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NextGen Magazine


Dear Father: Canst Thou Spare a Ha'penny Whilst I Study at University?

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Oct 15, 2015
BrokeStudentWhile a lot of things about university life have changed, students being broke and reaching out to their parents for money is, apparently, not one of them. An article in the Medievalist shows that, even in ye olde times, students studying away from home have been leaning on their parents for financial support. The complaints, too, are familiar ones: everything's really expensive here, I don't have enough money for school supplies, renting a room is pretty costly, and how can you expect me to study if I'm hungry? One particular student from 1220 writes: "Wherefore I respectfully beg your paternity that by the promptings of divine pity you may assist me, so that I may be able to complete what I have well begun. For you must know that without Ceres and Bacchus Apollo grows cold." 

And so, while college-bound children asking for money may certainly be annoying, it is far from new. Those who would talk of the laziness and selfishness of this most recent generation may perhaps be interested in what Socrates, who lived even further in the past than these medieval students, had to say about the youth of his own era: 

“The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”