As the Christmas break draws to an end I try to emotionally prepare myself for living without good food and clean clothes, if deposited at the right place, again: life’s hard as a student. The thought of returning to University dump those nervous butterflies into my stomach as I realise I have rather a lot of work to do and rather little time to complete it in, again, life’s hard as a student!
Meeting up with friends who also study at Uni’s all over the country made me realises how much I compare my experiences with theirs, in a slightly competitive manner, competitions good anyway, right? I mean it’s not like I’ve reduced them to a shivering wreck on the floor because I keep screaming ‘I win, I win.’ It’s not like that, I don’t, well, screaming has very negative connotations these days, unfairly negative! Anyway, hearing about everyone’s experiences got me thinking, yep dangerous stuff, how much is a degree really worth?
Maybe it’s something you can’t put a price on, but Universities are pretty quick to give it a go. My tuition fees are at the delightful total of £3,375 and for the amount of doors that a degree opens in life then maybe that’s a fair price, who can really say. However, it’s a lot of money to spend when there is no guarantee of a job at the end, especially in our slightly worse for wear economic climate.
Now, I must note that I love my university and I have learnt so much, not just academic knowledge but real life experiences, that I believe at the end of my three years I will be a much more rounded individual. Obviously, everyone has a certain allegiance to their own university and wants the best from it and for it, but I must say I sometimes wonder what my fees are actually being spent on. Unfortunately, it may not be anything that is advantageous to my learning experience.
A little too harsh? I’ll explain why I feel slightly aggrieved about the whole issue of paying thousands of pounds to learn independently for a few years. My main problem comes from the fact that I have a seminar leader who is scarcely older than me, and studying for a PhD. I fully sympathise that in his own private opinion his PhD is his priority, it would be for me, but paying as much as I do for my degree status I can’t help feel a little short changed. I want to be taught be men and women who are experienced in their field with a real desire to enthuse others, not by those who are taking the opportunity to achieve their doctorate status.
Am I just being a grumpy teenager? Or are we students being led a merry dance by Universities who sneakily abuse our desire for knowledge by taking a little too much and giving back not quite enough?