Underrated Necessities for University Folk

It’s that time again. For another University related list. I’ve been a classic University Student™ for a year and a half now, and there have been some things I’ve noticed. Firstly, there are things that you don’t think about buying that are actually game changers, and the things that your mother insists you get six of and you probably won’t even use one. So here are the underdogs in life. Enjoy

Things you think you won’t need but absolutely probably will need

  1. Plastic cups. You’ve got enough glasses and mugs and measuring jugs, you don’t need anything else right? Wrong. Glasses break, and you don’t want to use those for Beer Pong, and if you’re having a house party do you want that person you met two minutes ago drinking out of your favourite cup? I think not, as I almost lost one of my brand new Mason Jars in my first week by doing that.
  2. Thinking along the same lines, STRAWS. Save yourself washing up and spend a pound at most on a gazillion straws, chuck one in the bottle of wine you’re drinking and boom, you’re sorted. Although that does mean you’ll probably end up drinking the whole bottle, but it’s university.
  3. A colander. You’re probably thinking that sounds like a kitchen item you’ll never use and I’ve put it in the wrong list, but trust me, you’re going to be draining a lot of pasta and rice, and the lid to your pan is going to mysteriously disappear within the first month.
  4. A lunch box. If you’ve got a 9am-6pm day at Uni, it’s inevitable that you will just buy a meal deal on campus, but if you buy a decent one at the beginning of the year hopefully you’ll be more motivated to make your own lunches and even make healthier lunches, at least that’s what I’ve noticed recently anyway.
  5. A flask. For all those library sessions you think about doing and the lectures at silly times in the morning, most of you will want some sort of hot drink but won’t want to spend £3 a day on a beverage, even if the Uni knocks off VAT with your student card. This sounds like something you can live without, but why spend more money on coffee when you have it at your questionable student digs?

Now I’ve imparted some wisdom I’m going to get a coffee and take a nap.

Some things you can’t unread // Disclaimer review

****Trigger warning: rape, and me rambling about it from an outsider’s perspective****

This another one of those “my friend gave me this book ages ago and I’ve only just got around to reading it” origin stories. My TBR list has piled high and returning home for a well needed detox and unwind was the perfect excuse to tackle it. 

I knew this book was a thriller, so I knew it may not be the lighthearted read I probably should have chosen to help me relax while I was away from university. What I didn’t know was that I was about to read one of the darkest scenes I have ever laid my eyes upon, and that the concept of the novel inside a novel that I read in the blurb would take such a dark turn.

I do believe that to an extent, many of us are desensitised to things that we should be able to sympathise with. Thanks to shows like Game of Thrones and horror films being more accessible to younger people, we can be unfazed by the horrors in the world because we’re lucky enough to be sheltered from the terrifying real life situations that are going on (although it seems these days that no one is safe).

This isn’t fair. It isn’t fair that we turn a blind eye to the suffering in the world just because of where you are in the world, your religion or your gender, among many more reasons to divide us rather than unite us. Disclaimer has its twists and turns like any thriller, and this leads me to one of the most climactic scenes I have ever read.

This book follows the tale of a woman who discovers a novel that appears to follow her own life, to the point where one of her darkest secrets is uncovered. Unfortunately for her, it is twisted to the point where everything is turned against her, and just when you think she is going to put herself out of her misery we discover the truth. The truth being that she was raped. 

Sadly this isn’t new to me in novels either, and it’s important to address the fact that it can happen in many different circumstances. Why? Lord knows. To this day I have no idea what could possess a person to think it’s a good idea to violate someone in such a manner. This wasn’t just a quick one page pointer to add to the plot. This scene was dragged on, truly making us readers try and feel what was going on, feel how her son was threatened and she was forced to sacrifice her dignity and any modesty she had. It was graphic, detailed and truly harrowing. It is definitely the thing that stands out most in this novel. That people do things like this in real life, and get away with it. 

It isn’t just a thing that happens, or an unfortunate situation. Surely it would scar you. Surely it would leave you with a permanent sense of anxiety around people for good. I remember years ago watching a video about a girl who carried around the mattress she was raped on around campus to represent the burden she would now carry for life and it’s not a rare case.

The world makes me sad sometimes, and books serve to emphasise how brutal humans can be. This book is truly a thrilling read, and it will cut you to the bone.