The Graduate Blues

If ever there was ever a First World Problem, it was this one.

This is a problem that I’m sure has faced nearly every single graduate to some extent. That soul-destroying moment that it all finishes, you have to pack up and go home, as if you’ve been on a long holiday. Time to leave the memories and head on home.

It’s hard to know what’ll be waiting for you at the other end, you can only hope it’ll be an entry-level job. A position that makes use of your degree, challenges you in the best possible way, opens up countless opportunities, and pays a simple wage. A comfy wage for a 21-year-old, enough to move out, book a holiday, get a gym membership and splash out on full-price cocktails should the occasion arise, as well as paying off your overdraft at a steady rate.

It’s all we can hope for.

But since, saaaay 2007, when the first gloomy economic effects started to be put in motion, graduates have had a far bigger battle on their hands. The fairytale story of child goes to university and is rewarded with a glittering career, piles of money and a beautiful big house, are just that; a lavish fairytale. In actual fact, the people who clutter up my news feed with their abundance of holiday snaps and new flat searches are the classmates that stayed behind and got office jobs, and worked their ways up. And things show no hope of easing up. Most of my degree-owning friends are cooped up in supermarkets, with chores set by their parents, and enough money for the odd ‘student-themed’ night-out. That is plenty of pre-drinks and not much else.

My biggest hope for this year is that I move out, not because I have hugely irritating parents, but because I feel I have been stripped of my independence. I feel naked and bare, I feel like the horrific remains of Voldermort in Harry’s limbo in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two.

I am moaning for the sake of moaning. I don’t want my car de-iced for me, my clothes washed and hung up in my wardrobe, my morning coffee brought to my bedroom, my room hoovered, and I most certainly don’t want to have to ask for lifts home on the odd occasion I stay out for a drink.

Moving from the outskirts of a city to the outskirts of a village is quite crippling. I rely on my parents to pay for the upkeep of a car, otherwise i’d never be able to leave the house without grabbing a lift. I miss night buses and spontaneous alcohol-fuelled events, be it dinner, board games or N64. I miss lie-ins and late nights, but mostly I miss my friends, and my boyfriend.

I miss the hope that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad when it came crashing to an end. The hope that we’d all fall into writing jobs within a few months, and all be living in slight upgrades from our university shacks, just roads away from one another. Carrying on the takeaways and chocolate digestive biscuits with the girls, and cider blacks in the pub with the boys, exactly from where we left it as undergrads.

Instead I’m now facing the stark reality, that after leaving on a  beautiful high (the sort of holiday you can only dream about) eight months ago, things have barely changed. I plead with the world that maybe, just maybe, it’ll sort itself out, so that I can afford to move out this year, and back to the city that I call home (apologies for the soppy over-the-top phrases here). Because if I don’t, I worry what will become of me, maybe i’ll get a bell installed in my bedroom, to ring up for dinner, Downton style, or maybe I’ll go so crazy i’ll start refusing to wear clothes. Either way, I’d rather not see the outcome.

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