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With university and life in general, watching anime took a back seat and I was missing out on some great stories. So this winter I had a nice catch up on shows I had planned on watching or came across by chance. And I have to say, most have been very 😀

But that’s because my interest in watching the feel-good ones has dwindled. I haven’t expanded enough into other genres to see what’s all out there. But, more often than not, they’re all quite similar and I end up watching the same school drama plot line, only difference being the protagonists faces and voices -_-

However, one thing you always get with anime is meaning. Even with a recycled and boring plot, it’s usually the characterisation that gets you through. Anime and far-eastern shows usually focus on the ‘bigger picture’ in the story. Through relationships, we are shown rounded characters, development taking place. I mean I love Adventure Time, but it has nothing on Studio Ghibli. Enough said.

The recent animes I’ve seen have been mostly to do with ‘man vs oppression’: sci-fi.

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‘Terror in Resonance’

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In Psycho Pass, the story is set in a future world where humanity leaves its safety and livelihood to a software system. This system dictates who is stressed, who needs medicine, who is a danger to society, who is safe to be around, who can be a teacher but not a doctor, and ultimately who lives and who dies.

The reference to choice and the subliminal force of the government that determines the paths that people should take in life, reminded me of how teenagers are in a very similar situation today. They are rinsed through the machine that is education and are spewed out to join the rest of the sheep in the world run by wolves.

A friend said something offhand to me in conversation the other day. I said something about combusting under stress to which she replied very positively and said ‘No, you need to  be strong and you’ll get through this. Live a long life. And then you and I both will grow old and see our children, even out great grandchildren go to university lol‘. I simply replied: ‘University is overrated. If Alan Sugar can get through life without going, so can our kids!

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I’m sounding very anti-uni probably because I’m a uni student myself. But my issue is with how young teens are being prepared for university. With the change in curriculum for GCSE students, I’m seeing how a niece of mine is trying to come to terms with it all. Because she’ll soon progress to college where she’ll feel like she can do anything she wants, but will most probably choose the most uni-suitable subjects she thinks will give her an advantage over other students, and then she’ll spend 2 years studying towards a goal people have told her is good. Then, once she’s been through uni, and might not have worked to ensure she performs well, she’ll come out with a debt she can’t hope to pay back in 30 years and will then look for work with only a piece of paper telling her she’s smart, but without any experience.

graduationEducation kept me busy for a long time, but I can’t say I was able to map out my life in that time or after I left. Early enough, I woke up to the realities of how assignments and deadlines are a piece of cake; It’s the world outside that’ll tear you down and dispose of you. The people in my year have mostly ended up working in areas completely opposite to what they graduated in. Which makes me laugh when I think back to how I agonised over what to study for 3 years at the age of 17, to then realise I could have chosen anything and still ended up with a job. The value of things change when you realise all this.

You wonder why you were pushed, forced even, to go to university whilst at college when really you still could have done just fine without a degree (depending on career paths). I myself chose to go to university. Had always wanted to. But even that is questionable; who put it into my head that it was good? But that’s another discussion. The same cannot be said for all other college students. Their life choices seem so limited: uni, work or apprenticeship. Everything has to be right now or nothing.

No one tells them that they can always go back to studies. That you can figure it out later when you’re older and ready. That you can explore options and invest in time and money when you have it. The possibility of these options became very clear to me whilst at uni. I met different people from all walks of life. Some were parents, grandparents, others wanted a change in career after 30 years and so on.

guidanceThere is little guidance and honesty in FE when it comes to what higher education is. As a mentor, I was told that my role was to promote HE to prospective students. I did the opposite, of course. Unless they were applying because they wanted to progress, I never pushed a single student. For me, it was going against what I knew these kids needed: actual support and guidance in whatever they chose to do. We need to help them making decisions based on being practical or honest in order to get them thinking, but not take away what autonomy they should have over their future.

 

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