Saturday, July 20News For London

Students reach their breaking point: a cost-of-living worry

92% of students face mental pressure amidst the rising cost of living crisis

Worried student / PC: Smriti Raizada

The cost of living crisis has become a worry of the town. While some people are still struggling to understand the problem, many are already facing the brunt of it. The impending crisis in the United Kingdom has begun to show its adverse effects on students, especially when it comes to their mental health.

The pandemic pushed students towards difficult circumstances, with remote learning on the side of mental fatigue. Coming out of these unforeseen circumstances, students embarked upon their university journey with a fresh wave of energy only to be faced by yet another problem.

According to a survey by the National Union of Students, 96% of the 3500 students surveyed are cutting back on spending. Some of the students mentioned reaching a breaking point worrying about the expenditure costs. 92% of the students according to the survey said that the cost of living crisis is affecting their mental health. 

The Students Centre at the University of Westminster has seen a rise in the students asking for financial help. The official said: “At the students centre we have students from all walks of life come in. We have students coming from the other side of the world, from different ethnicities, financial backgrounds and we have definitely seen a rise in asking for financial aid like student funding or schemes that can help them.”

An international student from India, Chandana said that this is her first time staying away from home and managing her expenses. She findings it challenging to focus on her studies with all the stress of daily expenditure.

Chandana said: “It’s very expensive living here. Since I don’t have a part-time job yet, I am very often converting Pounds to Rupees (Currency of India). We are anyway mentally down and homesick, plus thinking about living here and the prices adds to the stress.”

The students with scholarships and allowances are equally concerned about the rising prices. Chelsa Jongue, a 2022 Chevening Scholar, said: “I have a set allowance coming in for my scholarship. It takes into account the average living cost in the city, which includes food, travel and rent. With the increase in prices, any kind of expenditure is very concerning. It doesn’t allow us to experience the city in its entirety and take proper advantage of being in a city like London.”

Godfirst, a disabled student doing Bachelors in Music production and management said: “The crisis has been crazy here. I am disabled and I get a disability allowance. So, the crisis doesn’t affect my everyday travel because I’ve got a Freedom pass. But this allowance doesn’t pay my bills. It is getting a bit too much, a bit too stressful.”

As students transcend borders to invest in their futures, they expect the government to help them achieve that. With the crisis rooted in the everyday struggle, students are faced with tangled priorities. While some measures are being taken to accommodate them financially, there’s a long way to go when it comes to minimising the negative impact it has had on the mental health of students.