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Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Life and Times . . .

So, it has been a year. Well, a year on bonfire night actually. And here I am – same place. Wow. A bit of background for you: I am an unemployed graduate. Big wow. I have big ideas, a big shoe collection but a very small pay package. So I am living a poor, all-be-it entertaining, existence on the infamous Cally Road, Islington. This blog tells a story. Not just my story, the tale of the many thousands in this position.

I left uni with a first in English Language (think linguistics, not books. I read those for pleasure not a degree) and a massive plan. I can’t reveal that plan to you, the world, just yet, because I don’t want to give my arch-enemies the chance to foil it. However it is safe to say that I will get there by hook or by crook, and a lot of luck. Now, English Language is an interesting one – fascinating actually, but it doesn’t really guide you down any specific career paths as such.

“You could be an academic” suggests my mother, longingly. Such a pity that she never had the chance to go to uni, I think she would be running the world if she had. I don’t want to be an academic - I like getting my hands dirty, I get distracted by books in the library and the whole structured education thing makes me a bit fidgety to be honest. Oh alright, trapped. There, said it. I contemplated politics – in fact I applied to be an MP for Monsieur Cameron, although as I was doing my application on a temperamental computer in Siem Reap, I missed the deadline. In hindsight I think it was for the best – what’s the point in being a politician if you can’t travel first class? 

I believe we are in the midst of something interesting; we have a whole generation, the Lost Generation I have heard us called, who have the world at their feet and their hands tied. Admittedly we went to uni with the intention to come out the other side and make a shed load, become an actor, make up our minds a bit, or at least teach. Ah now then, that brings us to another point – perhaps we as a generation threw ourselves a bit too enthusiastically into the whole uni thing. Perhaps it would have been far more sensible to just get out of school and make that shed load, start that business, become apprenticed etcetera etcetera.

Perhaps if we had we wouldn’t have such a saturated job market and degrees wouldn’t have essentially lost their value. Well too bad, because we did and they have. So, as discussed our hands are rather bound. This generation has been left impotent; so full of hope and good intent, desperate to work and utilise skill sets, yet destined to work part-time in Sainsbury’s. It has to be part-time you see, 16 hours or under else you don’t qualify for Job Seekers (retch) and ultimately Housing Benefit (double retch of self-loathing) and then we would really be in a serious pickle. I don’t work in Sainsbury’s, mind. I make coffee. So you see we really do have the most highly qualified set of check-out operators that have ever lived.

And the world is at our feet. Well, hopefully. That’s all this is by the way, mere observational musings. But really, right now things are changing so immensely – attitudes, politics, travel, and the world, that we have every opportunity. We have a Prime Minister called Dave for Gods sake! Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later – everyone knows a Dave. The point is that with changing attitudes comes potential – the potential for something big and exciting. Now that we all know we aren’t going to pop out of the university factory into the job that would buy us a nice flat (let’s not even go there) and afford us a comfortable lifestyle with a couple of holidays a year, it is time we thought our way round this blip!

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