Stephen’s post on young people’s apathy has got me thinking and brought back some freshman memories from my first year at UCD.
I agree with him that being a bit too comfortable has a lot to do with why so many young people are so apathetic – a lot of students aren’t as hard up or faced with the same difficult issues as they used to be, and this in turn leads to a general laziness and disinterest in politics of any kind – be it at student, local or national level.
But that doesn’t explain all of it. I remember this one time (not at band camp), when I was in first year and had yet to get involved with the college paper or the students’ union, some friends and I were sitting in the Arts block having some tea and bit of a moan about money. A lot of us came from single parent households, worked way too many hours a week in minimum wage jobs, some were on grants, and all of us were struggling.
Just then, mid-moan, a nice SU guy came up to us and handed us a leaflet about a grant-related protest that was taking place. We all agreed with the argument that the protest was trying to get across, and we all nodded enthusiastically as he explained how necessary it was to show our dissatisfaction with the way things were being done.
But come marching time, did any of us show up? Nope.
I still can’t figure out why, and it still bugs me today.
Pic above: Not, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, protesting students, but the closest thing I had: happy, St Paddy’s Day revellers.