Friday, August 21, 2009

Scarred for Life? Really?

Yesterday The THE fell through the door. I need to be brutally honest with regards to The THE: as of late, I haven't been reading it as thoroughly as I used to, mainly because it is turning into a Daily Mail for academics. If I wanted to read slap-dash, sensationalistic reporting with the occasional blinkered column for good measure, I would read the real Daily Mail. At least they use fresh pics and not stock PowerPoint images.

Still, it fell through the door with this cover headline: 'Admissions of Failure: How a generation of students has been sold short'. This relates to the tough competition for uni places when degrees are more than ever necessary in the job market. You can read for yourselves right here.

As it turns out, they are talking about this generation, the one that got its A-level results only this week. I feel the need to clarify this point as, upon scanning of the article, I thought that they were talking about my generation, the generation of those that crossed the finishing line ten years ago (and in some cases again a few years later as post-grads) and are now living in poverty, unable to afford food and water. I know because I am one of them.

I also know because John is working himself into the ground trying to make a living in IT, on call at all hours and at work from 7 am until 10 pm, while his builder brother-in-law lives in a 6-bedroom mansion in Berkshire. I know because Sam lives on a pittance of a salary as a receptionist and you really do not need a degree (or two, as in her case) to be a receptionist. I know because Charlotte can only afford to live with her parents on her teaching assistant salary. I know thanks to many other Johns, Sams, Charlottes. So I am not really sure that this fresher generation has been sold short, or indeed shorter, than the previous one. If I had my chances again, I would learn a trade at 15, practise it well and save myself £ 30,000 worth of university-related expense and a lot of unaccounted-for heartache thank you very much THE.
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