The student experience — then vs now

Nowadays, a lot of people around the world argue about the change in education over the years. We’ve collected the interview information provided by five people who talk about their student life as opposed to their offsprings’. For them, these were the halcyon years of youth full of friendly pastime and fun. Students were a kind of respected sub-nation, cared for by the state and receiving benefits from it. What are the features of life in college then and now? The preceding generation gets fascinated by how present-day learners live their student life. For example, they live with all the facilities providing total comfort, and sometimes even more. On the other hand, everything comes at a price, and not everyone can afford to live this way. Undergrads may spend their days full of entertainment and joy, but it is mostly accompanied by working hard in college or at the university, so they need to stick to the tight schedule to achieve high academic results. Most students strive to finish the studying process with honors, that is why the academic brilliance statistic shows in their favor in comparison with their predecessors. The college now is more of a tool to pave a way to the dream. Relax and pleasure take place too, but students mostly seek to keep themselves busy and gain points to promote their self-fulfillment. Exploring the world around and getting to know a lot of new people are still the parts of rich and vivid student life.

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Carol, senior financial planner

My student life comprised three years full of entertaining academic activity including my being a part of our local newspaper publishing staff. We had much fun at various gatherings and shows. My daughter finds it uninteresting. The university she studies at doesn’t hold such endeavors, because or consequently, the learners get up to their neck in various kinds of occupation. As far as I can see, the life at the university has become a sort of experience vs. education pursuit. When I finished my study in the field of Economics, I was referred to my first work experience spot at the widely known corporation, so making an efficient decision on the appropriate branch is essential for assuring personal and career growth. But I think it should go along with out-of-class stuff, both socially beneficial and private. The applicants should pay attention to various opportunities that their preferred institution is able to provide.

Andrew, scientist working in industry

As long as I took up the Chemistry study back in the 80s, there always was loads of work to do. I can’t complain though because I liked it very much. Moreover, I couldn’t stay off of different social group activities as well. I received everything I needed for my specialization, made a lot of new acquaintances with the people from various corners of the world, and some of them became good friends to me. I enriched my mindset and found a soulmate who has become my life partner. I have two kids, and both of them are now living the student experience. They are really struggling to keep pace with all the new information that never stops its flow. When I had my student years, we were in the same place, the difference is that we weren’t that suppressed by it. I must admit though that my children live there in considerably better conditions. Anyway, we spent much less money on self-support, because we could receive scholarships and various bonuses more often. Today’s student life is characterized by the situation where learners tend to look for a highly paid occupation.

Gill, solicitor

If we compare education then and now, I believe that it has become all business. I mean, when I needed to apply to university, my choice was made almost in the heat of the moment, I only heard that other people told it was good. Finally, I saw the university with my own eyes when the first day of the study came. When my kids were going to apply, we traveled for like months through the length and breadth of the whole state. It was difficult for them to make up their minds with a definite place, there were so many different options. I guess, education in the past was more secure, that is, we didn’t bother whether we were going somewhere with it. Now, students mostly fight for their place in the sun.

Andrew, founder and director, Conscious Solutions

I always liked water sport, and even when I entered one of the most prestigious universities in England, I couldn’t give up my hobby. It wasn’t difficult for me to spend time doing sports, and sometimes even choose it over the studies, because there weren’t so many examinations in their multiple forms as there are today. Now, children, mine as well, are very concerned about how to be a good student in college and otherwise. They are demanded to pass tests too often for them to devote time to something else except the studies, and they can’t ignore any of them as every separate result sums up with the next one to form an overall result. What’s more, students are now in a more complex financial situation in general.

Fiona, research consultant, Barnardo’s Training and Learning Consultancy

I have two sons who study now. As for the time they spend studying, it’s twice the time I used to spend at the university, although I also devoted a significant part for self-education. In my opinion, all the basic things that this part of life is characterized by remain unalterable. People then and now pass the same stage when they go studying – they learn to live on their own. However, there’s a great distinction in the sense of finance. I could spend the money I earned due to my high academic performance on everything I wanted, and the current situation has changed. What is college life like for my sons and their mates? They don’t have such a financial support as I did and have to manage their funds wisely.