Satire, Student Life

The millennial run

Here’s page from the diary of the Eternally Confused Student:

Dear Diary,

What can I say? Life is one big millennial run which I am participating in while running on a treadmill. I seem to be running but do not appear to be progressing beyond a point. Then there is the eternal job hunt, which appears to be more difficult than ever.

Then there’s the cold, the bitter Toronto cold which makes my mood fall and my bones bitter. And then there’s the mountain of work piled up ahead of me, which doesn’t seem to shrink.

In these turbulent waters, I wonder what I should do?

Yours truly,

The Eternally Confused Student

If that sounds like you, dear reader, then you are among the legions of students who are to graduate this summer. Many of you may have debt to start repaying upon graduation some of you may just want to take the year off and travel to Peru. As I approach my own graduation, here are some resources I’d like to share with you.

Here’s a list for those of you who want to use your time after graduation to become financially literate, learn how to be better at college, travel across the globe or learn to cook.

For those of you who want to learn more about financial literacy, here are my three favourite personal finance blogs.

  1. SquawkFox
  2. MapleMoney
  3. Jessica Moorhouse

For those of you who want to learn to cook, the Food Network is a great place to start.

If you want to be better at college, try following Thomas Frank and check out the College Info Geek website.

And if you want to start travelling, or share your travel stories, check out the The Matador Network.


 Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

Comment, Student Life

College Diaries#2: The knowledge that Courses through your veins

As June approaches, many new graduates will descend on the job market across the world which begs the question “What is a bachelor’s degree worth?”.

The answer seems to be that different college majors have different values, in terms of their monetary payoff. Salary website reports that the majors with the highest earning potential are all related to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. For example, a degree in petroleum engineering would give a graduate a starting salary of 94,600$ followed by a degree in actuarial mathematics and in actuarial science providing an immediate return of 56,400$ and 61,200$ respectively.

So where does this leave non-STEM, liberal arts majors?

Employment website reports that completing any form of university education is still the best way to succeed financially in Canada although it concedes that certain majors are in higher demand in the job market than others.  A bachelor’s degree holder earns 30% more than an individual without any degree while a master’s degree or PhD holder can increase their earnings by an additional 15%.  Individuals with degrees professional degrees like commerce, nursing an engineering have a higher earning premium than those in the social sciences, life sciences and humanities. Therefore, some kind of degree is better than no degree at all.

A liberal arts degree, however, provides a different set of benefits, some of which may helpful in a competitive job market. Writing for the Globe & Mail, Scott Stirret observes that the benefit of studying a popularly reviled humanities subject can give one considerable intercultural and communication skills which can be very useful in a rapidly evolving, global work environment. He also suggests that it is the interest of all types of companies to hire individuals from different academic backgrounds, challenging the myth that organizations only hire one type of candidate.  In his book In Defense of a Liberal Education, which I had the pleasure of reading, Fareed Zakaria notes that a liberal arts education gives an individual the ability to keep learning which is a valuable skill to have in a dynamic work environment where the type of skills one needs to remain competitive keeps changing.

Conventionally high earning majors such as computer science can provide graduates with immediate financial certainty and professional clarity which is decidedly harder for liberal arts graduates to achieve. That does not mean, however, that all the non-STEM graduates are about to go extinct. Their degree teaches them how to adapt to different circumstances, giving them a freedom of a different kind.


Comment, Film Review

Film Review: Bareilly ki barfi

A simple love story told from a fresh perspective is one way to describe Ashwini Iyer Tiwari’s Bareilly ki barfi. Set in small town U.P the story follows three young people in an unexpected, comical love triangle.

I don’t want to the ruin the film for you by giving away any spoilers – it’s that good so you should definitely watch it. I’m going to focus on the narrative style, the music and cast instead.

The film is narrated by Javed Akhtar who provides witty commentary as he tells the story of Chirag (Ayushman Khurana) , a young publisher who moonlights as an occasional, lovelorn writer. The story focuses on the feisty Bitty (Kriti Sanon) in the fisrt half and on Chirag in the second. For example, in the beginning the story focuses on the restrictions placed on Bitty because she is expected to live in a conventional small-town Indian girl, something she deeply resents. The film then shifts focus to Chirag’s romantic interest and eventual pursuit of Bitty. Although some reviewers might see this as a weakness I think this allows viewers to experience a range of perspectives and emotions which is one of the film’s strengths.

The music is very average with no memorable tunes, which I found disappointing.

The cast, on the other hand, is brilliant. Ayushman Khurana and Kriti Sanon do well as the two leads but the man who steals the show is Rajkumar Rao. His sometimes-timid-sometimes-salty act is delightful. The parents (Pankaj Tripathi and Seema Pahwa) are paired very well as the liberal, fond father and the judgmental, conservative mother. Pankaj Tripathi’s perfomance, however, stays with you- his monologue which is addressed to a fan is particularly hilarious.

I would give the film four out of five stars.