We're officially doomed as a civilization. The generation of my parents utterly failed to properly educate mine, and say no when it's time to say no. As a result, we're stuck with bratty young adults who think the world owes them everything.
Why am I saying that? Well, I'm pissed and I need to vent. Today's newspaper (Le Journal de Québec) asked a few students their point of view on the ongoing student strikes in Quebec (you read that right, STUDENT STRIKES) to protest against a raise of our stupendously, stupidly low scholarship fees that were frozen two decades ago to buy an election. And as if the repeated protest marches that degenerate into roadblocks and carnage every single time weren't enough to prove that they're probably not even intelligent enough to go to university to begin with, the newspaper gives their reasoning behind why they oppose the fee raise. I'm going to spare you a full translation, because it's going to anger you as much as it angers me, but still, let's see a little sample of their complaints.
One particularly rotten student complains that he needs to work in order to pay for his education. You idiot, that's normal and standard and what's expected out of anyone who pursues any form of education higher than high school! When I was this lazy bastard's age, I had a summer job every year, and that combined with my student loans allowed me to pay everything with ease. So much so that said loans were repaid in record time. I want to see what this loser is going to be saying in a few years. Oh noes! I have to work to pay for food and a roof to stay under! How dare the government not provide everything for me!
Another of these Einsteins complains that she eats too many peanut butter sandwiches and spaghetti and not enough filet mignon. Welcome to real life, enjoy your stay! Having been raised in your average middle class family, I can tell you that I never once ate filet mignon, and ate spaghetti and sandwiches often. I don't know what these people expect life will be once they get out of school, but unless they find a job that sends them into upper class territory, it's going to be more sandwiches and spaghetti. And they won't have the balls to stop working for their employer until they get enough of a pay raise to adopt a diet of filet mignon and caviar.
Some students claim that they don't have their own car. You know what? I didn't either when I went to university. Public transportation took me everywhere I needed to. Sure, it's not as flexible as using your own car, but with proper planning it wasn't nearly enough of a hindrance to be worth complaining about.
And finally, the icing on the cake, the textbook definition of hypocrisy: someone who complains about the students' reputation of being spoiled brats - two paragraphs after explaining why they cut into food and lodging in order to afford a cell phone. Said cell phone is allegedly "a tool for work". Sorry, but I was in university only a few years ago, and I don't recall cell phones being useful for studying in any way. Admit it, you're just using it for texting random crap.
These students clearly never heard of Maslow's pyramid, which is shocking because as far as I remember, it's taught in high school! Food and a home are at the very bottom of the pyramid, you need these two to even live. I don't see high-end education or, God forbid, a cell phone in there. And then they say education is a right (and it is to an extent), and the more radical students think it should be free (ergo, the working class pays for it, just like everything else, while they stuff caviar down their throats and buy every new Apple gizmo at launch). And the price of food and housing is already taking a worrying hike up, and we all have to endure it.
So if these super-fundamental needs get more and more expensive, is it normal that high-end education can still be obtained for a song? Asking the question is answering it. And having studied in a domain that requires extremely expensive equipment, I think I'm qualified enough to say that universities can't pay for all that stuff by themselves (no wonder science faculties are always the most anti-strike, they get a real taste of what it costs to maintain them). Other than scholarship fees, their main source of income is government funding, which equals OUR TAXES. And obviously, our taxes make up a higher and higher percentage of the universities' income every year. That is not healthy, and not normal. So if these brats can shut up for a second and think of something else than their own ego, they'll realize it's only normal that they help pay their share.
Of course, there's the issue of the fee raises being pretty darn big, and while it really sucks to have to take that in all at once (over five years), there are still two decades worth of catching up to do. And regular taxpayers know this, which is why public opinion is massively behind one of the most unpopular governments the province of Quebec has ever seen. And that's saying a lot.
Open your eyes, students. You're not the overlords of your own little universes. You have to cohabitate with many, many other people. So start acting like it.
Edit: Just to make myself more clear, because I didn't make it obvious at first glance, 75% over five years is really steep. But I think the real problem is the "five years" part. Making the same increase over a longer period of time would be more beneficial for all parties involved. But the insane requests of keeping fees frozen, or even abolishing them, are absolutely impossible to justify as far as I'm concerned.