First impressions are very important, especially in new social situations. They can include what you are wearing, the way you act or how you talk. This applies quite heavily to University where hundreds of students from all over the country will come together for the first time throughout September.
It is daunting for anyone to have to meet a lot of new people in such a short amount of time. You will have to ask and answer the same questions over and over, to the point where even your own name starts to sound strange.
However, it is all part of the University experience. So after you have lugged all your belongings in the car to Leicester, remembered all the things you have forgotten and said your goodbyes; you will realise that all Freshers are in the same awkward boat.
But what if you could create the perfect first impression that everyone will see? Uni Baggage, a logistics company who transport students’ belongings worldwide, has created a package called Very Important Fresher (VIF).
They can chauffer Freshers to their University in a variety of upmarket transport, including helicopter, Ferrari F430 or Rolls Royce Phantom. How much will buying your first impression cost? The cheapest; a horse and carriage, costs £10,000 whilst the most expensive; a private jet, costs £25,000.
Uni Baggage set up the package ‘with the aim of providing an action-packed James Bond style expedition across the country, to arrive in style and make an entrance enviable of movie stars and premiership football players.’
This is clearly not aimed at your average Fresher, where £25,000 would pay for nearly three years’ worth of tuition fees. In fact, the whole marketing angle seems to be aimed at very rich students who like the idea of University rather than the value of a degree.
If someone wanted to be a movie star they would go to drama school. If someone wanted to be a footballer they would go to a football training academy. The whole idea of VIF belittles the worth of University, where people study and learn to further their intellect rather than their Facebook friends.
It is understandable that the company itself is just tapping into a very lucrative market. Hiring a luxury car for the day is nowhere near that expensive and nor is transporting your belongings, so they are clearly going to make a lot of profit.
Megan Dunn, NUS vice president for higher education, said: “This scheme seems incredibly out of touch with the lives of the majority of students. Many students starting university this month are facing a cost of living crisis… before they can even start thinking about forking out thousands of pounds for something as simple arriving at their halls of residence.”
Between juggling pillows, pots and pans and trying to hide emotional parents, I doubt many students would notice a Ferrari F430 in the car park. I sincerely hope no DMU student will buy the Very Important Fresher package. If they do, make sure they buy the first round in every bar on the bar crawl; you have fees to pay!