Before my bubble was burst, I had this theory that university was designed to condense a lifetime’s worth of emotions into a three year package. This package would help you in deciding what you want from the next 40 years.
I experienced wealth and poverty, relaxation and stress, excitement and boredom – and I thought whichever combination of these feelings worked best should be what dictates one’s career choice. But I was wrong in thinking university came even close to painting a picture of how reality might work.
At university, wealth, relaxation and excitement happen in tandem – the semester starts, the bank balance soars and you’re free to drown yourself Jim Beam until 6am for the next month, safe in the knowledge that your deadlines reside somewhere in the distant future.
Many a hangover down the line and suddenly it hits you – you have three deadlines in the same week and a back log of other on-going projects you thought you could rush in that week. Just when you needed a drink more than ever, guess what? Yep, cue poverty, stress, and boredom.
Essentially, the university existence is one of great extremes – one that can’t sustain itself. Kind of like signing a contract that promises marriage with the person of your dreams; under the one condition that you French kiss Gollum every three months; but at least you’re kept on your toes.
The real world tends to be far less exciting. Emotions are a lot more stable and grounded. What goes up definitely comes down, but what goes down has a funny habit of not coming back up for a while.
If you’re anything like me and you tried your hand at a creative pursuit instead of studying something sensible, graduation will likely be synonymous with unemployment.
Unemployment means an extended period of grey, punctuated by trips to the corner shop to get a can of coke, and there’s no student loans and wild parties to light the end of your tunnel. Poverty, stress and boredom are here to stay – make yourself at home.
This is the situation many graduates in non-sensible subjects find themselves in. But hang on, all this spare time in one of the world’s most priviliged countries and you’re sitting around feeling sorry for yourself? Here’s five things you could do with your unemployment that you may not have considered.
1. That thing you never find the time for
You know that tired, middle aged insurance broker who wishes he’d found the time to be the next Mick Jagger? Well you do have the time, so at least do something productive with it, you wastrel. Productive you say? Well I don’t know – maybe pick up an instrument, make a documentary on your next door neighbor’s garden habits, or just tell other people what to do on the Internet.
2. Festival work
If you live in a country with any kind of festival circuit, get yourself some work. There is bar work, stewarding and for those who really don’t want any responsibility, litter picking. In exchange? Fifty shades of fun, an abundance of free stuff and some experience for your CV. Not forgetting that it’s a reason to get out of bed. Your potential employer doesn’t have to know you spent four days at a time getting wasted. Just remember that wellies are for employed people, time to get your feet dirty.
3. Clinical trials
You’ve all heard about those guys whose heads inflated thanks to scientific experimentation. But that was a freak occurrence, kind of like the guy who got struck by lightning seven times. On a daily basis there are clinical trials going on where it’d be unfortunate if you got a snivel – I’ve done three and I’m alive and well; and almost £2000 for a few days in hospital ain’t bad. Am I right?
4. Cook stuff
You might think it’s a reserve for bored housewives, but you’re now a bored scrounger, so swallow your pride. The best bit is you don’t have to save any food for when everyone else gets back. Here’s a sweet a beans on toast recipe.
5. Inhabit the moral grey area
Did you know that child train fares are over half what you’d pay normally? Did you also know that a fillet steak weighed in as loose onions at the self-checkout will cost you 70p? It’s alright, until you pay tax society will hate you regardless.