Age..ism?


I hear someone laughing. I can hear them from my bedroom as I sit on my Manchester United duvet covers while they chuckle at the absurdity of this teenager worrying about money. “Problems? Bah, you will know problems when you come to my age son. For now you can stick to worrying about fashion and how to complete the game on your PlayStation.”
Well let me say this kindly: two fingers to you my arrogant old friend. That is age discrimination as well as a simpleton’s response.

Dismissing the capabilities of teenagers is a tool used by the fearful elderly to subdue the inspirational genius of the young.

The vast majority of teenagers are not the moronic, clueless, drug addicts portrayed in the news. Rather, we care about our future and this stereotypical attitude towards us only serves to limit what we can achieve in a time where aspirations must be increased and worked towards. The ever-depressing rhetoric that jobs are difficult to find even after graduating with a degree (after paying £27,000) weighs on our minds like an anchor tying us to port. We need to hear something different; we need to be taken seriously. Only a few days ago a government report indicated that they may not recoup the money loaned to university students as many will not earn over £21,000 in the future. This type of talk makes me want to throw my hands up in despair and exclaim “why do we seem to be the ones who have been served the worst dish?” Does this mean that making us pay £9,000 is not going to be worth it for the government and so useless in the long-and short-run?

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26 thoughts on “Age..ism?

  1. I have enjoy your blog. Do not fear my comments as they are only words and words do only convey in some small way thoughts, and a thought never hurt a soul without that soul allowing it to do so.
    First I have seen my sons grow from infants, to teenagers to adults and at no time were they ever as moronic or drug addicted as I. Has for clueless well my young friend we are all clueless at one time or another.
    Then I wonder about your comment; “Dismissing the capabilities of teenagers is a tool used by the fearful elderly to subdue the inspirational genius of the young.” A little bit of age..ism here would not think.
    Dismissing the capabilities of a person is a tool used by the fearful to subdue the inspirational genius of those who dare to different in a society of clones.
    Or something like this would be my aged response.
    Has for the money issue please let me assure you if you look close enough money is not an issue worthy of such worry.
    Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much. Smile!

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    • Thank you for visiting 🙂

      Yes you’re right that was a bit of ageism from me but of course it does not apply to every adult. I was describing my frustration at those adults who adopt such a ‘higher than thou’ attitude towards teenagers.

      Yes I like your response 🙂

      Oh of course, the fact is I do not really care for money but going to university means I have to actually pay it attention, the fact being £9,000 will have to be found yearly and this is a very real and intense pressure.

      Haha thanks for your comment! 🙂

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  2. As one who screamed “Don’t trust anyone over thirty!” back in the 1960′s, I suppose I deserve the ageism comment 🙂 First, I completely sympathize with you. University education has always been elitist, at least in the USA (and all my comments will stem from my geographic perspective). The advent of community colleges helped all us poor people by keeping tuition affordable. By the time I retired I was an Assistant Director of Financial Aid in a community college and I would say that although financial aid offices can be terrorizing, we tried so hard to help students, especially the ones who had jobs and were not eligible for government funds. The working poor. At times I gave students money out of my own backpack toward their electric bill or to buy a book. I truly believe that education should be free. In a community college, the program is as good as one in a university and usually all of the credits are acceptable when transferring to a university after receiving the Associate of Arts degree. It is a good system. I know that doesn’t help you but my only advice is to ignore the doomsayers who feel that you will not earn enough to pay back your student loan. Some of us do not earn enough but since I graduated from college at age 37 and had two children to care for, I just took my B.A. in English and had to cast my fate to the wind. Everyone knows that a B.A. in English is useless. So if you want a degree in something that requires a Masters or Doctorate, do just that! I wish I had struggled a few more years and continued my education. Anyway, sorry, I’ve been so long-winded. I encourage you to suffer for your art or your degree or whatever it takes because education is never a waste. Peace…

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    • Haha! 🙂

      Amazing. It may be cheesy to say that the world needs more people like you but in this case, it is true. I think those in charge really do need to start listening to us instead of going along their own track.

      The US system sounds interesting, living in the UK, every university and every course costs more or less the same. We do need more options.

      Thank you for your words of wisdom 🙂

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  3. I have also felt like you in the past. Worrying about the future and all of the money I will owe after college is quite scary! It’s also annoying to feel like my worries are being “belittled” by others who are older and feel like it is none of my concern. Of course, it is our problem since this is how we are starting our lives as adults, right? Right now I’ve made myself content with the idea that at this point I cannot control much about the money. However, I can do my best in school and receive top notch grades to get into the program I want and receive my degree. All of this in the long run will hopefully equate to a good job in the future, from which I can pay my loans and provide for myself. I think it is good to be aware of the future, but also stay grounded in the present. Best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yup definitely our problem! Hmm that is a good philosophy, be aware of the future but stay grounded in the present. Sometimes the problems can feel like too much when all you do is focus on them.

      Thanks and you too!

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  4. Oops … as an ignorant oldster, a thought or two:

    “Education should be free”?

    No. Very little in life is ‘free’. It may be given as a loving gift to a bright-eyed eager youngster, but behind the scenes someone is paying for it.

    So, who should be paying for it?

    No … don’t look to the past, that’s all history and you now have a chance here to remake the future — so who should be paying for it?
    (Not who did, or who is, or who it would be nice to … but who should?)

    How would you fund the education of the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed youngsters following you into the ivy halls?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t believe that education should be free, but it should be affordable and every effort should be made to keep it as reasonably prices as possible.

      This post is more about teenagers being labelled as incompetent and not being utilised for their skills effectively. For example, companies not giving them a chance just because they may not have a degree or companies paying teenagers less just because they assume the teenager has less responsibilities.

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      • I apologise if I’m a pain … but how can one make education ‘affordable’?

        I judge folks on what I perceive. If someone demonstrates competence, then he or she is competent (so far). But as far as ‘companies not giving them a chance’ etc… how much of a ‘chance’? Would you be totally comfortable if midway over the Atlantic the broadcast announced “We are now giving young Mr Student a hands-on chance with the controls whilst the cockpit crew pop down aft for tea and bikkies with the cabin crew”?

        An entry university degree proves nothing more than personal qualities (he can go the distance) and a mastery of the basics. I wouldn’t be comfortable putting my ship in the hands of a tyro correspondence school pilot, no matter how good his marks. (Mikhail Lermontov, anyone?)(And that guy was fully licensed.)

        To afford education—how?

        Makes unsalaried slaves of the tutors? That would drop the costs (and cheapen the degree). Build (at taxpayers’ expense?) cheap prefab ‘halls of learning’? On donated ground? Maintenance free materials, grounds tended by students (win/win)?

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      • There are numerous ways we can make education affordable but it depends on each country and how the system works. In Britain for example, whilst fees increased, the education grant that universities received plummeted to almost zero which meant that the perceived benefits of ensuring universities get more money was zilch.

        No of course you wouldn’t give teenagers control of a plane! Giving them a chance in the form of internships, apprenticeships, work experience, entry level jobs are such ways which allow them to demonstrate competency as well as being honest about whether a degree is required for the job. Many companies are doing this in the UK but not enough.

        With regards to tutors, their pay has been reducing even as fees have been increasing, especially in the UK. The government does have a duty to help with university level education, and there is nothing wrong with it coming at taxpayer’s expense, they were after all once upon a time university students who benefitted from free or low cost university education. In fact some were given grants just to attend and had to pay zero fees.

        There are definitely ways to reduce the cost of education for students but it requires a change of priorities and mindset. At the moment the government isn’t really prioritising education.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Perhaps one answer (which you will not like) would be a ‘Free Market’ approach.

        Education as a product which the willing purchaser is prepared to pay for. In a free market only the laws of supply and demand hold true.

        In such, I imagine that the ambitious but impecunious would seek out finance.
        Or sponsorship (in which case they’d have to demonstrate a track record of industry and reliability).
        Or nepotism?

        ‘Student loan’, anybody?
        In New Zealand right now the government is beginning to take action against those whose educations it kindly financed with loans but who promptly skipped the country owing many millions.
        Again, ‘good intentions’ gone wrong … the government cleverly and with the very sweetest (?) of motives succeeded in financing our very own ‘brain drain’.

        Personally I like the idea of indentured apprenticeships and internships.

        Both get (or should get) remuneration, provide a return to their principal, and it is win/win.
        The taxpayer need not be involved at all, other than legal ensuring the law of contract on both parties.

        My advice? Do what you can to improve the future. Look to the past only to learn from it, but don’t be poisoned by the thought that in the past everyone got freebies, the streets were paved with milk and honey, and every lad was a knight on horseback and every lass a queen.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. The US is not what it claims. Founded on genuine principles it long since went to the dogs, it is no (r) no paradigm.

    If demand in the UK for university places is at an all time high … this would be a splendid chance to bring in realistic Entrance Testing.

    One approach (counter productive) would be to ration available places by (a) fees, or (b) by objective examinations.

    Examinations coupled with realistic fees to weed out dropouts (before the fount is contaminated) still leaves the immediate problem of funding.

    Over a wasted and misspent life I’ve watched lots and learned some. I’ve learned the truth of the American adage “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch~!” … indisputable, no?
    But you seem to be looking to your government for a free lunch.
    That students in the past got ‘free’ lunches is no reason why students today should—it was purely their good fortune; they were in the right place at the right time for someone else to buy their lunch for them.
    Times move on …

    Again I ask: how should education be financed?

    By The Government, of course.

    No? So we should lean on the taxpayer, squeeze what further we can out of his/her pocket — which of course is an investment that you will pay back in later years from your enhanced earnings (possibly after the squeezee is dead, but them’s the breaks).

    In the days of empire educations were often funded by the armed forces, service officer trainees showing promise were fed through civvie colleges to enhance their military value but had to provide a ‘return of service’ on the investment. Win/win. I don’t know if they still do that.

    Again I ask: how should education be financed? (The answer I’m looking for here comes wrt the future, not the past.)

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    • The sad thing is, degrees are too common despite their high prices. That is because they are seen as essential by young adults. I sincerely hope other options increase as that is one of the main key ways this problem of financing education will reduce. As demand decreases, universities will have to become more competitively priced but at the moment they know if they even double prices, most students would continue studying at university as they feel there is no other option.

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      • In a world filled with elegant aristocrats the man who empties the cess-tanks is indispensable, no?

        Plumbers, gardeners, fishers, brickers, painters, electricals, sales folks … and what they do in their spare time is often limited only by their time off.

        But if ‘class’ (social prestige) is important, one should look to his motives.

        Liked by 1 person

      • If you want a return on investment, that’s one thing.

        If you want to do selfless good works, that’s entirely another—what’s good is to decide what you really want in life, do your sums, analyse the trends, make a plan and go for it.

        But be prepared to be flexible. Very flexible.

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      • “they are seen as essential” … either they are essential, or they are not.
        Is the perception true or false?

        Either way it dictates buying behaviours, and of course competition for limited resources pushes prices up. In a free market (does one exist anywhere?) a limited product is rationed by price.

        If education were free, everyone (weeeell, almost everyone) would be running round with degrees. In fact this seems to be happening, a degree once had real prestige — today you can find places offering degrees in (for all I know) hedgehog toenail clipping.
        Caveat emptor indeed on the part of an employer, which only enhances the asking price of both recognised ‘good’ universities (and ‘useful’ degrees).

        This is where your judgement will serve you well, or drop you down a hole …

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