As a student, I was quite interested in this article in the Courier Mail.
I've heard this story a few times before. In fact, I do recall a story on A Current Affair (my favourite news program) a few years back about a girl who had to support herself by being a part-time clown at children's birthday parties while studying. It got to the point where she had to miss classes for work. That's pretty terrible, isn't it? Working to go to uni, but not actually going to uni.
The kid in this story lives off the Student Allowance and had to eat bread and rice for eight months. How horrible! (but at least he was getting a lot of fibre in his diet).
At first I was quite sympathetic to the plights of these poor, poor students, but then I thought, "Wait, I'm a poor, poor student, and I'm pretty sure I had a stir fry for dinner last night and polished it off with a block of chocolate."
Before I moved out of home, I was scared that juggling enough work to pay for rent and food as well as pass a journalism degree would not work. But it did. Last semester, I worked, was able to pay rent, phone bills, taekwondo fees, petrol, groceries and the odd drinking adventure. I also passed my subjects and was quite pleased with my marks. My rent isn't exactly cheap either.
There's a student in the article who had a 16 hour per week job and ended up having to skip classes. This somehow evokes little sympathy on my part, as I work over 20 hours a week and can easily still attend my classes.
At first I thought, "Maybe it's because I'm doing a bludgy-arse journalism degree while majoring in creative writing." But then I thought of my good friend Jasmine, who is a nursing student. She lives out of home, has a car, works two part-time jobs and mainly gets 6s and 7s for her subjects.
I'd love to know why some of these students have to live off student allowance and can't even get one shift for a part-time job a week, or how some of these students work so much and can't study. I'm not the smartest kid in town, but surely if I and other people can do it, there's no reason why a journalism student should be living off bread and rice. Time and money management go a long way. And it's really not as hard as some students make it out to be.
I know some students pay their own tuition fees and so I think, well, that is pretty sad that they're not earning enough to live. If that is the case of the students in this article, I am judging quite harshly. But if they are Commonwealth-supported, like me and many other students are, then my views still stand.
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