Student Life is Crap

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The air of expectation and excitement in the lecture theatre is not one of intellectual discussion, but night-before gossip. It was the last night of fresher’s week, nobody hasn’t slept with each other and all are settling down into nice little groups vaguely resembling the first day at school. There is also that sense of academia lingering, and the first visit to the library realises the amount of books one needs for the first semester. So you go home and read...or not. But why not? When going to University is an almost conveyor belt process in life, with a pre-written set of rules not including your sense of integrity to significantly drop, what do students actually get out of “being a student”?

The Time of your Life

When 1 in 6 young people are without a job or in a training scheme, shouldn’t students relish the opportunity to find a direction in life? With the majority of young people opting for courses in Sociology, Psychology, English and Alien Behaviour simply because they have nothing else to do, most graduates come out of University no more enlightened about life than when they went in. Sure, you’ll have had amazing parties, made friends for life, and been free and independent.

But have you, actually? It’s probably more of a bubble life in which one kids oneself into thinking “I have money and nobody telling me what to do”. But does that mean we have to forget the responsibility to ourselves? We are all guilty of not wanting to grow up. But when all those young, excited freshers bounce into their student lifestyle, a bitter graduate still clings to damp walls and microwaves, too afraid to see what independence really means.

“I’ll be fine”

Ok, that might be generalising too much. Not all students fall into disarray, but it’s an almightily easy trap for many. There is also that phrase, that beautiful phrase that echoes in your mind – “the first year doesn’t matter”.  Most courses nowadays give you a whole year to get used to university without any marks contributing to your final grade. Now this is very nice of them, but surely it does students an injustice by encouraging a lax attitude to the academic side of university.

Yes, there is work involved, as it dawns suddenly for most in the third and final year when hibernation and rapid ageing of foreheads appears. That’s ok, if you pass and are relatively happy with your work, but barely scraping through can be a huge anti-climax if you’re not prepared for it. With the news almost constantly flashing us in the face with statistics about graduate unemployment, do students simply think: “it won’t be me”?

The Outside World

So why do so many young people continue to ignore that world out there after “being a student”? Sometimes we forget that in the midst of having fun and going wild, all we are doing is giving into peer pressure and going out in the same city every night. Doesn’t seem much of an adventure now, does it?

Sarah Smout

I have a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from UEA. When I'm not writing articles or poetry, I'm writing songs or cello-ing it up in my band. I tend to have the odd glass of rose when I write for creative purposes only. I bake good cakes, too.

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