Unforgivably cool

July 23, 2004

Alan Clements' article highlights examples of the "boorishness, indifference, arrogance and laziness" where a culture of "coolness" prevails within the student body (Professional, July 16). As a "non-traditional" student, I was "fiercely proud" of my second chance and was astonished by the attitude of many students.

Rather than being shocked by the incidents he describes, Clements' article was a stark reminder of my three years as an undergraduate. I set about my course with a work ethic instilled in me over two decades of employment - 37 hours' attendance, punctuality, complete all tasks within the allotted time and recognise the status and experience of those in authority. But these practices marked me out as an outsider, an oddity in a sea of "hipness". Although I recognise and understand the freedoms offered to a 19-year-old attending university, I find it unforgivable that some students consider making an effort, and respecting the significance of a thorough (and expensive) education, "uncool".

Joseph Campbell
Northumbria University

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