Stumbling across this on the internet, normally I’d just skip on past and get on with my evening. But instead, it just bugged me. Mainly because as a newly released graduate giving a half-hearted attempt at a ‘productive’ day I’d still only reached step two – ‘I can’t do it’.
After an excruciating final term and three long years as an undergrad, I swore like thousands of others that when I finished I would never complain about being bored, never sit back and let life pass me by after wasting so many hours staring at the wall; we’ll approach every second of this new freedom with positivity and vigour. So, after a whirlwind spontaneous trip to Madrid, a fortnight of heavy partying and a half-hearted attempt at wading through travel guides to plan the trip of a lifetime I’ve already hit graduation blues. Less than a month down the line with results looming I’m replacing revision with job hunting and the rain clouds continue to cast doom and gloom. All those wondrous plans are nothing without money. And there predictably is the problem.
However, this isn’t another aimless rant about the appalling state of the economy (I’m bored just retyping those words) but more a speculation on the protection education places on us. On reaching university most of us have been in education at least sixteen years (personally I’ve served eighteen) and we might have taken the first steps away from home, learnt to how to turn the central heating on and realised self-sufficiency isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be but you’ve always got the back up of temporarily ‘free money’ if you use it wisely. That and the promise that the moment it’s all over you can get out there for real and show them what you’re made of.
As with anything, no matter how many times people tell you how it’s going to feel once you finish – and for me it was the voice of David Nicholls’ novel One Day, you very rarely believe it until you experience it. For all its merits, university really is just another protective blanket from reality. A necessary one for sure, myself included for those who have taken great benefit from a teen to twenties stepping stone, but still what happens when its gone?
I’ve done more than my fair share of deadline all-nighters and given my liver a run for its money but I’ve kept my head above my overdraft for the most part, racked up a bit of work experience and solidly decided travelling would be the next step before I hit the graduate market. At least I thought I had, until I realised it’s time to actually do it!
BUT this evening, I’m determined to fulfil it even if it means throwing a dice on a map and seeing where it lands. That makes me 3 steps higher already and I hope this image manages to give someone else the same shove out of bed that I needed to get moving in the right direction 🙂