My university, like any other large university, sprawls. It has multiple campuses in different areas of the same town, multiple student residential areas, and most of all, private houses rented out to students. So you get an absolutely massive area where students and locals alike both live.
Students and locals do not get along. 'Locals' are generally families. They live with kids, have salaries, cars, jobs, etc. They live in these houses permanently, and thus keep them clean and tidy. Students on the other hand are not permanent residents. They live in a house for maybe three years max, and theyre arent here to work and make a living. Theyre here to par-tay. So, theyre generally messy, loud, smelly and noisy. Thus, friction arises.
I do not live in a student area. I live on the other side of campus, away from the densely student-populated areas. Oh, theres a few students around, but theyre quite scattered, and most of them are post-grads.
I am not noisy, messy or smelly. I don't have problems with my neighbours. Everything is gravy with me. However, I do live in an area with lots and lots of old people. Pensioners, retired ppl, etc. Just up the road theyre building this massive old-folks home. Its basically an oldies area. Which is cool by me, but I wonder if I'm cool by them? I walk to campus (15 minutes) and occasionally I pass some senior citizens, and very often they look scared, confused, or in a hurry. They live in what is fast becoming a student town - a city maybe, population 200,000, where at least a quarter of that population I'd say are either students, or lecturers and university staff. Us students, generally speaking we're a wild bunch, with radical ideas. We're used to speed and activity and lots and lots of beer and hooliganism (not me, Im proper, lol). These old people, I wonder what goes thru their heads when they pass by us. Its no longer a world they recognise. Attitudes are different, sensibilities are different, morality is different, technology, the value or currency, everything is completely different than it was fifty years ago.
Do they feel confused? Helpless? Lost? Depressed that everythings gone down the crapper, what? I'd love to know really, and my heart goes out to them. This, probably more than anything else, is what makes me fear aging. Dorian Gray was afraid for his looks, I'm afraid for my understanding.
Posted by illogicist at 10:13 AM