Are you a University student who feels like they are not getting anywhere? I know that as a student, life can be tough. The stress, pressure and competition to perform is ever increasing and oftentimes we are living off pot noodles simply because cash flow is stagnant. For most it is the norm to endure sleepless nights, application rejections and hold a part time job on the side of your degree.
It has been thrown around that young people have it easy. They do not. Yet through the fire emerges tempered individuals, who contribute to society in huge ways, including politically. According to research agency YouthSite, 87% of students voted in the EU referendum. According to the Electoral Commission, the turnout of the general population was 72%.
One of the highest levels of volunteering is reported amongst full time students, according to the Charities Aid Foundation. Students are a central instrument to bringing in charity funding. During my time at the University of Warwick a group of students came together to climb Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa, by working with Choose a Challenge and raising money for the Meningitis Research Foundation.
A main part of the student ethos is experience. Students have to think of ways to gain practical knowledge in their respective fields, in order to get a good job and become a productive member of society. They struggle with this due to the competitiveness of work placements and the pressure that is created from future opportunities requiring an initial month of experience. This situation needs to change.
It would help us immensely if there were more opportunities that were flexible throughout the year. These could be implemented during term time, maybe as a module alongside our studies, as opposed to predominantly only being made available during the holiday periods.
Sometimes, all the different things we do in our own time can appear to be superfluous, seeming as though our minds are set on the goal of building the foundations of a prosperous career. This is not true at all. For example at the University of Birmingham, environmental issues such as waste management, reducing plastic and saving energy are some of the biggest initiatives across the campus. Student input and development has led to a reduction in waste across the university campus.
Therefore, not only do students engage in politics, they also care greatly about the environment and humanitarian issues. Students are passionate about their community and strive to give back through hard work whilst balancing their education commitments.
For example, at the University of Birmingham there was a challenge this year to tackle the issues that we as students, thought needed to be addressed in the local community. There were various entries, including: creating jobs that require minimal qualifications in order to address homelessness; reduction of plastic; gender equality; and greater vegan options in the supermarkets. This shows that students are motivated to change the World and make their own local communities better.
So, this is a reminder that the pressures of the student journey do not diminish your power to achieve great things in other areas alongside studying. It is important to take note of all the achievements that you earn throughout your education as well as the pitfalls, because all of them are learning curves and help to create a powerful driving force within that can be used to keep motivated.
We, as a generation, have been given opportunities and tools that allow us to strive for greater harmony within ourselves and our communities. By sharing your experience and knowledge with others, not only does it empower those you help but it will also bring a sense of balance within yourself.
Anand Sanger is a 22-year-old, final year Law student at the University of Birmingham, who is looking to qualify in Corporate Law with a focus on mergers and acquisitions. He would also like to pursue pro-bono work with start-up businesses. He volunteers to raise funds for charities, and his most recent commitment was to help build homes for orphans in South Africa and teach them English and Maths. After work, he enjoys the freedom of the open road on his beloved motorbike.