The ability to speak our mind is a much cherished freedom of the society in which we live, but one that I believe recent events at Lincoln University Union have suggested is sadly under threat. The recent brief suspension of Lincoln's Conservative Society simply for sharing an image from a study that suggested Lincoln University ranked as "very intolerant" on freedom of speech, appears to be illustrative of an endemic problem throughout many campuses.
The earlier we start to make change, individually or as a whole, and showing young people the value we place on them and their voices, the more benefits we all get from it in the future. Representation of young voices has never gone far enough and now is our time to make our voices heard thoroughly and truly.
If you relate to any of this, know that it is possible to recover, to rediscover balance, there are things in place to help you and I know it's a scary step to take but I am living proof that you won't regret it; there is no shame in asking for help and no greater strength than the overcoming of inner turmoil.
The future remains uncertain and the higher education sector has many challenges to face in 2017and beyond. There may be some consequential market adjustment that would have regional impact both economically and politically. However, universities will continue to tackle these head on and no doubt discover new opportunities.
This is a small battle in a huge conflict. It is a conflict between a state that provides for, nurtures and empowers it citizens, and a free-market, free-for-all that leaves all but a few worse off, that erodes notions like collective effort and genuine altruism and replaces them with individual greed and cut-throat competition.
With pioneering reports such as 'Educating All' and the work done by students unions across the country, it is clear that there is an urgent need for change for working class students and young people in the UK. Charities like RECLAIM are refusing to ignore the problems faced by working-class young people and are paving the way for like-minded organisations across the country to combat class division in all its forms.
The ruling by Donald Trump to place a temporary ban on Muslims from selected countries entering the USA has provoked global outrage. While a similar ban on students wanting to study in the UK seems (hopefully) inconceivable, when it comes to obtaining entry visas bona fide students and staff from Muslim countries can face an uphill struggle.
It goes without saying that every exchange student's experience will be as diverse the locations they travel to, but I believe that there are some fundamental difficulties and benefits met by everyone on a year abroad. Armed with the best journalistic intentions, I have set about to talk frankly about each of these, in the most balanced and honest way possible.