We all know the stereotype. Students are lazy, good-for-nothing deadbeats, who do nothing but nap all day and party all night. Right? Actually, I think you'll find that for many of us, the reality is something quite different.
Opting for a part-time course isn't quite the bed of roses we would hope it to be. Of course we all know that anything worth doing is never going to be easy, but the perils of part-time study can be tough for even the most eager and well prepared among us.
I used to have allocated family-laptop time, and when I got a laptop of my own, it didn't have internet. Now, people can access and create a wealth of information at just the click of a button. And while this is convenient, entertaining and empowering - and, don't get me wrong, I embrace it just as much as everyone else, I'm only 21 after all - I miss the times when I'd mess around on Paint and Movie Maker for fun before going downstairs to watch the Simpsons, then reading a book before going to bed.
In today's global race for young talent, it is crucial we continue to develop a talented pool of young workers equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to make a valuable contribution to the economy. By emphasising alternative options to university, such as apprenticeships, the UK can stay ahead in the global race.
We often indulge in the idea that clothes shopping is the ultimate therapy, and back in the good old days when shopping was simply a case of picking out something nice and heading to the bank of mom and dad for a quick cash withdraw - this would probably be true...
Living in a student house can be intimidating - suddenly you're faced with scary adult things like bills and landlords. But it can also be very rewarding - if you stick to a few basic rules. Here are some of the things I've learnt from living under a (leaky) student roof...
Anxiety has a nasty habit of controlling your life, and I feel education is one of the areas in which people suffer most. For me, at least, university turned out to be something of a cure, albeit of the toughest order, rather than the devil's own work.
Anxiety is different for everyone, but for me it's something that's with me all day, every week, always. It's like the feelings you have during a nightmare but I have them in normal life. I feel unexplainable panic, nervousness and discomfort. I worry about conversations, apprehensive to say anything in case I say something wrong. I worry about my peers' disapproval, afraid of negative feedback, of not fitting in and more.
We've got to understand what the goal of gay advocacy really is. When I was growing up I didn't want to be like everyone else... Gay people aren't criminals asking to be loved in spite of their crimes. They're not addicts wanting to be understood beyond their addiction. And they're certainly not sinners wishing to be spared of evil.
Political parties are right to worry that young people are marginalised. Representation, however, is a two-way street. If we want to rebuild the connection between young people and political institutions, institutions and the policy makers within them must wake up to their burden of responsibility to represent young citizens...
If suggestions that the expression is inherently offensive seem somewhat far-fetched, there is no doubt that lad culture has colonised it. We see banter spilling over into both misogyny - reinforcing a false notion that 'catcalling', humiliation and physical harassment are part of a normal night out...
We are angry, and our voices are carrying far more weight than some choose to recognise. We refuse to be neglected any longer. Our rights and freedoms are not only being infringed upon by an overbearing police presence on campus, but in addition our entire higher educational system has been turned into a financial transaction.
You've got so much to look forward to. You naïve little fresher, keep safe, don't overdo it on nights out, do not buy a hip flask or order mayonnaise on chips after nights out. Have fun, relax, try not to worry too much, apply for that work experience you think you won't get. Make the most of university how you want to spend your time. I'm sending you lots of love. You'll be fine. I know you will.
If I could offer someone on the cusp of their twenties any advice, I would say don't just go with a generic life plan because it 'looks right' or because it's 'what everyone else is doing.' Take time to think about what you want to achieve and how you are going to get there... Sometimes you have to sidestep the safe option and take a risk.
I have been unemployed for the best part of the last three years. Despite a couple of creative successes it wasn't viable to lead an existence on the back of these, so I had to look for a real job. I did try to achieve this, but I wasn't getting any results so I was told that perhaps I wasn't trying hard enough.
Unpaid internships are just a prelude to a lifetime of low pay, normalising the idea that money earned is not enough to live off... the hourglass economy is a visual metaphor that describes the disappearance of middle income jobs, but at its heart there is a fallacy. We are not a country divided by earnings, so much as by assets - and this is especially true for the young.