Marie, 26, student, Ile-de-France

“The student wage is a frustration”

“I am now 26 years old and a student enrolled in master 1 (only!). The happiness I felt holding my hands my bachelor’s degree had equaled the pain of the long journey that led me there. After a year of the preparatory class which, while not brilliant, was not a fiasco, I was directed to a license in modern literature. I started working part-time at a restaurant that left me the opportunity to attend some courses and keep a small but welcome financial assistance. Except as fatigue or exhaustion due to long working hours prevented me often to attend all over my license, especially when they were scheduled at 8 am. The restoration is unique in that overtime is a constant and weekends that I should devote my duties were very intense.

“After a year of intense L2, my quota of hours worked resulted grotesque removing support which I had previously law except for APL (personalized housing). In summary: few resources, little aid, more hours worked, therefore, less aid. I decided to work full time to keep my apartment. I do not even speak outputs or available hours that are reduced to a trickle since I had neither the time nor the opportunity to take a minute to anything other than sleep or work. Of course, the satisfaction of financial independence was the only thing that allowed me to stay the course. Social isolation that flowed in, however, was more than difficult to live. How to create relationships with course mates when I could only attend one or two classes per week? How to explain to my friends that I had no time to see them despite the urge? How to justify to the sometimes rather hermetic teachers that I had access to any of the courses they gave because I did not have the necessary contacts?

“The most complicated to manage feeling when you fall into the spiral of student wage is frustration. Frustration because you know that you are the most of your abilities or your work or your studies, much less in your social life. It’s all about choice, you say. That is true. But what choice? The choice, I did by resigning from my job in order to finally pass the exams of my third L3. Choices that led me to a student loan without which I would have had neither the time nor the means to study.

“Six years later, I do not regret this choice despite the ongoing repayment of that loan should not have, in a perfect world appear as the only option for the success of my studies. After five years of struggling and I graduated after two years of living abroad, I decided to continue this chaotic course in master, always employed. Today I resigned again what is my twelfth job in ten years, for the same reasons that have always pushed me to hold on to this exhausting life, and prevent me from enjoying my studies and my life in general: focus on my studies full-time. ”

Kim, 21, student, Paris

“They said,” The future is not in France “”

“I chose the long studies, alone in the evenings with the civil code while others went out to the party, the panic in the partial approach, the search graduation, little bit of saving paper. Pages and pages read, assimilated, learned, worked, regurgitated. The competition, to robotize, to forget the sense of reality. By dint of repeating that in this beauty contest, you have to stand out, get noticed, go selections, be the best, accumulating degrees, speak several languages for the chance to have a job that pleases us both either little or simply living. The pressure to find his way, soon find its place in a society that leaves less and less.

“It took time to understand that no one would wait at the exit with all hot jobs, smiles, and cookies. It took time to understand that a bac + 5 is no longer enough. How to find an internship without contact, even unpaid, or a student job for the summer, I was going to beat me. I went to study abroad, aware that the experience and knowledge of languages would open doors for me. I distributed compotes at bus stops, I saw my friends work in shops, fast food or alongside their studies plants; tired, frustrated sometimes having to miss classes. I saw, in the first year, a teacher split his hand the auditorium of 500 people in three, and that at the end, it would still more than a third or less. I saw young graduates fit rather well, others chain unpaid internships, splashing in the ocean that represents the transient blurring between academia working life. I have seen young lawyers reach a minimum wage after seven years of study. And then I heard.

“On my first day of internship in a law firm, anxious, excited and proud, so proud of the top of my 19 years, I heard:” Do not become a lawyer. ” That period is difficult, requiring the labor market, even with several degrees. That future is not in France. I heard that today, work is scarce, fleeing: everyone wants it, few offer it. Heard that shot redundancy and prevalence of corporate agreements, we mutilated the labor code. Heard contempt that young people, students, high school students, would do better to go review their exams to hope to find a job one day, rather than going out demonstrating in the streets against the bill work. I continue, I believe it. Conscious of being part of the privileged, have benefited from free education quality. a career was taught sometimes a sacrifice, always a force. Pride. Waking up, feel useful. Love what you do. ”