Gold medals for Canterbury Students


Strange how good things result from bad. My flat tyre needed inflating and unable to drive I thought, where can I buy an air compressor at this time of night. I was peeved because I had looked forward to a relaxing evening in. Now I had to find some extra energy to venture out.

I dragged myself to a D-I-Y store about 8:30pm where three part time staff members were on duty, all with day jobs as university students. No longer deflated, (unlike my tyre) I found myself marveling at the determination and commitment of students to give their all. Such is their work ethos that in order to fund their education to become contributors to society, they work unbearably long hours, even in the run up to revising for exams. I felt positively ashamed at my earlier resentment having to sacrifice a single evening when embraced by these young grafters who regularly gave up their evenings to serve ingrates like me.

I do not grasp the mindset of some who imagine with a mixture of condemnation and resentment that students enjoy a life of leisure. The most tragic aspect of this misperception is that in this economic climate, whatever the grades students ultimately earn, and they really do earn their degrees; the prospect of a job, even with a hard earned degree... is bleak!

In this year of the 2012 London Olympic Games, I would bestow upon such students an honary gold medal for enduring three years of training and graft in the face of euphemistically unfair mass criticism attributable only to the minority. Students have become my role models. I dropped out of university; I was not half the man of modern students who also hold down jobs! It was undoubtedly the hardest marathon I never finished - unlike these hard working students I failed to make it to the finishing line.

Consequently I readily overlook isolated incidents where students attract potentially justifiable criticism. My focus is immediately overwhelmingly drawn to the marvelous major contribution students make to Canterbury. I know there are some serious issues which must be resolved, but why oh why must we twist the lens so narrowly obscuring the massive good, so that only the problems are in focus? Is it that as a nation we have such unfulfilled lives that we need to zoom-in on others' misdemeanours to detract from our own imperfections? Is good news so boring that only bad news is worthy of press publication? Few appear to realise the thousands of philanthropic hours each year donated by Canterbury student volunteers. Whatever your exam results know this... students, you are all heroes in my eyes!