Gadget Life – The 21st Century Student lifestyle


It’s hard to think of some students as smart; they look the part with the large rimmed glasses, a bag full of books but have a dazed and confused look on their face. But it has to be said that some of them are switched on when it comes to knowing what they need to get by in the crazy life of a student community. It’s all about conformity and easy living so put your abacus away Grandma; if you don’t have the right gadgets, you’re not getting in.

A lot of students enjoy the easy life; turn up to a lecture every now and again, turn up to a party more often than not and try not to fail your first year. But then again, is it easier now to maintain that kind of student life? Tablets and Smartphones allow students to access course literature or work on coursework on the go. So with that in mind does it matter what bed they wake up in if they can easily submit work and catch up on course notes?

Without a smartphone, there would only be that dreaded thing available to them; a normal phone which makes calls and occasionally allows you to send a text. There would be no frantically calling, emailing, facebooking and tweeting your best mate because you’ve lost your keys/can’t find your laptop/can’t understand the course material/having a nervous breakdown. How would your friends know you are having a hard job revising if you don’t set a status every ten minutes telling them so? Ignorance would probably be bliss.

Most students have laptops; a lot of courses require you to have instant access to a computer. Queuing for University computer labs is no fun and you would probably need to bring a sleeping bag. Because once you have got round to getting a computer, the work is so hard you’ll be there completing it for a solid week. Who can forget, you’ll need a laptop to send an urgent tweet of a Polar bear on a skateboard or that picture of a penguin fallen over. All important things for a student’s coursework; procrastination is a study tactic.

If you work ‘hard’, then of course you earn the right to party hard and there are a whole other set of gadgets for the fun stuff. Xbox, Playstation, huge desktop gaming computer that doesn’t quite fit in your student dorm; they are all important to the self preservation of the Student. Letting off steam is very healthy; playing Call of Duty until 4am on the day of the big exam isn’t very clever, but who said common sense had anything to do with it?

How do they pay for all this you’re wondering? Well if Mummy and Daddy haven’t bankrolled the whole thing, there are a lot of student jobs out there if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty. You need to pay for the fun somehow.

Something relevant to your course: Some students are lucky; they can get some freelance work relating to the subject they study and employers get some cheap labour as well as developing some skills. I’m thinking Graphic Design, Web Developer, Photographers and Web Editors; plenty of one off projects out there for students to take a stab at, earn some money and some viable skills. Students of postgraduate courses are more likely to find jobs relevant to their fields of study.

Something completely irrelevant to your course: Some students are very unlucky; the course they’ve taken means little to the outside world until they’ve passed. I’m thinking Fast food chains, Supermarkets or something with an embarrassing uniform. If you don’t might having to dress up as a giant hotdog, then there will definitely be a position for you.

That’s why students enjoy things for free. They barely earn enough to cover living away from home and all their extra-curriculum activities, let alone serious things like food. That’s probably why they are vultures in the making when it comes to getting things for nothing, and who can blame them? They will most likely be targets and users of great (and extremely free) online services such as cheap flight search engines, restaurant review sites (earning them free food no doubt) and voucher sites.

Students are our future, I just hope someone remembers to tweet them that.

Kate Simmons is a freelance blogger and long-time student currently pursuing a postgraduate degree.

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