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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

'Aftershock malaise' curbs students' social lives, plans

'Aftershock malaise' curbs students' social lives, plans

Last updated 05:00 14/04/2011
Christchurch students suffering "aftershock malaise" are defying their hard-partying image, a university lecturer says.

A survey of 684 Canterbury tertiary students this month showed 67 per cent have had their social life disrupted by the earthquakes.

Thirty-one per cent went out less because there were fewer places open, 8 per cent did not feel like going out, and 8 per cent had less money, no transport or they or their friends had moved.

Lincoln University marketing lecturer Charley Lamb, whose department conducted the survey, said the quake had changed student routines.

"You think students are pretty much party animals, but some are saying, `I just don't feel like going out'," he said.

"I think there's an aftershock malaise and it's hard to get back into your normal routine. If the place where you normally go and meet your mates isn't open ..."

A lack of money and concern about tall buildings were other reasons cited, Lamb said.

Layton Ward, a Canterbury University law student, said he had been going out less because there was "just nowhere to go".

Many students preferred to socialise at home or were forced to because money was tight, he said.

"Jobs have gone down the drain and part-time jobs are not that easy to find any more."

Canterbury student Jessie McCallum said her group of friends socialised more at house parties after the quake.

"I think it's been a lot more social this way because you find yourself talking a lot more ... You can sit down and have a good yarn to someone."

Twenty-five per cent of respondents said the quake would affect the likelihood of them staying in Christchurch after their studies. The risk of further quakes, safety, fewer jobs, reduced social activities, the city becoming less appealing, and not wanting to be in Christchurch during rebuilding were among their reasons.

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