Tuesday, December 13, 2005

On the other hand...

Yesterday, I had a (very restrained) moan at the fact that degrees are becoming increasingly less valuable. Today I'm going to offer a slightly more acidic opinion on my fellow students.

Let me begin by saying that this rant includes sweeping generalisations, and that I'm very aware that not ALL students are like this. However, in my experience, the vast majority are.

Students frequently complain about student debt, blah blah blah. Well in my opinion, the answer's simple - drink less alcohol! Don't take a cab home! Buy fewer DVD's! OK, so that is pretty harsh - we all need to have fun, blow off steam or whatever. But I just don't understand how students afford the lifestyle many of them choose to enjoy. A little restraint would, I feel, go a long way to allaying many peoples' debt fears. A sweeping generalisation, I know, but one that I feel quite strongly about. You've brought yourself here to better yourself and improve your future - not just to be comatose for three or four years.

Secondly, we're all so lazy (well, most of us!). I include myself in this. I could have gained more value out of my time at uni if I'd applied my self more to the academics and studied harder. As it is, I feel I've worked pretty hard to achieve the grades I do. But I know I could have worked harder and done better - I'm not naturally smart, so hard work is the only way I can do well. A lot of students, however, do the bare minimum to get through university. And it’s really noticeable when you go abroad and witness the far more focussed and driven work ethic of our peers who pay considerably more for the privilege of higher education than we do. Sometimes I think that’s the problem – we take our educations for granted, not realising how fortunate we are to be given such a wonderful opportunity to better our own lives.

This, in my opinion, is unacceptable. University presents us with so many unique opportunities that it really is a crime to not take at least some of them up. Clubs, societies, international exchanges, academics, work experience, student governance – there’s a wealth of opportunities. And when you know you’re facing a tough job market and stiff competition at the end of it all, then you’ve only yourself to blame when it comes to job hunting time and you can’t find anything.

There are thousands of jobs out there, and they rightly go to those who’ve made that extra effort above and beyond their degrees. Why should it go to a lazy git who’s not bothered to take the initiative, get involved with something and show what he or she can do? They’ve wasted the taxpayer’s money – our money. Bah!


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