Here's why the struggle is real for students in January

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The month of January is a whirlwind. Your loan is arriving, you’re catching up with friends in your favourite city and reverting back to the independence of student life. Hurrah! Then you remember your approaching deadlines, exams and the fact that you’ll be responsible for your own laundry, washing up and food shopping. It’s time to face the university experience once again, and this little stretch will sadly be all work and no play. Here are six perfectly valid reasons why it’s acceptable to want to skip January altogether...

1. Exam after exam

Studying

After enjoying food, gifts and great company over the Christmas break, you’re suddenly reminded why you’re at university (to get a degree, remember?) and must acknowledge that it’s time to knuckle down and study. After all, those eight back-to-back exams won’t take themselves. If only! Time to dig out that dreaded exam timetable, buy some post-it notes in the cheeriest colours available, and get yourself into revision mode. It may be a shock to the system, but it’ll all be over in a month (until summer exams, that is).

2. Assignments

In the library

If you’re one of those students who has zero exams but a stack of assignments in January, you’ve probably been called ‘lucky’ by all your university friends who are manically revising. You haven’t been invited to revision sessions, but instead face countless lonely hours of planning, drafting and re-drafting essays. It may seem you’ve ‘got it easy’, but assignments are tough too.

3. Social suspense

Revision

There is nothing better than being reunited with uni friends after the Christmas break. You’ve been apart for WEEKS and you can’t wait to catch up and share all the festive gossip. Then reality hits. The only chances you’ll have to socialise must be snatched between stints at the library, so those long catch ups will have to wait until the madness is over.

4. Loan woes

Old shoes

After spending a little too much money on Christmas presents, all students are waiting for that precious text from the Student Loan Company. But before you get too excited, remember your exam timetable clearly indicates that there’s no room for fun in January, so your loan will be spent on rent and rushed food shops instead. Forget replacing your ancient trainers or shabby winter coat, you'll have to make do!

5. Farewell, Fridgemas

Coffee

So, you’ve just become accustomed to eating well and getting served your five a day and now it’s time to revert back to foraging and fending for yourself at university. “This time I will be healthy”, you might say, but unfortunately, the exam period just doesn’t have space for the same calibre of nutritional home-cooked food you’ve enjoyed over the Christmas holidays. Time to swap slow-cooked roasts, trimmings and treats for library lunches and revision fuel (aka coffee).

6. Independence fail

Independence fail

Although we love our families, many students can’t wait to rush back to the independence of university. Without them, you have no curfew and can do whatever you like, even if that’s eating a whole selection box in one sitting without being judged. Sounds great, right? But how about when something needs ironing or you’re out of toilet roll? When simple tasks are mixed with January stress, the struggle is – you’ve guessed it – pretty real. Independence sounds like a dream until you need an actual adult’s help.

Still, Mum’s only a phone call away…