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Friday, December 2, 2022
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MAN ATTENDS UNI IN LATE 30s, FACES ELITISM FROM YOUNGER STUDENTS

not the first will not be the last

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grew up poor, started working part-time since 14, many decisions made in life are always about which is cheaper, bring more money home to pay bills, which is needed

decided to plunge into uni for bachelor’s in my late 30s and I stick out like a sore thumb in y2 and will likely continue sticking out until y3 and graduation

now reaching my 40s, I don’t understand much of what classmates say

i am not able to speak up for class participation and no one in my entire y1, lecturer, tutor, classmates, administration office staff, ever had to patience to wait for me to think through my thoughts to ask questions or participate in any way

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as with many other adults, I need to help out financially at home and I am earning a living with part time work, rushing from work to school and school to work, burning my weekends with job too

but not eligible for financial aid because my parent rents out one of our rooms and works in a cashiering job which nicely reaches the cut-off for financial aid

I had to learn how to use the laptop, spend money to buy a laptop that works with the software needed, and spend money to upgrade my internet during covid university (512 just don’t cut it for live lectures that lecturers refuse to record)

now there’s money for ‘enrichment’ and lost opportunity financial cost because of compulsory face-to-face briefings for IA and all that

the hardest has been the elitism within

I don’t know whether it’s my course or is there a problem with me but classmates easily say let’s go to the cafe for lunch, buy bubble tea, meet for 4h project meetings that are mostly silent because no one bothers to come prepare

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while in my head I’m just thinking how much all these are going to cost me – and that project meeting habits that everyone seems to have? I lose working hours (I am paid by the hour so the travelling time and project discussion time in total adds up to 1 month’s electricity bill per project meeting easily)

I know I’m not high class, and I have given up trying to fit into the high-class standards since y1 week 3. yet, it hurts, because people mark you down in group appraisal, tutors say I don’t speak standard English and at the same time insist that as a nus student they have every right to judge and lecture as us pampered students who don’t know the sufferings of the poor, and classmates will not spend time understanding me because my input is always assumed to be of a lower quality too

they say in sg you study then got better future

I beg to differ

in sg if you can cope with the elitism you study got better future, if you can’t it crushes your soul even more

if you can afford u as a lower class person, avoid nus

at least you wont be treated like dirt by all the elitist in nus

does any real lower-class student out there have any real constructive suggestion to how to survive the next 3 years? I cannot change school and course, too much sunken cost.

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