Whomever it was who said “I am my own severest critic” clearly has never met my father. (And despite having received a degree from a relatively decent University after googling the author I still had no earthly idea who he was; clearly nine thousand pounds well spent.)If you’re interested, though I doubt you are, it’s Jascha Heifetz. On reading my first blog my father effusively, passionately and enthusiastically responded “well it doesn’t have me jumping for joy.” Cheers dad.
Meanwhile my mother, ever practical, was rather concerned that my current employers would be ever so slightly offended to see me wailing against my lack of prospects and just generally being a drama queen. So I should probably admit that I am actually one of those lucky individuals (apart from the grad scheme lot who have been doing internships since first year and were guaranteed a spot in a top boring job of their choosing) who had a job offer in May. Not only that, but I was lucky enough to get the job I had wanted since being a wee fresher. I am a sabbatical officer, which basically means I have a job for a year where I get to help students. For me, any job title that comes with the prerequisite of helping people and just generally giving back, makes me extremely happy.
However, as I often tell my unemployed friends, my job is only a ten month contract, so this employed stage has a definitive and specific end date. May 24th. (Not that I’m obsessing about it or anything.) After which I am stuck in the same boat as many other unemployed graduates. (Weirdly my valiant attempts at sympathising are generally met with withering stares and a suspicious amount of eyerolling.) So, now that I have justified my gratuitous existential ranting, and hopefully placated my parents, I can continue.
Interestingly, having a 9-5 job, without being melodramatic, really does change your life. As a student I could basically do what I wanted when I wanted. Whilst my five mandatory lectures did inconveniently eat into my personal time, the rest was mine to do with as I wanted. This meant my time was not an especially valued commodity. As a student, if I wanted to stay in my pyjamas all day eating ice cream and watching every episode of the West Wing back to back (a show, which I steadfastly maintain makes me smarter) there was very little stopping me doing this. As a functioning adult with an actual job, my personal time has shrunk exponentially. Booking last minute appointments because few people are clamouring for that Tuesday afternoon 2.30 spot has gone. Spending hours just wandering around Tesco and contemplating the meaning of life whilst debating what I plan on having for dinner is a pleasure I can no longer afford. And my smugness at never having to go shopping on Sunday with the people, and the parking and the crowds and the noise has been wiped clear from my face.
I’m finding that being a working graduate means actually having to make the most of my time, making lists, preparing meals in advance and generally attempting to be an organised and efficient human being. The whole ordeal I am discovering to be both petrifying and exciting in equal measure as I swing like a pendulum, alternating between an overwhelming urge to plunge myself headfirst in the nearest open body of water in an effort to block out the fear and feeling like I am ready to start maybe, little by little, becoming an adult.