Uni students see a bleak future ahead

Is there such a thing as a future without hope? Tough question, but the fact is that the overwhelming majority of young Greek university students feel an enormous amount of pressure and insecurity regarding their prospects because of the economic crisis, and nearly one in 10 says that emigrating may be their last and only option.

A study conducted during the second semester of the academic year that just ended at the Aristostle University of Thessaloniki by education Professor Dr Elsi Doliopoulou found that 98.6 percent of students believe that the crisis will have a profound impact on every aspect of their futures, and especially on their careers.

The most impressive, and depressing, finding was that 96.5 percent said that the crisis has already had a profound influence on their lives today.

Specifically, the main cause of uncertainty among the students surveyed arises from the sluggish job market, with 36.6 percent saying that they are worried they won?t be able to find work once they graduate. Another 31.9 percent responded that they believe that if they do manage to find work, their salaries will be insufficient to allow them to become financially independent from their families and be able to afford a home and starting a family of their own.

Others (17.5 percent) said that the economic crisis will affect their academic studies due to the resulting stress that it creates.

On the other hand, 8.6 percent of respondents declared their intention to leave Greece once they finish university and look for work abroad.

As far as their families are concerned, 89.7 percent said the crisis is having an impact on the household, citing examples such as parents being forced to sell property, move to more affordable housing or even move abroad as their income drops further. Another 6.6 percent mentioned signs of tension arising within their homes as a result of the crisis and the resulting drop in living standards.

On the impact of the crisis on students? day-to-day lives, the survey, which has been published in an education periodical, found that 49.4 percent of students had cut back significantly on personal spending and activities such as going out, traveling, buying clothes, going to the hairdresser or other activities like learning foreign languages, playing sports or exercising at a private gym.

A small percentage of 6.9 said that they had cut back on basics such as food, medical care and heating in order to make ends meet, or had moved back in with their parents or to more affordable housing.

Doliopoulou was pessimistic about the findings of her survey, saying that the impact of the crisis is hard on young people, ?who are those who could actively contribute to the economic turnaround of the country.?