I don’t really like the idea of a ‘parting-shot’. Truth be told by the time you are leaving really your opinion isn’t really worth much-otherwise you wouldn’t be leaving. It maybe a slightly old and bitter ramble. But it makes me feel better anyway.
My time for me to exit the world of student politics is soon. I’ll leave behind a world of meetings, of starring at policy documents, arranging democratic meetings and long journey’s up and down the M6. However, there are a few itches that need to scratched. The three ‘itches’ that need to be scratched being 1.) Students, 2.) Arguments 3.) Student Movement.
1.) Students. Where do I begin. From the most brilliant, to the worse examples of humanity, we have them all. Never do I spot being amazed at the great things that our students do against the never ending wave of stupidity from those deemed ‘educated’. And honestly it don’t really blame the latter. We’re bombarded with so many competing distractions, from Netflickts to Lovefilm, to facebook, twitter and WKD’s it doesn’t surprise me people don’t care.
For the record I’m going to skim of the 10-15% of our students whom I love. Never stop being brilliant, please, you give me faith in life.
However, I seriously don’t have much love for the rest. For the idiots whom think it’s acceptable to bully and harass others for simply being different or not ‘cool’ you don’t deserve Higher Education or our SU. For the idiots whom sit around wasting their life, wasting the opportunity for education and a better life I wish someone you’ll realise how important this experience it was…and you should have tried. For the idiots whom think their actions are beyond criticism and there no consequences in life I hope one day it will be.
I’m sorry if this causes any offence to those 15% I’ve mentioned, but on the whole my experience of students are they are self centred, lazy and whose understanding of other people and the greater world stop at themselves.
2.) Arguments. I’ve had my fair share this year. In previous blog’s I’ve written about what it means to be right and wrong about things. In fact, in the process of these last 24 months, I’ve questioned a lot about my own tact, by own personality and my ability to get my point across. There has been a lot of times that I’ve been wrong on things. But actually there has been a lot of times that I’ve been right about things when I should have put my foot down and battled my point.
This is going to sound selfish and self centred but working in a University has taught be a number of things about arguments. 1.) Considering we at University, students cannot argue their points. Neither can we. We ride on the premise of ‘it’s right because I say so. 2.) I need to stick to my guns. 3.) I hate compromise. Because it’s second best.
3.) The Student Movement. Gosh, where do I begin. There are times when I’m glad the student movement exists. I’m so happy that we’re part of a bigger movement that cares so much about people and the world and each others. Others times, I’m shocked and quite often disgusted at the hypocrisy within it. I’ve been sabbaticals and full time NUS officers speak endless about bullying and tolerance then openly attack each other on twitter; I’ve seen the concept of adult arguments go out the window for cheap shots and un-researched statements, I’ve seen fear and paranoia used to strengthen arguments and cases.
I hate going to NUS events because for an organisation and group of people that always comes across as out-wood looking; I’ve always been to scared of arguing a ‘centre’ politics point of view. I’ve been scared to be label a bigot when for the last how-many years I’ve tried to champion equality. For a movement apparently so caring, we seem to do nothing but shoot down each others ideas and attack from within.
It’s why happily, I’m moving to a world of SU staff; where I’m not made to feel bad or guilty or be told to ‘check my privilege’ when I have a point. It sickens me that now, 2 years in, I care for almost nothing I used to 2 years when I entered the movement. I don’t blame NUS or for what it stands for. It just sucked away my enthusiasm.
What shocks me most is we’ve got the ability to win our own arguments, because the student movement at the heart can convince itself HE/FE is worth it. But not anyone else. We shout down points because we believe ‘saying I’m right doesn’t mean I’m right’ and then we do it ourselves with crap arguments backed up by no evidence. Jesus.
Like all good things they must come to a end. Working for a wonderful SU like Cumbria has taught me so many things; I’ve met so many great people (and useless) through this job and I’m grateful for it. There are things that are un-finished, un-completed and with grudges still barring but it’s time to move to places.
It’s been one hell of a ride.