An article in this weekend’s Observer magazine claims the so-called ‘lost generation’ of graduates have been royally shafted – by your own parents.
In the six-page feature, 27-year-old journalist Andrew Hankinson claims ‘intergenerational unfairness’ will blight the entire lives of people his age and younger.
“Our parents had free education, fat pensions, early retirement and second homes,” he says.
“We’ve been left with student debt and a property ladder with rotten rungs.
“And the only choice is crap job – or no job. Thanks very much.”
As typically follow articles on this subject, the responses to Andrew’s feature fall into two categories. Fellow graduates who agree with him – and older correspondents sneering at him for having unrealistic expectations about the lifestyle his qualification would (or should) ‘buy’ him.
Graduate Fog is in neither camp. Yes, Andrew’s expectations are unrealistic -but who put them there? Shouldn’t his school accept some blame for failing to point out the truth before he signed up for his degree? (He was, after all, only 17 – not old enough to vote – when he made the decision to go to university – and in turn, take on enormous debt).
And shouldn’t the universities take responsibility too, for leading students to believe their education is guaranteed to give them a significant ‘leg-up’ on the career ladder – when in many industries that simply isn’t true? When students are paying for their time in Higher Education, they deserve to understand what their completed degree is likely to ‘get’ them – and what it won’t.
Unfortunately, Andrew persistently undermines his (otherwise strong) case by coming across as snooty and entitled – and his lack of respect for hard-working non-graduates borders on offensive.
Happily, although the emails I receive from Dude and Graduate Fog fans share Andrew’s frustration, they do not share his ‘victim’ mentality.
Yes, you’re disappointed, frustrated and yes, angry.
But you’ve twigged that that locking yourself into this defeatest mindset won’t help you get a job. In fact, it will stop you getting a job.
Instead, you tell me you’re done with wallowing – instead, you’d prefer to crack on and find out how to boost your chances of getting your career started. You understand that the first step is taking responsibility for your own future – not blaming others for how hard everything seems.
Which is why my money is on you getting a job long before Andrew does.
Perhaps I should send him a copy.
Do you agree with Andrew? Read the full story here