a shame you feel that way, i have bever had any problems with my machine. if i did i am in the fortunate position of earning a good wage, so i would replace it without hesitation. i would never never buy a 360, they vastly inferior and will be replaced by a new system long before the PS3 is finally laid to rest. There is just no potential development for the 360 other than replacement.
I only know two people with 360s and they have both had three or four RRODs each.
Still, good luck with your studies, and any money says you get a Playstation in two years when you are gaming again!!