Everybody says “University will be the best years of your life” and as you look at the grime in the sink and the frigid air blows through the gap under the front door of your student house, you roll your eyes and agree with them.
Today marks the 125th day as a graduate and in hindsight those filthy days as a student were a breeze compared to the real world.
Gone are the days where your only alarm clock would be the dustmen collecting all your empty, greasy pizza boxes, gone are the days of drinking for 80 hours straight just because you could and gone are the days of wearing the same clothes for three days in a row because you couldn’t be bothered to get changed.
Throughout the last 125 days I have come to realise that student life may not have been the ‘best’ years of my life, but they were certainly some of the easiest and most relaxed.
The constant rejection of numerous job applications and the daily routine of explaining to people how you are “still looking” for that first opportunity can become mind-numbingly disheartening.
One of the biggest choices you can make as a graduate is whether or not to go back to your old summer job, keeping yourself going until you find something a little more permanent. I did this throughout the summer and however big the pay check was at the end of the month it wasn’t where I wanted to be and it certainly took its toll.
The media industry is getting bigger and bigger but opportunities for graduates like myself are getting thinner and thinner as companies look to save as much money as possible.
To give you a scale of the state of the industry, I was recently turned down for a 3 month social media internship by a small company in London with 19 employees. They had received over 170 applications for that one, temporary position.
Other students at University at the same time as me were getting jobs left right and centre. Some stayed in Cardiff, some were getting employed in their home towns and of course there were the lucky ones who acquired themselves a dream job in London.
The vicious circle just kept going around and people began to talk about those who had landed jobs and how they were getting on. Then there were the others who hadn’t got a job yet, but somehow could afford to hop on a plane and travel 30,000 miles to ‘discover themselves’ as if 3 years at University wasn’t enough time to do that.
Being in Barnstaple means that I am close to my friends and family, but the opportunities in the media industry are few and far between to say the least.
After leaving my summer job I was lucky enough to be offered a position at a local company to work on their digital presence, bringing them up to date with the 21st century. It may not be the heights of New York or London, but it’s experience, it’s money and it’s home. For now.