As restrictions begin to ease many of us are taking the opportunity to go out and embrace some freedom for the first time in months. Students particularly will welcome that opportunity, especially when it comes to visiting the shops.
On April 12th, retail and pub gardens officially re-opened and naturally for many, this came with huge relief. People can now make plans to get out of the house, see friends and family, and more importantly taste freedom to an extent once more.
The queues for the likes of retail stores Primark and JD were trending all over Twitter and it's fair to say those queues were unlike anything we are used to seeing in a normal world. For some, online shopping does not have the same ring to it as getting out and heading to the shops.
While some might find a shopping trip therapeutic, it does come with some concern, especially for students, who are notorious for having to live by their means financially. Mark Fudge, the chair of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Universities and Colleges Division, says there is a balance that students need to maintain.
“It’s about students managing their money when it comes to spending and finding the balance between reward and not overspending. We don’t want to see financial troubles added to their plate as this challenging time comes to an end.”
However, the temptation to spend money and treat oneself is understandable. After all, we have been stuck indoors and subjected to a seemingly endless period full of uncertainty. But it does come with a downside, which students need to make sure they keep in mind. “Following a difficult year, students may be tempted to treat themselves as the retail sector reopens but they need to be aware of overspending."
The jobs and livelihoods of countless people have been lost and we must not forget the sheer struggle loads faced, and in some cases, people continue to be presented with persistent challenges in regards to employment.
Students have felt the effects in the world of employment too, as it is common for most students to seek employment in the retail and hospitality industries. "Many students have been financially affected by the pandemic and lost income as they worked in the industries that suffered the most - such as hospitality and retail.”