University started for me 10 years ago now.  It don’t seem like so long ago, but intervening years have not been kind to me.  The first two years of my architecture degree went great and I started the final year of the bachelor’s with great hope and excitement for the future.

Little did I know what was to happen halfway in, when a personal tragedy made me suspend my studies.  A few failed restarts later, I switched universities to overcome my mental block and again a sense of anticipation filled me.  Whereas before I was shown compassion and sensitivity, I was completely unprepared for how Canterbury School of Architecture (yes those twats who re-brand themselves each year by re-naming to sound more prestigious) treated me.

So let’s fast forward to this week, a letter arrives asking me for over £3000 pounds from debt solicitors.  Their clients, Canterbury School of Arseholes, decided to pass their claim onto them since I was refusing to respond until they responded to an email I sent moons ago.  Double standards don’t you think?  they messed up my education by mishandling my enrolment, yet I must be the one that pays for a service they did not provide.

It started when they withdrew me without telling me apparently, though I responded in ample time, to say this is not what I want.  They were the ones to stop the dialogue.  Then came summer, where they asked me to rejoin and Ii obliged, as all I wanted more than anything was to complete my course after a tough, prolonged period of my life.  The beauty being I was on the old fees system where you paid just over £1000, not £3000, which new students were having to pay.  So, imagine my surprise when they turn around and tell me I must re-apply as a new student.  Again, I agree, because I want my degree, but I make a strong stance against this mistake they made and decline to pay as much as they ask when I go to enrol.

A whole semester passed and I was unable to use any of their facilities and they took so long to get back to me that I did not know if I was a student or not.  I was unable to get a student loan and being asked for council tax.  Eventually they let me enrol after much shunting over to various departments and I was given extensions to deadlines, yet the new semester was well under way and they expected me to meet those without deadlines.  I was told to submit more evidence if I wished to extend the deadlines I’d got, because the registrar could see I had a case, because I was given no answers for so long and no access. I even paid a sum, which i believed was correct for me on the old system, so as to avoid having no access again to vital facilities like the computer labs and library.  I was cornered into this by them refusing to accept my valid evidence and subsequent threat of further non-access.

I requested a meeting to discuss my deadline and get advice for my appeal.  Surprise, surprise there was no reply.

Now I have a letter from debt solicitors telling me not to contact their oh so precious client.  What gives them the right to such audacious double standards?!   It’s even worse than getting a divorce and then having to talk to the one you shared your bed with through these low, down, dirty, good-for-nothing sharks – ooops, what I meant was debt collectors.  Not that I’ve been through a divorce, but I am going through this.  in this case I feel used, I feel, dear jury, that the university seduced me with promises of a comfortable life and then, when I needed it to be there for me, it turned it’s back pretending a headache. So yeah, dear Uni, I want to say farewell, but you shall not get any divorce alimony, not while I can do something about it. Good luck with your next sucker.

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