Stop getting angry at me because I have a bigger student loan than you
You’ve had more money than me all your life, don’t get angry if I treat myself occasionally
At university, I'm the richest I've ever been in my entire life. I can afford to buy nice clothes, eat out regularly, and enjoy the nightlife my city has to offer. Without the generous student loan and bursary that I've been given, based on the fact I have low house-hold income, this would not be possible.
I've found though, that now I can afford nice things, I'm met with distaste by those in a less fortunate position. People make comments to me about how unfair it is that I can afford to go shopping and on holidays with my loan, whilst their rent is barely covered by theirs. These people are right. It is unfair, but it doesn't mean it's wrong that others from less stable financial backgrounds get the amount they do.
When people direct their anger at me, it makes me feel guilty for having and spending money. Just because I now have enough to treat myself occasionally, doesn't take away from the fact that I need more money than them. I should not, and will not feel like I have to apologise for spending it. A lot of the people I hear complaining about this have had more money than me all their life.
I want to be able to go out drinking and have fun with people. These costs aren't just for raw survival, they make it possible for those from different socioeconomic backgrounds to integrate with each other. The culture of university has been historically dominated by the privately educated who have been given the money to attend. The accessibility that these generous loans give other people is so important as it makes our university a more diverse place.
It's sad to think that a few perks such as extra clothes can help a whole class integrate with another, but it's true. University for many people has always been where they would naturally end up. However, for the working class it's not that simple. My parents worried to an extent as they tried to find other more feasible options. Alternatives such as apprenticeships nearby were pushed onto me, because in their minds all a degree would get me was crippling debt in a society where it's too hard to find a good job. If apprenticeships are for you, then that's great, but you shouldn't be forced into staying at home because it's the most feasible option.
On a more serious note, people might get angry that I'm spending this money frivolously on the occasional burger or pair of shoes. Think about it though, we've not just been given all of this money, but loaned it. When I graduate at the end of my four year degree, I'll be saddled in £68,000 worth of debt because I've not been in a situation where my mum can help me through uni as we can barely afford rent at our flat at home, never mind at uni too. I made this decision because I wanted an education.
Just like every other person who studies for a degree, I want a good job, and since my parents couldn't afford to help much, that £68,000 will be looming over me, and it won't be over some other people's shoulders, so there is no need for them to bitch about it to me now.
This isn't to say that other situations are okay. I completely understand that some people can't rely on their parents and get a small loan because of this system. For instance, those whose parents have lots of children to support, or their parents are paying off a mortgage as well. Those people should be able to be as self-sufficient as I am. I've seen some of my close friends struggle because their loans aren't enough to live off and their parents can't help them. However, my friends don't make me feel like I need to apologise for having money, and I'll help them if they ever need it.
However, the problem of small and unliveable student loans is a problem of the government. Salty comments at those with larger loans aren't going to fix anything. Generally speaking, the rich can help their children and the poorer can't. There are flaws in the system, but small things like working class kids having enough money to spend a bit more for once is pedantic as fuck, and if that's what some people's main issue is, then they need to reconsider, because it's done social mobility a whole lot of good.