In response to GC’s letter about “immature” students, I understand your frustration. This last year has been a long and difficult one for many of us. I hope you’ll understand and take the time to consider what I have to say in response.
Firstly, I would like to say that you are right. It is an honour to be able to go to university, a privilege that I myself wouldn’t have had if it wasn’t for the Scottish Government giving me the opportunity to develop myself without the worry of paying for it.
The risk that we all face because of Covid-19 is a very real one and I understand why it may be appealing to ‘‘throw them out of university’’ as you say.
However, I hope you will consider some of the points that I am about to discuss.
These students are not frustrated because they cannot go to the clubs and party. These students are frustrated because they were lured back to the city with the promise of face-to-face learning, something so important to the effective transfer of information.
The reality for many students is that they are stuck in leases paying a minimum of £3,500 a year, these rooms having shared facilities so that even if they wanted to, they couldn’t completely isolate themselves.
These students are more often than not paying for their accommodation/bills themselves (a taste of that ‘‘adult world’’ you mentioned) meaning they are working on top of studying.
The jobs students find themselves doing cannot be done from home (working in retail, food establishments and other “key” sectors). It is important to question if these students are getting Covid-19 from partying and breaking lockdown rules, or if they are catching it while trying to support themselves.
It is also very important to understand that a lot of these students that you mention are actually “immature”. The rational part of a human brain is not developed until around the age of 25.
It is easy to forget that these young people are still young but no, not all of them will think rationally in regard to this pandemic.
Knight and rider
What does one do if, when out on a cycle run, a puncture suddenly occurs – stranded eight miles from Aberdeen on the old Deeside railway line with no phone, no pump, no spare tyre and no money.
Extremely foolish, I now know.
I managed to heave the bike back to the nearest establishment, which happened to be the Park cafe. Discussing the situation with the gentleman in the cafe, I was astonished to hear he would see if he could help.
With spanner in hand, the wheel was removed, puncture spot determined and repaired.
No money was requested and I was able to complete my journey to Crathes. Such acts of kindness are so rare nowadays, my faith in human nature has been restored.
He was indeed my knight in shining armour I could only offer my sincerest gratitude.
J Murphy, Aberdeen.