It is currently the final week of August: a good few months after I finished university and began the inevitable job hunt/rest of my life. A period of my life that I always knew would be tough- delving into the unknown. But even only a number of months ago, I wouldn't have predicted it being anything like this.
Graduating during a pandemic can come with it's benefits, if you make a reeeeaaaaal effort to search for the positive side. You're given a copious amount of time to discover what you really want out of life. Where you want to go next. Who you are. A whole lot of 'soul-searching' and overthinking time.
But that's literally it. And we all know where overthinking can lead us.
I think I felt this kind of optimism for a total of two weeks??? I can confidently confirm that journalism is still the career path I want to take. I do know myself a lil bit better. Turns out I like cardio and eating granary bread more than I thought I did. However, no matter how many positive affirmation vids you watch on YouTube, or reassuring talks you have with pals, family members, your pets etc....reality always comes flooding back.
You're trying to start the next chapter of your life during a bloody pandemic and recession.
And yes, before the inevitable question comes: I have thought about doing a Masters. In fact, I've probably thought about that more than anything else. To some extent I agree with those who favour the extra year in education, it does kinda make sense. I am more than aware that the job market isn't thriving right now, and it's only an extra year, just a minor 9 months, another thing to boost my CV. But then I remember that I completed my BA Honours degree for that extra sauce on the top of my CV, and I'm not confident that it's getting me any closer to getting a job than the millions of other people in the country who were made redundant, graduated, or are simply seeking work right now.
Whilst I am using all my efforts to remain resilient and positive, I would be lying if I said this period of my life doesn't scare me. Sure, I probably won't get this amount of free time again until I retire, and it might be something I look back on and realise that I never knew how good I had it. But God, don't I miss having something to wake up for and a purpose. Admittedly I didn't attend every one of my lectures and I couldn't tell you when I ever contributed more than two sentences to a seminar, but at least I had a title. I was a student. I was doing something.
So, to summarise, this post-graduation life isn't easy. The novelty of lie-ins and Netflix binges wears off. We've gone past the point where everyone, student or not, was making banana bread and drinking homemade whipped coffees. Normality, to some degree, has resumed. And it's not a riveting experience watching everyone, beside yourself, get back to their lives. I acknowledge that this won't last forever, and maybe a future employer might read this and it might be the reason they don't choose me for the job. But this is real. This is how I am feeling...
...and I doubt I'm the only one.