It's an age old debate. Students have it easy. Students don't know the meaning of hard work. Or real life. Or any responsibility.
I wanted to throw a spanner into the works here, because, as a student, I actually don't believe any of that to be true. And since I took a gap yarrh and worked full time for a bit, I think I've probably got more perspective on the whole thing.
For the most part, myself and my friends work our arses off. We go to the library for 7 hour stints, we have a reading list for every lecture and then on top of that are expected to do outside reading. We have about 3 days between deadlines which we can't start further in advance because the lectures on the essay topics aren't until a week before the deadline. And that is literally just our degree, when what employers really want is evidence of all the extra-curricular stuff you've been doing.
To put it into perspective, I actually screenshotted one of my lectures advanced reading. That's right, this is the reading for one module in one week, I have 4 modules per week, some of my friends have as many as 7. Oh, also, the whole list didn't fit, there's actually more.
I am not saying working full time isn't hard. I've worked 15 hour days in restaurants and I've sat at desks and done 9-5. But as a student, you don't leave your work behind. You don't get home and think you're finished for the day, you finish your lectures and then sit on campus for 4 hours in the library because hello, 3 deadlines and a presentation are all due in 48 hours. Then you get home, watch some Netflix and can't concentrate because deadlines deadlines deadlines.
To make life actually feel a little bit worse, we don't actually know whether this will do us any good at all. I'm potentially getting £40,000 into debt without any idea of whether it will benefit me in the job sector. Because potentially, it won't. And then I've just lived the last 3 years of my life on £60 a week only to get a job at the local co-op. Which is terrifying, let's face it.
This is a comparison to most people my age. A comparison to being another 20-something who is working full time, without kids or a family rather than a working Mum of 4. Because I'm sure not much get's harder than doing that. I don't think working full time is easy. I know it's stressful and it's hard and saving up and having a life is difficult, but I just wanted to put some perspective out there and say, so is being a student. It might be hard to believe, but we do actually still have rent to pay, and home things to do like cooking and cleaning, not every student is a slob and most of the houses I've been in don't actually have dirty plates so old they're growing penicillin.
On top of all of this degree stuff, I actually have a job. In fact, most people I know have a part time job because if we didn't we probably wouldn't be able to survive. At one point, I worked 15 hours a week on top of my lectures/other life bits, I was on a society committee, organising meetings, making presentations, creating campaigns and flyers and I was playing/training for 6 hours a week in football. I could barely breathe I was so tired. And I was also meant to have some form of social life on top of it all.
University is amazing. It's an amazing experience and I do not regret going in the slightest. This post is absolutely not a form of competition, but I want to eradicate the stigma of being a student. Obviously we do go out and have fun, because if we didn't our lives would literally be horrendous. But it's not all red cup parties and pulling all nighters. 99% of the people who love uni, work really hard to get where they want to be. I know we get long holidays, but in those holidays most of us aren't jetting off to somewhere exotic. We're working, or revising, or both. Because nobody wants to be -£1,500 into their overdraft.
Ciao for Now!
P.S. How cute are the tiny posters? I'll write more about them on Sunday but they are so cute and SO true. I've put them above my desk for motivation! Find them here.
P.P.S I want to credit the lovely Sophia for basically summarising this in a Facebook status before I published this post, she hit the nail on the head and gave me even more influence to write it.