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An Instagram guide to student life in London

Tom Crosby

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There are certain things only a London student will ever understand. There’s no getting out of bed five minutes before lectures when you’ve got a 40-minute commute ahead of you. Don’t expect to find ‘A-pound-a-pint’ nights, even at the students’ union. And you’ve got no real chance of getting a decent kebab for under a tenner. It’s just London life.

Honestly, it’s a tough place to be young, poor and beautiful.

Here are 20 times the beautiful people of Instagram really understood the good, the bad, and the horrific that London life has in-store for a student:

1. 20°C? Madness!

A photo posted by Jenny Nash (@jennyjaded101) on

We all know that it’s cold in London, but you never ever think about turning on the heat. Wear three extra jumpers. In fact, why not six? You see, heating is expensive and your fingers are not. So risk frostbite and see 20°C indoors for what it is; a thing of the past.

2. World’s most interns

London is one of best places on earth for internships. The problem is, it’s one of the worst in the world for getting paid for them! When you live there, try and do as many as possible, they are frighteningly useful for contacts, and most people in the UK have no chance of taking them. You’re lucky.

3. This has, for some reason, become your bike

This means it’s home time.

A photo posted by Jenny Nash (@jennyjaded101) on

Somehow, the best way to bike around London is, according to the locals, in the same manner as a bear from a soviet-era Russian circus. These bikes are obviously silly, but at least they fit on the Tube… and in your tiny East London flat.

4. You take all your visiting relatives here… because it’s free.

All the treasures of the world laid out for you to peruse and enjoy. Of course, the main draw here is the price tag… which is nothing at all. So you’ll be taking granny to the V&A and mother to the Tate as well, obviously. Just as long as they buy lunch.

5. Worth more than your grandmother

Oyster and 16-25 Railcard Travelling around London can heavily affect your budget, especially after the devaluation of our currency. The Oyster Card is the answer. It is valid not only on the underground, but also for the red double decker buses and even some regional trains. ? There are 18+ Student or pay as you go oyster cards. If you live near your school, college or university, or only make a few journeys, you may not need a Travelcard or Bus & Tram Pass season tickets. You may be better off using pay as you go at the adult rate.? Insider tip: 18+ Student Oyster saves 30% on travelcard, but if you add your 16-25 Railcard the discount will be 34% on all journeys. You can top up Oyster: · at stations?; · online – select the station you want to collect your order (can also set up auto top-up when your balance is below a certain amount)?, · at some shops across London Insider tip: If you forgot your oyster at home do not worry you can now pay for your journey with your contactless card? 16-25 Railcard Your 16-25 Railcard will save you 1/3 off rail fares when you go by train. Insider tip: if you travel with a group of 3 and more, you will pay as much as with the 16-25 Railcard.?

A photo posted by KazSociety UK (@kazsocietyuk) on

These two little beauties, your student Oyster Card and your 16-25 Railcard, are basically the equivalent of a Willy Wonka golden ticket. Hold them close, like a dear friend or a really cheap way to get train tickets.

6. The night bus is London’s best hostel

Missing so much London’s night buses on the way back home ?? @caciops89 @imjessbaddie

A photo posted by Paola Campi (@_paulafields) on

We all know you live about 60 minutes out of the centre. Of course you do, you’re a student. So expect the night bus to become your only friend, and your worst enemy, on those ‘late’ nights out in Camden or Soho. Pray they get The Night Tube sorted asap.

7. Find your place with Uniplaces

So you’ve been looking for a place to stay, have you? Well, Uniplaces is probably your best bet (and we’re not just saying that). Expect prices starting at anything from £100-£220 a week.

8. This is unbelievably cheap for a pint

What a price! Really, seriously. You’re lucky to get a pint of beer for under £4 in most London pubs these days. So buy about six, pop ’em into a giant hip flask and bingo! That’s your night sorted. Stick to the uni students’ union, you might be a bit luckier.

9. These fake signs are all too real

Some urban joker started replacing authentic Transport for London stickers with their own satirical versions. Some are total genius, but most tell you more about London Tube culture than you’ll ever learn from a book or the TV.

10. You went in here and never came out again!

The British Library, between Euston and Kings Cross/St. Pancras stations, is ridiculously big. They carry every single book printed in the UK and Ireland, adding 3 million more a year. Alongside the 150 million books they already own, it’s a bit of an epic read. Careful you don’t find the entrance to Narnia at the back!

11. Nobody really cares how you dress

New body suits online and in store – Batman, Flash and Superman

A photo posted by Fancydress.com (@fancydresscom) on

Fancy dress is a British student institution, suitable for almost any occasion. Weirdly, in London, nobody will really care. You should see how some people dress here every day. London is a world where clothing has few rules.

12. If you’re gonna smoke, you better learn to do this!

#rollyourowntobacco #drumtobacco #drum #rizla

A photo posted by EV Project (@nizamaziz88) on

Rolling your own is the only way, I’m afraid. Loose tobacco is expensive, but cigarettes are ridiculous. Still, expect the health warning on the packets to be in any language from Portuguese to Polish.

13. Value brands are the only brands

Britain is brilliant at value grocery shopping. Not only do we have a ton of Aldis and Lidls, but every supermarket has a semi-decent value range. Be brave. It’ll change your life, not just your diet.

14. These bags are your Armani

A photo posted by @zafascynowana on

Primark, or Primani, as it’s sometimes known, is genius for cheap and reasonable clothes. Of course, don’t expect anything to be drastically ethnically sourced. But it’s everywhere and their prices are frighteningly low.

15. So what if you can’t afford a wristwatch

#bigben #theparliament #london

A photo posted by Amélie Gautier (@ame_gram) on

Once or twice you may actually find yourself using the world’s most famous clock to simply tell the time. It’s usually perfect to the second and sounds beautifully dramatic on the hour.

16. This room is huge to you now

Whatever you thought ‘tiny’ was before, you’re gonna have to reassess your definition. Rents are high in London and the rooms are small. Somebody even tried to rent a cupboard under the stairs, Harry Potter-style, for £500 month once. Be prepared.

17. You commute to uni by boat (maybe)

Thought I’d get a bus in to work this morning, heading to @sohobikeslondon #thamesclipper #Battersea

A photo posted by Oli da Costa (@olidacosta) on

Depending on where you study and live, this is actually a reasonable option. Seriously. It’s on the Oyster Card network and is pretty quick (and has very pretty views).

18. Your British neighbours are from all over the world

Ah, London, one of the most multicultural cities on Earth. Everyone is a local, but they all have a story, history, and an origin. The city is around 30% foreign born and, in some parts, 80% of people can be from an ethnic minority. It’s a true melting pot. Enjoy it.

19. There are no consonants!

That’s y i dont understand them ??? #britishaccent #glasgowaccent #uk #ukstudentlife

A photo posted by PangVera? (@pangvera) on

Whatever this Instagrammer says, this is not a ‘British Accent’. This traditional London, or ‘Cockney’, pronunciation is still common with people across the whole South East of England. Expect long vowels, teenie tiny consonants and some very creative slang.

20. This has become your normal walk

Someone walking behind me meant I couldn’t stop to capture this properly. But it was ♡. #lunchtime #londonwalking

A video posted by JOHANNA B (@johanna_birgitta) on

Okay, so maybe not this exact walk, but you’re gonna get good at competitive strolling, especially if you’re three minutes late for a lecture. London is one of the best cities for high-speed people watching.

And don’t forget! If you want to study in any of these cities, wherever you are in the world, you can live rent-free for a whole semester. Just sign-up for the Uniplaces Scholarship!

Uniplaces Scholarship 2016


25unilib     Uniplaces Scholarship     15residences


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