We have seen countless reports containing stats that describe the ways in which students are struggling when it comes to rising living costs. Yet we know little about what exactly students are doing to make ends meet – and get to the end of their courses. Drawing on new research from Wonkhe and Pearson on belonging during a cost of living crisis, this session examines the impact of the crisis on students’ social and academic experiences, and debates whether efforts to enable students to succeed in these circumstances are normalising stretched, miserable student experiences.