student life

The dark side of student living

Sex. It’s one of the topics that students are pretty well known for. However, more recently students and sex are throwing up some pretty shocking and horrifying stories. Now, I’m not talking about your average one night stand after a night out. I’m talking about strip clubs, escorting, and even prostitution. These are the shocking lengths that many students in the UK are being forced to take in order to afford basic living costs while at university. 

For many months now, there have been articles cropping up on the internet stating that more and more students are turning to the sex trade to be able to earn enough money to afford the everyday living costs that university brings. Unfortunately, and shockingly, these issues appear to have slipped through the net, and this is due to the accepting nature of the promiscuous reputation that students in the UK hold.

However, whether or not student’s promiscuous reputation is true or false, the accepted notion of promiscuity is sugar coating and casting a shadow of secrecy over the real damaging, and detrimental issue; that students feel so isolated and alone that they have no other option than to turn to the sex trade in order to survive at university. 

Official Statistics

Swansea University research shows that 1 in just 20 students have turned to the sex industry whilst they studied for their degree. The Big Lottery Fund’s research shows that out of 6,750 students that were interviewed, a shocking 22 per cent of those had considered turning to the industry to fund their education, with 56 per cent of that 22 per cent stating that it was in order to afford basic living costs. 

With George Osborne’s budget announcing that maintenance loans are due to be scrapped in September 2016, these statistics are only going to increase. While the sex industry is widely acknowledged and accepted in society, it is still largely stigmatized, and with more students turning to it and keeping their involvement secret in fear of being judged, students are putting themselves in potentially dangerous positions. These extreme and potentially dangerous situations that students are forced to put themselves in reinstates how the student body of today is at the bottom of the pile regarding safety, stability and respect from those in charge. 

Where’s our respect?

Having spent the last 3 years of my life studying in a comfortable, safe, university environment, there is nothing more unsettling than knowing that other people have had no other choice than to take to the sex industry to fund their basic living requirements. Ever since the increase in tuition fees in 2012, students have been at the bottom of the pile for respect and priority, and the blatant ignorance of student’s welfare only seems to be getting worse.

It’s difficult to put into words the outrage that’s sparked from the knowledge that while those in power sleep soundly at night, there are students everywhere putting themselves in serious danger in order to be able to eat the next day. It’s time that we stopped sugar coating the terrifying and shocking truth by putting it down to the ‘reputation’ of students, and we started listening and attempting to improve the lives of the future generations. 

What do you think? What can be done to improve the welfare for the next generation of students? Have your say in the comments section below.