Sorry to disappoint, but middle class students aren’t the privileged, entitled brats you desperately want them to be
We don’t all get Daddy to pay
One of the biggest rivalries at uni, as everyone knows, is between BAs and BScs, and which is the harder of the two (it's obvs BAs but whatevs). But maybe even bigger than that is a newfound love for arguing about who is worse off at uni – working class or middle class students. And to be honest, the whole argument is ridiculous and it makes you sound like a whiny, entitled twat. By even entertaining the argument we're pandering to everything the media loves to use to define "what is a millennial?" And the argument itself is redundant anyway.
According to the definition of working class, I do not fit into that category. But nor do I fit into the category of middle class if that automatically equates to having a "bank of Mum and Dad" at my disposal. Everyone is poor at uni, except maybe the ultimate rich elite who are lucky enough to have the funds to pay off tuition fees straight up. Sorry, let me say that loud enough for the people in the back. EVERYONE is poor at uni. Trying to create a divide between those that are slightly less poor than others does nothing to actually bring about any change.
bein lower middle class is weird af cause ur not poor enough to get any grants for uni but not wealthy enough to afford uni fees
— saoirse 🥀 (@saoirsekkelly) July 14, 2017
And this "middle class gets subsidised" argument. Kids leave uni 22 years old. Most poor, up to £50k debt, first job. Who gets subsidised?
— Matt Usselmann (@rad_econ) July 2, 2017
As a student at Leeds University, I was lucky enough to get pretty much the maximum student finance you could get, while there were still grants in place which lowered my overall debt. I was also lucky enough that my dad was able to give me a small sum every month to pay the bills and buy me food, so I was able to save the money I did get from Student Finance into an account for after uni, or for such a time when my dad could no longer afford to give me money. I wasn't the poorest at uni, no, but I also wasn't the richest. I don't know, I guess you could say the middle? Aka middle-class maybe? But I definitely did not have a back up plan if I ran out of money. There was no pot of gold waiting for me when I went home with my tail between my legs cos I'd spent way too much money at freshers. If I needed more money, I got a job.
Yes, there were times when I had literally 47p in my account, and found myself having to bite my tongue when my well off flatmate moaned about having "literally no money, how am I going to live" only to order Dominos ten minutes later. We both had our own realities about what it was like to have no money, but that's just the point. They are realities. They're real, and they're happening to every single student. Just because someone might have the bank of Mum and Dad propping them up, do you think they really want to use it? Stop being jealous of someone's potential to have more money than you and accept the fact that life isn't fair. There will always be someone with more money than you, just like there will always be someone cleverer than you, or hotter than you. Bitching and whining about it isn't going to change that.
Must be hard being middle class and going to uni on the lowest maintenance loan. Not having money thrown at you for once must be AWFUL
— Alexandria (@alxndriat) August 23, 2017
"Abolishing tuition only helps the middle class because they're the ones that go to uni"
Yes. Currently. When it costs money.
— Tom Hatfield (@WordMercenary) June 6, 2017
The divide between having money and not having any can cause a lot of issues, understandably. But more often than not a middle class/well off student, whatever you want to call it, is not appropriating working class culture. Funnily enough, charity shops are there for everyone to use. So what if some people buy their clothes in charity shops half the time and Urban Outfitters the other half? Does that give you an excuse to act superior, because you have to use charity shops for whatever reason?
In my three years at uni, I have never seen someone ridiculed or alienated for how much money they had in their bank account. I've actually seen the complete opposite – people who know they have slightly more money helping their friends out in time of need, often not even wanting to be paid back. I'm obviously not saying working class students are charity cases, but middle class students aren't the snakes everyone seems to love to make them out to be.
The wider issue here is the lack of support for working class students while they are at uni, both from the uni itself and from society as a whole. For example, the government scrapping grants, something that a lot of working class students rely on to even go to uni in the first place. But placing the blame on the shoulders of middle class students is not going to resolve this issue. Stop trying to create friction and a divide between students because of how much money their parents happen to make. There's enough bullshit stereotyping and discrimination going on in society already, stop encouraging it and start focussing your anger at the people who really deserve it. FYI, that's not middle class students. Sorry to burst your bubble.