Tuesday, 20 October 2009

A little aside article which i thought should go up

Students; Allies or Aliens? 

Students. This word once conjured the image of a studious looking fellow, standing in front of an archetypal Oxbridgesque building, gowned, wearing a graduation cap and looking decidedly smug.

Today I feel we have a somewhat different reputation. Human beings seem to view us with pitying disdain. They appear to cower away believing that our disease ridden, spot infested bodies may infect them with some sort of anti-social plague. 

I like fight with full iron fist this stereotype. I talk to old ladies at bus stops, I hold doors open for people, I even smile.

‘What? Why?’ I hear you cry; surely you are too hung over, drugged up or illiterate to make any of the aforementioned gestures, but no; Arguable though it is, we students have a brain and heart. We, as a breed can even be respectful.  

My grandma, living in a bungalow on a busy street, curses like a scullion at us ‘youth’. What precisely is it Nanna that you dislike about today’s student generation? I ask facetiously. ‘Well, they’re noisy, vandalising yobs, who litter our streets and clutter our pubs.’ Admittedly find me a student who doesn’t enjoy a night out, even a night out which results in inebriation and sometimes vomiting. Nevertheless, drinking copious amounts of alcohol and sleeping in until noon is not all we are good for.


In July this Year, question-time produced a novelty ‘young persons’ special and keen teen Suzanne Burlton’s competency made me squeal with joy, there are indeed teenagers with something to say who hope to go on and invest their time and energy into books and politics as opposed to beer and one night stands. 

Still, the younger generations are taking less interest in politics. During the recent Tory party conference I conducted a ‘vox-pop’ for my journalism degree; I asked nigh on fifteen students whether they thought David Cameron would make a good prime-minister, a startling response re-occurred time and time again.

‘Who’s David Cameron?’ this makes my political blood curdle and my heart weep.

We are the generation who will inherit the repercussions of the recession; we are the generation who will have to live with the decisions of our forefathers. We must take an interest in the world around us, because even if politics affects us little now, it will certainly affect us later.

In the 2009 UK European Elections the turnout was 35 per cent of the population entitled to vote. I daresay more people vote on x-factor. Whilst I do watch x-factor, this statistic is abysmal.

So whilst I firmly denounce the stereotype of the student I believe that we collectively need to do more to regain our once prestigious reputation. In light of the recession it’s highly likely that we, upon graduation will find it hard to gain our dream job, which the government unrealistically promise as a prize for completing our degree.

Your browser may not support display of this image. We need more apprenticeships, we need companies to take bigger risks on graduates without much experience but who are enthusiastic and eager to learn. There are no pub crawl apprenticeships.  


  1. This is a funny and interesting blog and nice to read!

    I wrote an article about student life not long ago, check it out if you get the chance: http://mattcliff.blogspot.com/2009/10/students-living-life-of-luxury.html

  2. Unfortunately all students get tarred with the same brush and again unfortunately for the most part it is true. Some student see going to university as a rite of passage and usually the first time they have stayed away from home and a license to run riot as the recent article in the paper about carnage and in particular the student urinating on and desecrating a war memorial. That one picture that just makes us all think how little respect student may have, it may just be a drunken moment of madness but the image becomes synonymous with student behaviour.

    There is nothing wrong with nights out but it seems students and others take it to excess, drunken and sometimes violent behaviour , being sick and hung over as a badge of honour.

    Politics is actually all a potential lie and people feel apathetic towards voting usually casting it as someone else's problem to choose who should sort out the nations issues, they assume their vote won't matter as who ever gets in will just tell the same lies, make the same mistakes and cause the same problems. As recent expenses event have shown politicians are only out for themselves, an analogy would be in comparing politicians to criminals, they are just the biggest gang around using the pretence it's all for our own good.

    I agree we do need more apprenticeships , these are far different to university placement, as ex apprentice myself it can be far more disciplined and a better way to gain knowledge and experience.

    The graduate path is sometime looked on with suspicion by companies, they may have read the books, studied and been taught but no real world knowledge and experience so getting the first foot on the ladder is difficult. Companies can't always risk taking on the unknown quantity compare to someone with years of experience. This comes down to the chicken and egg scenario of needing the experience to get the job but the job to get the experience.