Surprised !

I am really surprised with the number of university students on the site feeling under pressure and unsupported. I sometimes wonder if we pressure our young people too much and inflict our own expectations upon them. There seems very little choice these days, university is not for everyone. I'm glad the government is bringing back more apprenticeships for young people who feel more practical than academic. Plumbers and electricians etc. can be a lucrative career. Reading some of these posts I wonder if these young people are making their own life choices or trying to live up to the expectations of their parents.


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8 Replies

  • If you look at it Obrien they are under pressure from the start! Course fees £9k a year for some which can leave some students £50k or more in debt when they leave with job prospects very low. I'd hate to be a student nowadays or even in my teens/twenties as life brings far more pressure, image, weight, friend, lifestyles pressure, it's all very sad for them.

  • Yes it's awful. I think there is also big pressure to have a degree I.e. If you are not a graduate then you are nothing. That's why I think apprenticeships are important, being a tradesman or a musician or artist can also be rewarding. Big pay does not equal happy life . It's important to enjoy what you do x

  • Agreed! Although it wasn't my parents who pushed me. It was more the school and society. I was told I could achieve anything I set my mind to. I tried and didn't get very far. I have a degree in biology and the most I do with it now is tutoring once a week for a couple of months a year, while working full time in a minimum wage job. I can't afford to move out of my parent's house on my own, the closest I have to independence is my car.

    Throughout uni I had a lot of self-doubt and an incredible amount of stress and pressure when it came to exams and deadlines. Perhaps it wasn't worth it...

  • Yes, they tend to feed the idea you can do anything you want to, perhaps so as not to be blamed for limiting you. However it is so not true. What you need to do is experiment at a young age to discover your strengths, then learn how to play to them. We are not all budding rocket scientists, however much we might like to think so. For many people, starting small and building up to your best level is an organic process, not something that can be designed by parents.

    The other thing is that they give you the idea that you can choose what you want to do, then tend to push you into certain directions they think best regardless. They offer you the world, then take it away and tell you to be an accountant, and you are supposed to want this and work for it. Ha! No wonder you do not succeed. A more honest thing would be to say, 'I am your Parent / teacher / boss and I have decided that I want you to be a scientist / accountant / doctor / builder (something attainable based on your achievements so far), and we are having no arguments, you will do it.' That way you know what is expected of you, you are not being lied to or tricked, and you know that if you refuse, you are on your own. Then, if you have a burning ambition to be an actor / artist / musician / astronaut etc, you will fight for it, and win self- respect for going against the plan.

    Many kids though do not have a clear idea of what they want and all this mind games and messing around can seriously delay their education as they feel the pressure of having to pretend an interest in some amazing career or disappoint their parents.

  • OBrien they aren't starting early enough, those 4 / 5 year olds are having way too much fun they should be able to change a plug and by 6 years rewire the house. What has the world come

    Students, we all had it, pressure up to our elbows and I agree on one hand less pressure but sometimes I needed a kick up the backside and if I hadn't had deadlines and pressure, at that age I would have produced Zero the night before at 4am in the morning. And look how balanced I turned out to be :-)

    I kind of agree but I suspect and awful lot of apprenticeships, turn out to be cheap labour or they learn nothing but the company gets a subsidy merely for employing them.

    I think the problem is more fundamental than that, a company should be charged with proving how much they have taught an apprentice, how many they actually employ before getting ANY state money.

    And all those crappy companies they employ to help people back into work , who actually teach them nothing just pocket the cash should be launched from rockets out into space, they do so much damage to peoples sense of self worth. Get the real gurus in, the cutting edge marketers, PR people, the best sales trainers etc to really empower people. People who really understand enterprise and how to succeed, something like a 12 step programme.

    Unfortunately it might lead to too many of the little people gaining power and money! We wouldn't want that! No lets not give them the skills, keep them out of the job market and call them lazy. Cynic me...never :-)

    Caroline hands the soap box back to O Brien, sorry love I have a big mouth I should mind my own beeswax :-)

    Does anyone actually know what a pork belly is, sounds where did I put that jigsaw :-).... this one MAY as say MAY have a cat in it!


  • I agree absolutely. I used to teach students at college and many went on to Uni but were not academically minded and struggled, then were left with student loans to pay off. I did my first degree as a mature student but found my job prospects were little better than before so had to go on to do further studies. If the younger students have to do that it will be a long time before they can afford to pay rents and establish themselves in the world and yet we give them those expectations. I think tradesmen are happier in their work and are often better paid than people in so called 'graduate' jobs. If I had my time again I would learn a skill that would enable me to guarantee earning as that would have given me financial independence and security to make further choices in life. As for teachers pushing students their creativity is often pushed out of them - I recall one teacher criticising my daughter's artwork, telling her 'trees are not pink' as if there was only one way of portraying the world. How sad! Thankfully my daughter ignored the teacher and is still highly creative and original in both her art and her academic work although even in academic work the emphasis is upon agreeing with the views of those with most power as independent thinking undermines the established views. We seem to stress the rights of individuals and difference, yet push everyone in the same direction as if the only way to be happy and successful is to achieve status and money. It is sad.

  • Yes, and this is the point I was trying to (and probably failing) to make in my reply above. We tell young people one thing, then do another. But that seems to be the reality of life these days. Maybe we need to be more honest about the world of work to our kids, and have more faith that truly independent and original thinkers will shine regardless. Lets face it, you cannot create a rebel without first creating something to rebel against.

  • Well there's nothing like a lively debate to keep your mind off your own troubles. What shall we talk about next ? Caroline maybe you could suggest something ? Jigsaws are out though although I am a cat lover lol:) xx