Always look on the bright side of strife

Overall, it’s been a pretty bleak week or two in British politics. First, the long-awaited Browne review told us fees could rise by thousands of pounds if the cap was to be lifted and that graduates like us who benefit more out of university will have to pay more towards it. The Defence review of last week also informed us of drastic cuts to the armed forces which could put Britain’s security at risk.

As of last Wednesday’s Comprehensive Spending Review, we have found out that the government will support these rising fees and slash university funding by 40 per cent. It’s all pretty bleak – not really something I want to turn on the TV and listen to before a 9am lecture.

But in these hard times of economic recession, cuts and pay freezes, let’s look on the bright side. It’s tiring listening to the constant talk of double dip recessions, cuts and economic hardship, isn’t it? So we’re going to be in debt for longer, going to have to pay more, cut down on certain luxuries. But we’ve got many things to learn from this recession.

And there’s the first benefit – most of us know more about the world’s economic situation than we did before. This will inevitably make us more financially sensible and aware of what is going on around us in the big wide world. The recession reminds us of the importance of balancing the books and not spending more than we can afford. It teaches us lessons for the future and shows us the importance of being careful with money.

In recent years, there has been high levels of consumerism in the UK and the recession might also impact on this. The demand for material goods could be eradicated.

Recognising other important aspects of our lives such as our relationships, our jobs and our quality of life – items which are commonly overlooked – often emerge as more important than ‘things’. People are forced to re-evaluate what they want and appreciate what they do have.
Furthermore, times where people stop spending and start saving mean that businesses have to do more to get us to spend. Whether that be through lowering of prices, improving the service they offer or generally increasing the quality of a product, how can we complain at companies working harder to deliver better goods to us? It makes businesses become more competitive when selling their products to us, improving their own efficiency and productivity, and means we get a better deal.

But the fundamental benefit of times of economic recession is that it causes us to think outside the box. The ‘unknown’ forced us into a world where we had to consider what was happening, what might happen and try and predict what would happen in the future in a different way. It has brought about new ideas and caused people to think in alternative ways, just like this article intended to do!

While the problems and consequences of the past are still fresh in our minds, the recession has given us the opportunity to use knowledge in order to generate change. It encourages creativity and pushes our intellectual boundaries that otherwise might never have been tested.


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