As we are all aware, lecturers and university staff have recently been taking strike action in order to protect the right to a fair pension. To them I say we commend you.
I have not talked to a single student about the subject who has not expressed some sort of support for the action taken to defend our right. It would not be exaggerating to say that the vast majority, if not practically all, students stand with staff in this struggle and are proud of what they are doing. The strike action taking place is both necessary and important – it is such bravery and the following of moral conscience that enables the hope of a better society. Whilst lost teaching hours may be a nuisance, the continuance and increase of cuts to pensions would be a catastrophe. The staff who are taking action against this injustice deserve to be praised as soldiers in the battle for a fairer future.
If you’re like me, and picturing yourself behind the wheel of a car instils utmost terror, then you too rely on the vast network of disappointment that is National Rail.
My inevitably delayed trains to Nottingham always change at Newark: where no commuter, or human being, would willingly find themselves. This tiny speck of a place has two stations, which, for the tired student with excessive luggage, proves a nightmare when trying to sprint between them in a window of ten minutes.
Navigating the regulations of private rail companies presents even greater challenges. Having forgotten my rail card, I was informed by East Midlands Trains that, unlike other companies, paying the difference was “not their policy.” After having paid £87 (yep) for a new ticket, the departures board teasingly flickered between “on time” and “delayed,” repeatedly greeted by a collective groan from everyone waiting on the platform.
The man standing next to me grumbled: “For fuck’s sake, I’d nationalise the bastards tomorrow.” I grumbled in agreement, and I now have a balding Yorkshireman as a friend: solidarity through pure exasperation.
Tyne For Tea
Starting uni, you’d expect the biggest culture shock to be moving from a small(ish) town to a city centre. Yet, my biggest surprise happened to revolve around a drink. No, not the excessive amounts of alcohol consumed during Fresher’s Week, but the staple drink of God’s Own County: tea.
Now, everybody has their own tastes, and I’m not saying everyone should drink as much tea as I do. But growing up in a household where the natural reflex was to pop the kettle on, it was strange to meet people who preferred coffee over tea, and even stranger to meet people who didn’t like tea at all.
Is there anything better than hearing ‘want a cuppa?’ after a long, stressful day at uni? I don’t think so. I feel sorry for those who don’t like tea: congratulations, your taste-buds have well and truly played you