The grieving process of graduating

Now I know what you’re thinking – another post about all the tremendous hardships i’m facing since leaving university, come on, get a grip and start living in the real world.

That point is thoroughly taken, unfortunately it’s just not so easy to snap out of.

The process started with shock. The first few days, after my boyfriend dropped me back in sunny Sussex (two suitcases in tow) are a bit of a blur, muddled with tears and desperate to-do-lists marking my return to the big city.

Then I got desperate, confused and full-on crazy. I bagged myself a job in London, any job, I know longer cared about journalism, and i deluded myself into thinking a job in estate agency was actually perfect for me – I could work with people, explore beautiful houses and enjoy a huge income – never mind about the degree I had just worked my soul into the ground for.

Stage three welcomed the overwhelming sense of mistake. Living in a house with two strangers and working 60 hours a week was not what I had envisaged when I landed back in Gatwick airport in June. Which then made way for the heart-wrenching job of untangling the huge financial and employment mess I’d rushed myself into.

After a huge stint of unemployment, in which I spent days wallowing in my own self-pity, napping and baking became my day-to-day plan of action. And even now, when I’ve gained the job title of editor, I’m able to wine and dine back in my favourite city whenever I please, because yes, it’s my place of work, I’m still not coping.

Sure, on the surface I’m roaring through life. I’m working hard, I’m throwing myself into the pool at every spare opportunity and i’m smiling. I haven’t moaned once about the commute, or the fact that I can’t afford treats from my local Oxfam. I spend my days moaning that I can’t have buy one get one free burgers in my favourite Kingston pub, I can’t eat Indian and paint my nails on a Saturday night whilst on a ‘diet’ with my girls, and I can’t go to sleep with my boyfriend by my side.

You see, I’m looking at myself as a huge disappointment. When my university life finally took off at the beginning of my final year I promised myself I would work myself into an oblivian to ensure that nothing changed. To ensure I’d have two months top at home, before I’d be toodling off to a nice job in the city, and living with one of my coursemates in a sweet little flat. I feel as though I’ve failed the task I was so desperate to complete, and there’s a tiny part of every single day that pains me.

I have the odd spontaneous tearful outburst (much to my boyfriend’s dismay), I fill up with rage the moment anything unexpected happens at home – You made me coffee without checking I wanted one first, how dare you! In essence I’ve become a spoiled brat because I’m a perfectionist and so incredibly stubborn and impatient that I demand life contain everything I want right now. I don’t want that sugar-coated income, and home in south-west London in a year, I want it right now, and it bloody well keeps me awake at night knowing that it’s out of my reach.


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