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The Graduate Hangover

I, like many others, am one of those lucky souls who grew up with the mantra ‘must go to university, must get a good job’ – drilled into me by every individual over the age of thirty.  Only now, those hypocrites (who mainly consist of the media) are turning around and going “Ooh, degree?  Waste of money.  No jobs to be found.  Good luck, young ‘un.”

Having reached the end of my final year, experienced the anti-climax of getting my results back (they were good results, that I worked hard for, but where was my ticker-tape parade?), I am now at a loss as my university bubble is well and truly popped.

This is most definitely a ‘woe is me’ post, which I know covers a lot of sentiments shared by many other recent graduates.  We, collectively, have a case of the mean reds (Truman Capote, 1958).  Firstly, over ending university, and secondly, over hunting for that relic-like concept of a ‘job’.

Here is my pessimistic and dismal account of finishing university.  FOREWARNING:  this has been written in a grumpy mood.  But then, listing all the good things I got out of my experience wouldn’t be an interesting read, would it?

You’ll be saying goodbye to a lot of friends that you know you’ll always stay in touch with, but can’t help dreading that they will be whizzing off in search of exciting ventures and forget you.  You will therefore remain unemployed and friendless, as even with experience no-one so much as sniffs at your CV.  Your lack of healthy eating also means you’ll contract scurvy, and will ultimately die an unsuccessful, lonely and maritime-themed death.  Your body will be found curled around a dusty laptop, and the police will note that your browser history contains nothing but recruitment agency websites and ASOS ‘Saved For Later’ wishlists.

I don’t want to sound like I think having a degree entitles me to a job.  But I’ve worked hard outside of my degree, and I know that other young people with no degree are also struggling to get a job minus any experience – I am speaking on behalf of everyone young person, or old person, who has read the following:

“This is an entry level role…requiring 2 years of experience.” 

Or even:

“We have six, full-time vacancies at our small, start-up business, to start ASAP (voluntary, unpaid).”

A voluntary role advertised for a charity?  Understandable; agreeable.  Unpaid work experience in a specialist field in which you learn from others much more qualified than you?  Advantageous and valuable, if not exploited.  Unpaid work offered at a company who simply do not want to part with pay checks in exchange for labour?  Grim.  Unbearable.  Cheek.

So, I’m on a cold-turkey come-down from university.  We keep brashly offering ourselves at every opportunity; however it is a bitter sweet finish.  I am not a naturally pessimistic person, which means I’ve had my small successes along the way – I’ve got good work experience, and met some lovely people.  Nevertheless, I am holding my breath for myself and every other graduate/young person who is slightly despondent and forever spell-checking their CV.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my montage of despair-y pictures, ranging from downhearted to absolutely deranged.

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1 Comment so far

  1. Deep, man. Well written and definitely made me laugh out loud on several different points. Chin up anyway Muzz, you’re destined for the top.

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