While studying A-Level English Literature, I noticed something quite important about the way that our society has changed over time. Although the era of afternoon tea and ‘taking a turn about the castle grounds’ appears to have vanished completely (well, for most of us!), what we have in its place, to me, is much more valuable…
Old Fashioned and Outdated
Take Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice as an example: Mr Darcy looks down on the beautiful Elizabeth Bennett and her family simply because of their differences in terms of the firmly-embedded class system. It seems that no matter what Lizzie does, or how she acts, the simple fact that her family have less money and a lower societal position is an ever-present issue.
In the modern day, we rarely see snooty acts like this anymore. We befriend who we wish, we marry who we want, and we are rarely question people’s backgrounds because, well, what does it matter? So, what baffles me is why there is still a noticeable scale of class expectations, when it comes to our higher education.
Recently, elite universities in England have been told to double the number of poor students they admit in the hope that the figure of 22,000 teenagers from poor families who went to university in 2011 will almost double within the next five years.
It’s quite shocking that it’s taken this long for something of this kind to receive such recognition, and I can’t help but feel it’s a very old fashioned and outdated stance to presume only the rich, who come from the most ‘elite’ areas of this country, will go to university and get themselves a worthy career.
I know for sure that there are people my own age that attended the highest rate private schools in their local area, whose rich parents own the grandest houses and the flashiest cars, and who holiday abroad twice a year that don’t work half as hard as I do – just for the record, I’ll take my little family house in Rotherham and a trip to Skeg-Vegas over all that any day!
The way I see it, if you have your goals set and you have the courage to pursue them and the determination to see them through, what the hell does it matter where you started out. We’re all human, and we’re all very capable of achieving anything. As one of my favourite quotes states:
“It doesn’t matter where you’re from; it matters only where you want to go” – Gene Simmons