimate student essential for most. How else are you going to poke your friends without violating their personal space?
Sleep – Potentially one of the most important aspects of student life. When that 9am lecture rolls around all that’s needed is a nice nap in the afternoon and then we can easily go about a normal routine, with a few yawns of course.
Although not everyone has the same essentials, for a typical Lancaster student it seems as if eating a breakfast of beans on toast before heading to a seminar in something stylish in the rain is an all too familiar trip. Imagine where we’d be without our umbrellas or Facebook? Would we cope or would we quiver in the corner? Somehow I doubt that there would be many of us willing to give it a try.