Let’s talk about growing up
I thought I’d write about something a little different today, it’s a bit more personal, but I hope my thoughts help other people who might be in a similar kind of situation.
It is commonplace now for a lot of teenagers in the UK to go to university, after a-levels, college, or sixth form. You spend three or four years of your life working towards a degree, whilst going out and experiencing your first taste of the “real world”, without the routine of school, often in a brand new city or part of the country. Whilst the whole experience is awesome, and the best four years ever for me, it’s not exactly the real, nitty gritty world! Being a graduate isn’t easy. In fact, there are many articles out there where “graduate blues” are discussed. People don’t really tell you that when you’re 17 and applying to university. But, it’s something we all have to go through. Here’s my story at the moment and why I’m actually okay with where my life is right now.
My year as a Vice-President took its toll on my mental health, so I decided to allow myself a summer to take some time off, and learn to drive. I passed my driving test in October, yay! So, what to do next? Well, I’m working in a pub. It’s good money for the job I do and I’m okay with it at the moment – please read my next blog for more of my thoughts on working in hospitality after graduation!
But I want to “grow up”. I want to get on the career ladder, the property ladder, and all those other grown up ladders politicians and teachers talk about. I only apply to jobs if I can really visualise myself doing that job, and if that job is in a city I want to live in (to be specific, Hull, East Yorkshire). I’m also against “graduate schemes”. Not for me; I need a job with outcomes and challenges that can’t be found in graduate factories. That’s my opinion, and I welcome comments from anyone who doesn’t agree with me!
My attitude can be interpreted as me not trying hard enough, however, at the end of the day, I’m not unemployed, and I’m not skint. But my choice does get me down sometimes. I get too emotionally invested in the jobs I apply for, and get disappointed, occasionally upset, if I don’t get anything from my applications.
But I’m not the only one. Hundreds of graduates across the country are sat at home, on Job Seekers Allowance, without getting anything from hundreds of applications. Some of those graduates are my friends, and I hate seeing them go through this. It’s demoralising and draining. Constant rejection will bring a person down; even the strongest people can’t take rejection after rejection. Then there are those like me, who, immediately after university, spend time working in pubs, cafés, coffee shops and in retail. Comfortable jobs that pay the bills, but can’t pay off our £20k+ student debt and, whilst they have their own challenges, they often don’t provide the career advancement we all seek. However, we are the fortunate ones.
My message to everyone out there that might be in a similar situation to me is to find the positives. Take this time to develop new skills, go see the world, climb a mountain. Pass your driving test! Get yourself something to show that you didn’t sit crying at your email inbox full of rejections. I’m not a superstitious person, but lately I do find myself believing in “everything happens for a reason”. Every job rejection is an opportunity to find the one for you. That’s what I’m telling myself on a daily basis while I try to fight graduate blues. Keep calm and carry on, my fellow grads, we’ll all get there in the end.