Student Freebies Course: Welcome to the academy of student freedom!
Lesson 1, Party Crashing
Once you’ve been let through the door of a party, someone of your charm and sophistication (cough) is unlikely to be evicted. Drinking from a can is a good plan in these situations, as you can refill it countless times from whatever bowls of punch or open bottles you may stumble across. Be sure to look unthreatening and likely to contribute to the atmosphere of the gathering when you knock at the door of that house with flashing lights and blasting speakers. Midnight is a good time to arrive, and just say ‘we know Sam!’ If questioned further say ‘You know Sam the musician!’ Works every time...
Lesson 2, Barbecue Crashing
Barbecue crashing is slightly trickier because a public park or street party chef is generally less likely to be drunk than your average party host. All you have to do to get a free sausage is start a civilised conversation with the guests. A fine way to do this is to ‘accidentally’ kick a football at their heads. Come over all apologetic, then friendly, then follow this by mentioning how delicious the cuisine smells... and hey presto, you’re the proud owner of a free hot dog!
Lesson 3, Wedding Crashing
For this one you will need a pleasant suit or formal dress, so tell your parents you’re so excited about your graduation ceremony in two years time you want your outfit now. Your mission is to have a sophisticated champagne soaked afternoon devouring hors d'oeuvres (being sure to pocket enough of these to feed you for a week). It has to be a well attended do for you to get away with it, and be sure to pay attention to some details (such as the names of the bride and groom) before that sparkling wine goes to your head. For advice on how to crash a number of high profile events with the intention of becoming rich and famous, this post by Nev Medhora should be of some help.
Lesson 4, Crashing Other Events (which aren’t as posh as they’re trying to be)
Now you’re a professional crasher and need to start thinking creatively... At art gallery openings you can marvel at the various, uh, pleasures of the contemporary art world. Then gorge on free food and whatever wine the genius in question has arranged for the event, be it cheese and crackers or cakes and canapés; the finest Chianti or that renowned sophisticated British tipple, Lambrini. These artists are exhibiting to get attention in the art world, so they will welcome your contemplation of their work. And cheese board! Look out for posters for openings at local independent galleries.
Lesson 5, Eco Cinema
Most student campuses have a film society, which will show all sorts of movies, new and old (usually projected from DVD) in a suitable lecture theatre. Join the society, check the listings and stock up on popcorn. If you regularly get a good crowd to attend screenings you may eventually be invited to program some of your favourites! ‘Zombie Flesh Eaters’, anyone?
Lesson 6, Online’s Fine
The internet is your gateway to the best freebies, but it makes sense to have all your offers in the same place, so regularly check sites like Student Money Saver, who throw up some pretty good deals. Some are competitions, but a surprising amount of companies want your opinion about their products. After all, you are a young standard bearer of what is cool, so you’re in demand!
Lesson 7, Printing Money
The best way to throw money down the drain as a student is to pay for printing. Make a case with your tutor for submitting your files digitally. This massively cuts down how much printing you need to do, but any other printing missions can be dealt with using the phrase ‘I pay my college fees’. Ask the nice folks at the student union to find out where on campus you can print for free and you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.
Lesson 8, Free Feasts
There are sneaky ways of getting a decent slap up meal for nothing. Join some clubs and societies that put on big events, as these are the ones most likely to include free lunches and dinners. You may even increase your profile as a likely student to succeed, which can’t be too harmful (so long as you don’t mention that you only joined for the occasional complimentary feasts). You can also volunteer for alumni association events, fill your pockets to bulging then stack your freezer with the spoils when you get home.
Lesson 9, A Limitless Bounty of Condoms
If you’re someone who gets through a lot of these then you’re clearly already a gifted individual. Reduce this financial burden and you’re living the student dream. If your college has a health centre you can stock up there, or failing that, most doctor’s surgeries will be happy to supply you with some on request, so don’t let it slip your mind the next time you have a blood test or vaccination! Try this NHS link to find other schemes in your area.