My mother sent me a food parcel this week. Whilst this is very sweet and exactly what I would expect my mother to do when I mentioned in passing that 'luxury' food such as cereal and fruit had become a valuable commodity, it felt like an epic fail in my book.
Not being able to stand on my own two feet, financially independent and 'holding my own' has long been one of my biggest fears. I haven't been financially dependent on anyone since 1998 when I first left home. And I have existed at both ends of the scale - two holidays abroad every year and not having to worry about anything, to having no electricity for 3 days because there wasn't a spare fiver in the place.
If nothing else it gives you a true sense of morality where money is concerned and this is in itself a valuable lesson. Never squander it, you don't know what's around the corner.
University has been one of the most frugal points of my life. It certainly feels like a regression of sorts and at times it has been incredibly frustrating and even humiliating. Living off a grant of £3,500 a year is not easy, it's little more than Jobseekers Allowance and there are copious additional expenses for course materials that just can't be avoided.
Earning again will be the one good thing about leaving University. I've really enjoyed my time at Lincoln and I'll be very sad to leave such a creatively opulent environment. It's the first time I've been allowed to indulge in what I want to do full time.
And it's been educational in so many ways more than the obvious. Once I leave the University in May, I'm on my own. Setting up a business designing and manufacturing clothing and styling photoshoots. It's an unknown quantity. How well will I do in such economically scarce times? To be honest, it scares the pants off me, but at the same time it's a liberation, because I never thought I would ever reach this goal.
It's the most important thing I have ever done in my entire life.