So why are modern day students more stressed than ever? Simply: being a student is hard! I know, working as a brickie or a plumber is also hard. But in a very different way. Being a student doesn’t pay the bills. In fact, that is the cause of quite a lot of them in your adult life! (Those of you who are paying back their student loan at the moment know what I’m talking about!)
But when I was a kid it seemed like being students was all about who could drink the most 20/20 or Diamond White and smoking substances that are legal in the cafes of Amsterdam! So what has changed? Are those party days long gone?
Competition breeds discontent
It’s a big bad world out there! For every one of you who dreams of being the next guy to design cars for Mercedes, or representing high profile stars as their legal aid, there are a hundred other guys who all share that dream and only one graduate scheme. You got a degree, they got a degree. That puts a lot of pressure on your actual personality! If you’re a bit of a douche you are probably out of luck! This level of pressure combined with the fact that the classification of your degree remains as important as ever, plus significant employers still maintain a bias towards certain universities (who wouldn’t choose an Oxford guy over someone who went to Bucks New uni?) means that it can seem like too much.
Sadly it has such a big impact on all that we do, but it does, in essence, make the world go round. Students are traditionally poor. I know because my sister-in-law is one and she’s always stealing our food! The problem is that when you are a student your loans and grants only take you so far (and it’s not far enough) often you need to supplement your income by working, giving you less time to study which just piles on the pressure. And even in university cities jobs for students are rare so there tends to be a lot of competition for them, which means in turn that the employers don’t have to pay a particularly high wage.
The world is small
University isn’t leading to the cultural awakening that it used to. Time was that Uni was the place where young people got their horizons broadened by an infinitesimal amount. Though I’m sure horizons are broadened it doesn’t seem to happen on the same scale anymore. I blame globalisation for this one. The world is getting smaller and socialising is becoming more and more something that is done electronically. Your university years are supposed to be about making bonds with new people and learning who you are. Unfortunately, it is hard to do that when your Facebook status needs updating every two minutes. Don’t feel guilty the world legitimately can’t live without your memes.
So what do I do about it?
For starters: have some chill! Sure it’s important to do your best at Uni but if you don’t life doesn’t end! Hell, I dropped out of school as soon as I could and didn’t get my degree until I was almost thirty! (admittedly I only managed a 2-2!) Life is what you want it to be. It doesn’t matter if the world and their dog wants to do the same job as you if you are passionate enough you will find a way to do it (Or at least something similar) Although it’s worth noting that sometimes you get that dream job and find you don’t like it anyway!