The simulation is intended to give you a sense of the consequences of your decisions rather than being an actual representation of the real world
None of the characters presented are ‘real’.
Star sign: Pisces
On the stereo: Foo Fighters’ “In Your Honour”
On the back: Green Day t-shirt
On the lash: pint of Guinness
On the plate: burger and chips
On the road: rusted Transit van
On holiday: America, if I could afford it
On the doormat: NME
Smokes: 20 a week
Hobbies: going to see live bands, listening to rock music
Part-time job: Helped Darren out with those ‘flippin’ burgers and one evening a week in Tescos
His take on the year: I wasn’t sure I’d fit in at first. My Dad died and for a bit I didn’t really want to be around people, but I forced myself to socialise and it’s been great. I don’t know what I’d have done if I’d deferred the year.
What’s your favourite part of uni life? The brilliant people I’ve met. They make all the difference.
And the worst? Missing my Dad. I think he’d be proud of me though, getting on and doing this in spite of everything. He wouldn’t have been happy if I’d missed a year.
What have you missed most? Being at home to comfort Mum. She needs loads of TLC. I speak to her on the phone but I know it’s not the same. She’s all alone in the house with both me and Dad gone. I try to get back to see her as often as I can, but it’s difficult when there’s so much to do here.
What has been the greatest surprise? The encouragement given to us by the lecturers. I wasn’t sure they’d take an interest – the ones at my secondary school never did – but they really want to make sure we’re all okay.
How have you coped with money? I don’t think I’m much good with the stuff, so I’m definitely going to have to get a job over the summer.
My tip is to Darren Don’t let the bad beer elves steal your money, mate!
Mike’s managed to bring in £10,655 over the year. With a household income of £14,000, Mike is entitled to a large maintenance grant and university bursary which he’ll never have to pay back.
He’s also turning out to be quite enterprising. With his friend Darren, he’s beginning to make some nice money on the side selling burgers and doing part time work at Tescos. Every little helps! With the festival season coming up, he’s not too worried about finding the spare cash, he can put in some overtime be extra careful.
If Mike earned £18,500 per year on graduation, he’d repay his student loan at a rate of £6.06 per week.
For illustration only
Household income £14,000
Maintenance Grant £2,700
Annual student loan £3,025
Grant + Loan £5,905
University Bursary £1,500
Contribution from folks £0
Interest free overdraft £1,000
Part-time work (in term time) £2,000
Access to learning fund £250
Expenditure Month Year
Rent (shared house) £217 £2,600
Utility Bills (electric, gas, water) £29 £350
Mobile/ phone bill £30 £360
Travel/ transport £125 £1,500
Food £50 £600
Clothes/ shoes £29 £360
Leisure/ sports £42 £500
Books/ stationery £21 £250
Smoking £42 £500
Socialising £167 £2,000
TOTAL £752 £9,020
Remember course fees for ‘home’ students don’t have to be paid back until a student is earning over £15,000! ( This figure is an example)