# A mental health crisis among UK university students?

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It seems that more university students than ever in the UK are dropping out or committing suicide, due to stress they can't handle.

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“We just can’t cope with essay deadlines, and tests stress us out, moan ‘snowflake’ students,” read a headline in the Daily Mail in November 2017.

Why is it after all of these years that these people can't handle it any more?

Is it the parents, the schools or just the students themselves?

I have no answer to that.

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I think it has to do with a generation of helicopter parenting, and a school system that assures every kid that he/she is brilliant.

When they get to college, and find it isn't true, and don't have mommy and daddy hovering over them any more, many can't cope. I blame their upbringing, both at home and in school.

They may not be satisfied with notes. College exams are not easy.

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Yes, they may not be satisfied, for reasons I gave to Rooster above.

I would guess the situation is different in Serbia, where I imagine the upbringing of children is more strict than in the UK or the US.

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Hi Tink,

I don't think there is a single really helpful answer to this, but still very important to ask the question. I actually began looking hard at these kinds of social issues a few years back now, and it was right here on SOLVED in conversation with you, Marianne and Rooster plus Kninjanin and a few others.

Somewhere around the bottom line is something called commodification, and our society is apparently doing this to everything including human beings; our monetary worth is the only criterion of meaning or success.

And human hearts just shrivel.

So I read only about half of the interesting article, then saved it to read later...but here is something I lifted, something which I believe needs to be considered for your question:

"In the drive to make universities profitable, there is a fundamental confusion about what they are for. As a result, there has been a shift from prizing learning as an end in itself to equipping graduates for the job market..."

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Yes, commodification might have something to do with it at most normal colleges.

But that wouldn't explain what happened at Evergreen State College.

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Tink, as an aside, are you familiar with Benjamin Boyce? He is an Evergreen alumnus, and his YouTube posts were helpful to me during and after the Evergreen upheaval. Well, in following your link I learned that Boyce is now assembling a whole series documenting the Evergreen brouhaha, I watched one out of the 15 segments he has posted to date.

Anyway, back to your comment, I would bet you agree that Evergreen IS an example of an institution of higher learning getting co-opted away from prizing learning as an end in itself.

As one outcome of our conversations which ended when my computer crashed a year ago, I learned this abasement of purpose is happening in colleges/universities across the nation...I don't recall, did we discuss that, before I left?

I listened to Bret Weinstein for a while in 2017-2018, I admired him...and learned about something called the Intellectual Dark Web. It was discussed on the Rubin Report; the Intellectual Dark Web is somewhat replacing the universities, in that more and more, it is a cyber-place where conservatives and liberals meet up for their traditional dialogue/dialectic.

And back to your link, yes I would definitely agree that closing down Evergreen is preferable to its current direction. But I wish rather they could just replace President George Bridges with someone more aligned with "prizing learning as an end in itself."

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"Tink, as an aside, are you familiar with Benjamin Boyce?"

I wasn't, until I saw one or two of his clips linked to the link I posted above. He makes a lot of sense.

"Anyway, back to your comment, I would bet you agree that Evergreen IS an example of an institution of higher learning getting co-opted away from prizing learning as an end in itself."

Well, I sort of agree with that, but it seems to me that it went in a different direction at ESC. Instead of emphasizing job skills (commodification), ESC permitted its students to get by with very little study at all. No major, no grades, not even a prescribed sequence of courses, just whatever the student wanted to take, so on the surface, it would seem that the primary motivation would be love of learning, But of course, at least for the rioters, that was not the motivation, nor, I suspect, was it for most of the students there.

"...I learned this abasement of purpose is happening in colleges/universities across the nation...I don't recall, did we discuss that, before I left?"

Yes, I think we did.

"But I wish rather they could just replace President George Bridges with someone more aligned with "prizing learning as an end in itself.""

Yes, after the debacle he presided over, he certainly should have resigned or been fired.

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Hmmm...I will just add that I am uncertain about your objection to the 'very little study at all.' I don't have first-hand experience there, I never attended any Evergreen courses. But Bret Weinstein, who I listened to closely for a while and came to respect, he loved the Evergreen protocols, used them to teach people how to think rather than what to think.

Except that other universities have also failed so badly, I would wonder if the radical new structure was responsible for that huge collapse, some kind of built-in flaw. But Weinstein was forced out, and the remaining professors (go-along, get-along for the sake of the job) they don't have the courage he did, to call out those flaws.

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Well, I think Weinstein was the exception rather than the rule. And I think ESC's collapse was due to its being too permissive and tolerant of disruptive nonsense.

Yes, other colleges have also failed, but for different reasons, as I pointed out above.  My guess about ESC  (and it's only a guess, since I didn't take any classes there either), is that a college that accepts 97% of its applicants and has a 70% retention rate can't be terribly demanding for its average student, granting that there would be exceptions if they took a course with Weinstein or other faculty like him.

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Yes it is possible ESC is just a failed experiment. But the campus is beautiful, I am only 30 miles from there, it was vibrant and alive with learning when I was participating in activities there early 1990's...I regret all that happened, still tend to place blame on Pres. Bridges...and whatever process got him installed as the administrator.

I just checked your link again, about the "Evergreen College grad who discovered she was more likely to be hired if she removed the degree from her resume, and who wanted to explore a class action lawsuit against the college..."...it's disgusting, discouraging.

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Here is a remarkable statistic (can it be right?) about ESC:

Evergreen alumni go on to earn a starting salary of $24,900. https://www.niche.com/colleges/the-evergreen-state-college/ ago by +1 You are almost as skilled as Marianne with your research! But I could not help but notice...it is better for the people who graduated six years ago, before all the donnybrooking...also, maybe we have to wonder if those statistics have been, well, doctored to make them look better. Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation$33,200/ year
National
$33,028 Graduation Rate 57% 49% Employed 2 Years After Graduation 82% 83% ago Well, I could never match Marianne's coming up with half a dozen or more links relevant to a discussion. Regarding the$33,200 figure you found, relative to the $24,900 of my link, they don't seem to be quite the same thing. The former figure is for 6 years after graduation, whereas the latter is (presumably?) immediately after graduation. Also, the latter statistic doesn't say whether it's the mean or the median salary. Finally the 6-year statistic implies an 18% unemployment rate (which seems awfully high, unless they mean unemployment in the graduates' area of study). They don't don't say what the unemployment rate is immediately after graduation, but it probably is higher at that time, which would pull the average or median salary down. But you may well be right... the figures may have been doctored in order to look better, although in any case, these mean/average salaries are not far above minimum-wage levels. ago by +1 Tink, I looked again at your link, and I think I was trying to extract information that isn't really there...I thought maybe you could say that since the ESC graduate earnings 2 yrs. after graduation were relatively lower, compared to the national average, than 6 years after -- that shows the impact of the SJW fiasco. But the difference is too small to presume significance. And the doctoring of statistics might include that they found a way to exclude those people who find they do better job-hunting to leave ESC off the resume altogether. Median Earnings 2 Years After Graduation$24,900/ year
National
$26,913 Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation$33,200/ year
National
$33,028 ago +1 Yes, it's really hard to say what these numbers may mean. One suspicious aspect is that an increase in median salary from$24.9K after 2 years to \$33.2K after 6 years, represents a raise of about 7.5% per year, which seems rather on the high side.

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Just to let you know I saw this, Other Tink, yes...bottom line I doubt any bookkeeping will convince anyone ESC is doing okay.

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Hi Virginia!

I'm so glad to see you again.   Missed you a lot when you left Blurtit.

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Hi Jan Haskell! Very gracious of you...yes Blurt was wonderful site, for a while. I see you are rather new here on Solved, it's small but I hope it works out for you, you were one of the delightful folks on Blurt!