Perils of… – Introduction

With the dismal reminder we are destined to be ‘worse off than our parents’ hanging over the heads of our generation, I think it’s time WE had our say in the matter. My column, entitled Perils Of, observes a type of ‘postponed happiness’ our generation seems consumed with acquiring. 

Pumped through the state school machine, we are conditioned to only ever work towards something, always looking ahead to a future we are yet to enjoy and reap the benefits from. But when do we actually stop and think,

‘Ok, I’ve made it; this is where I want to be’.

When do we stop striving and start living? Are we self-damning in the fact that when we are ‘destined’ to be ‘worse off than our parents’ it’s actually because we want more than our parents did, we were made for more?

So is the education system to blame for this? – After all, they conditioned us into thinking this way. The 1980s saw a generation consigned to working minimum wage jobs as soon as they were able. This left behind a working class generation mostly prevented from advancement through further education, deterred from the notion of a career.

Of course, this is a gross exaggeration of the truth, largely assumed from talking to my very own parents; but it is clear an uninspired generation under Thatcher rule were discouraged to build towards a creative future.

Today, things couldn’t be more different.

Today, we put our current life on hold, for a more (potentially) prosperous one.

But is it worth it?

Even with my extortionate £27,000+ university education, there is no guarantee I will be successful, happy, or any ‘better off’ than my parents. It’s funny to think we are now taught to essentially lead a life on loan, both in the literal sense and the metaphorical- a life that is completely borrowed, and this is deemed normal.

On a more uplifting note, I want to shed light on the things we should celebrate; being a student at a world class university being one of them, and urge you to celebrate and explore these opportunities now.

Now for the fun bit.

With each column, every three weeks over the next year, I’ll be trying something completely new and alien to me around Glasgow and the university. These will be things I have even begrudgingly ranted about in my previous articles or blog. Things I should try before shunning and judging. As quite an opinionated and often narrow-minded person, this’ll do me some good; so that maybe I can try to be more like the creative and interesting people I have come to resent – In avoidance of the hipster overtones this will inevitably produce.

I thoroughly expect to be a newly-changed and well-rounded, upstanding young citizen after this series of social experiments and personal endeavours, no less.

For fear of sounding more desperate than a pre-election Ed Miliband,

I end my manifesto.

Expect a general rant about whatever pisses me off in our current news climate, a survival guide to university and Glasgow generally, and just a self-indulgent ‘experiment’, making up for all the things I never did in first year.

‘Tonight Matthew, I’m going to be…

Louis Theroux’.

I welcome you, (and your suggestions.)

See it as a favour, a self-sacrifice of sorts.

[Serena Ruberto]

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