Saturday, 6 February 2010

look, teabag - hand over the brown

- Bart Simpson

Another completely irrelevant post title here, I'm afraid. This post has nothing to do with teabags, brown, or the exchange thereof. Instead it is a heartfelt rant about several things, most of which are probably boring to any readers so I apologise.

Firstly: Why can't I be in Canada? Seriously. It was awesome there. Awesome people, awesome city, awesome atmosphere. I don't mean to imply that those things don't exist here of course; the people surrounding me here (family and friends) are perennially awesome, but it seems unfair to make such strong connections whilst abroad only to be yanked back into the routine I left around 6 months ago.

Secondly: It feels like there's so much pressure to conform with regards to jobs/careers. It's probably because I've been exposed to so much of it over the last fortnight, but everywhere there's pressure to start a career straight after uni (or even earlier) and stick at it for the rest of your life. I saw an advert saying "You'll probably have 20 years of retirement - better start preparing for it now" or something like that - what a terrifying thought. The average life expectancy in the UK is 79.3 years (World Development Indicators), so take away the 'probable' twenty years of retirement and the 5 or 6 years before education begins, and that leaves about 55 years of education/work. People are taught to EXPECT to devote roughly SIXTY NINE percent of their life to a job which, based on the general consensus, they don't even enjoy.

That thought genuinely terrifies me.

But of course without expecting to work at least 40 hours a week or thereabouts, you can't accumulate the money to do anything else. Especially when considering mortgages, bills, expenses and whatever else. I heard that for every £1 you earn you take home only 65p or something outrageous - I can't remember the figures exactly. I can't remember if that 65p is before or after bills / expenses, if it's before, then each £1 you earn probably amounts to 20p in your pocket.

I've signed up to several job sites and university sites and similar over the years, and one sent me an email inviting me to take part in a survey today. A £200 voucher was the incentive, so I participated just to get a shot at the money, but the survey was distressing to say the least: 30 pages of questions about the recession, the decline of graduate jobs, the dishonesty of companies during the recession and much else along the same lines. So my current impression of what (potentially) waits for me after university is this: a dull 9-5 job that has nothing to do with my degree, because it's the only graduate vacancy that will except me. From this job I will take home a meager sum each month to be distributed around various debts, which I will not pay off until the last 20 years of my life, by which time I will have so little money saved that I'll have nothing worthwhile to do.

Again that thought genuinely terrifies me.

Obviously this is only ONE (awful) option of how things could go. I have dreams and aspirations and am aiming for something COMPLETELY different, but I can't help this little bastard lingering at the back of my mind. I just hope that's the furthest it will ever get.

Apologies for the rant.

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