“Students nowadays, they’re all self-obsessed; all they care about are selfies, and iphones”. Such a remark is annoyingly common from my dad, an avid consumer of questionable outlets of the mass media, which often portrays students as neurotic, feckless drunks. So if this is then the case, surely the behaviour of new students, and existing ones, must reach fever pitch when the new semester rolls around.
Fortunately for us, a UK company has started to offer incoming students, flush with cash and eager to make an extravagant entrance, a “VIP arrival service”, for which you can get a helicopter to drop you off at halls for a mere £20,000.
For those of you worrying that your residence does not have its own helipad, runway or harbour, worry not, as there is also a range of luxury cars available, and for the more genteel among us, a horse and carriage. Now anyone can understand that this is a marketing ploy plain and simple, even if it does cater for a very niche market. The company is simply offering a service it will make a profit on, in branching out from their usual business of overseas luggage shipping. However, a problem arises when stories like these are blown out of proportion and fuel the negative perceptions previously mentioned.
“Consult the tabloids and order a helicopter if you only care about fitting in”
Media stories perpetuate the idea that our generation are consumption-driven and fame-hungry. Drunken holiday antics and smashed Footlockers, following the London riots, are commonly mentioned. This story is just more evidence to add to the pile. Has being ostentatiously rich become cool? No it has not, and it never will. While elements of UK student culture have undoubtedly changed from my dad’s generation, we, the student body, have most certainly not become one amorphous, wearing blob.
So as you begin this year, or return for another, smartphone in hand, think about how you want to portray yourself to those around you. Consult the tabloids and order a helicopter if you only care about fitting in, being liked by one and all and appealing to the norm, although shockingly a ‘norm’ does not exist. Your time at university is about being confident enough to seek like-minded people who want to change perceptions and challenge conventions.