So this week I started my last year of my undergraduate degree at uni ... yay!! All of the hardships, sacrifices, stressful all-nighters, tears and self-doubt are finally about to pay off in the form of a piece of paper I can frame and hang on the wall! Oh ... and hopefully a full time job in my chose career field too, although that's not guaranteed in this day and age.
One of my favourite things about university and the lifestyle it provides is the diversity and sacrifices students make to be there. It is truly amazing how tough and determined university students can be.
Throughout my three years of undergraduate classes I've met so many different people, each with a story and a hardship to tell. I've met people working full time and just scraping through their degree in the hopes that a few tough years will pay of in stability and a career they love. I've met people who work crazy hours (early mornings, late nights, overnights) just so they can work around their unpredictable university timetables (which just to be a pain changes every 11 weeks). I've met people with children to look after who fit their classes around school drops off and pick up. I've met people who had to put their degree on hold so they could work enough to pay the bills, or to deal with a messy breakup. And I've met people who live at home with mum and dad and have never worked a day in their life (hearing these people complain about not having time for assignments really makes your blood boil).
But, with all this diversity comes a level of hardships. Some of us struggle fitting assignments around work, while others struggle getting a crying baby to sleep before finally settling down to their assignment at 2am only to have to get back up again at 5am. Even those students who still live at home and don't work still have their hardships and struggles too.
So all this leads me to a story I wanted to share with you guys. A statement made by my tutor earlier this week.
To set the scene, we're sitting in class working in groups and getting to know the people we're working with (it's amazing how many new faces you can still be seeing four years into your degree!). Anyway, the tutor comes over to our table and starts making small talk with one of the "mature ages students". They bond over the fact that they both have young children. Our tutor then turns to the rest of the tables and says:
"you girls are lucky. The only thing you have to worry about is fitting your assignments into your social lives."
I'm sorry ... what!?
When you talk so lightly about the hardships of your students, you insult us. In your simple statement you've made assumptions about people you're yet to learn anything about! You're also unconsciously telling us our hardships and the complaints we have are an overreaction because our "social lives" aren't that important in the grand scheme of things, and you're inadvertently grouping our working lives with our social lives.
Now more than ever, uni students are struggling to fit their working lives into their studying lives to try and get their degree in a timely manner whilst also not becoming homeless. Society needs to begin to understand that just because millennials and students like to complain, their complaints aren't always unwarranted.
Tell me in the comments below, what's a common assumption that really grinds your gears?
The Millennial Blogger