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Does ‘life Liberty And The Pursuit Of Happiness’ Exist In The Reality Of The United States? The Harsh Reality Of The American Dream
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Does ‘life Liberty And the Pursuit Of Happiness’ Exist In the Reality Of the United States? The Harsh Reality Of the American Dream

The United Kingdom, the nation of great riches. The United States, the land of the free and of the American Dream. Really?

I spent four long and tenuous months on a student exchange programme in the city of Greensboro in North Carolina, the heart of the Southern States of America. My fellow Londoners, I can self-assuredly say that the grass is NOT greener on the other side of the pond! When I started the semester on January 9th, I met a multitude of young and excited freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors. However, as the semester progressed, students where dropping out of college like one gigantic sack of hot potatoes. The tuition fees were too high and the cost of living far too unbearable. I daresay a student in the U.K would never have to face such an ordeal. Amongst those seniors that stuck it out until the end, the thought of having to repay their student loans a mere six months after graduation must have clung on to them like grim death. I have warily begun to question the reality of one’s supposed American right of ‘life liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ as well as the truth about the American Dream.

It was Nikita Khrushchev former leader of the Soviet Union that said ‘what sort of communism is it that cannot provide sausage?’ Thus I pose the same question to the leaders of the United States. What sort of an American Dream is it that cannot provide a just education system for its future generation? How is one able to pursue happiness without the necessary means? Is the American Dream a faux?

When a student-athlete collapses in the middle of a basketball game and the reason of his collapse and trip to hospital is hypo-glycaemia, in simpler terms lack of food, you know that American society cannot even afford its ‘sausage.’ The tension in that gym when Greensboro College Assist Bxxxk Mxxxxxn did not open his eyes for seven whole minutes, which went by slower than a rain cloud reaching a desert, was something I will remember for the rest of my life. There is an excruciating pain that I feel in my heart when I see one too many of my fellow students splashing out their dosh, or should I say student loan, on party holidays with friends to Ibiza, Louis Vuitton and Gucci belts and buying cars and I remember that moment in the gym. I personally feel that students in England have a much simpler life, financially. The welfare system that was introduced to us really is great. But I think that it is flawed. I recall a song I heard in a club during my first year at University “when student loan drops, buy out the bar.” And trust me, they really do this! I love London, and everything this city has to offer me, but let’s reevaluate some things! In my opinion, the English education system does not teach us how to grow up earning and about the imperative importance of the value of money. Instead we receive a fat-load of student loan from a flawed system, student-finance England and we do not have to pay it back until we are earning a minimum of £15,000 per annum. Where is the incentive in that? On the Other hand, the American education system is perhaps the opposite. Students are placed in tight predicaments that no student in England ever has to imagine. How are they supposed to pursue a life of liberty, of pursing happiness if they’re faced with so many obstacles from the onset of their college lives?

The United Kingdom is a nation of great riches. But how rich is its’ future generations minds. And the American Dream, is it true to say that it really exists?

Michelle Besa.


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