Now you’ve graduated, here comes the post-uni meltdown
Graduates everywhere are about to embark on a year-long crisis
You’ve spent your final year dodging the fateful questions about your future, and denial has proved a perfect solution to confronting the big bad world.
But there’s a scary moment for every new graduate, once the post-exam euphoria wears off, the dregs of your student loan dry up and waking up with a hangover every morning becomes intolerable, when you realise that life as you’ve known it for the past three years is about to change dramatically. Most of you will pull through the transition, others will crack under the pressure.
Facing the prospect of the real world is a terrifying thought for everyone and even the best of us leave university with no money, no job and no plans. Although, most of us manage avoid adding “depressing bastard” to that list. Not this graduate. The “wallower” has yet to realise that lying on your parents’s sofa all day and crying into a tub of Ben and Jerry’s is both pathetic and usually an unsuccessful route to employment. Carpe diem, dude.
The city crasher
Fresh out of university and straight into a top job in the city – sounds like a success. Don’t let the bravado and the six figure salary fool you. The only thing keeping this graduate together is the ten cups of coffee before 5am, a solid relationship with their amphetamine dealer and a teary phone call to their mother three times a day. Six months from now, having the lost the ability to speak, you’ll find them in a rehabilitation facility doing finger painting and pilates for beginners.
Gap year 2.0
Faced with the prospect of responsibility and having to earn a living – god forbid – this graduate runs for the hills. As long as the hills are somewhere in South East Asia. The Gap Year 2.0 is a crisis of denial masquerading as a soul-searching trip. You have to “find yourself” before even thinking about work, right? A year later they’ll be back, “enlightened”, unwashed, with the sanskrit for “moron” tattooed on their neck, claiming to have found themselves in a swamp somewhere in Thailand, before the malaria kicks in.
The London charlatan
Type number one: the poverty-chic Londoner. Your conversations now revolve around who lives in the most crime-ridden area of London, how many used needles you had to step over on your way home and how much time your landlord has done inside. The more your flat looks like a crack den, the better. It doesn’t even matter if there is no crack on the premises – it’s the appearance we’re going for. Being frugal in London is important, but the novelty of living in a glorified squat will wear off rapidly.
Type number two: the adventurous intellect. Having just left three years of university and a diet of ketamine, beer and chips, this graduate has come to the big city to behold all that London has to offer. He’s ditched the trackies, and now you won’t catch him dead in anything other than a white collarless shirt and beige desert boots. Rapidly acclimatising to a “trendy” London lifestyle, they adopt a strict diet of overpriced organic food from farmers markets – if it doesn’t come in a brown paper bag and covered in dirt, they’re not eating it. That is, until they realise they’re now broke.
The “entrepreneur” (a self-given label, synonymous with “unemployed person”) is brimming with new ideas – sadly for them – they’re all shit. They’ve spent the last three years at uni chasing innumerable business ventures including developing a new social networking site, which nobody gave a crap about and faded out of existence within the first week. But never one to give up, the entrepreneur will leave university certain of imminent fortune.
This time next year, driven to the brink by countless failed “social enterprises” and rejected applications to Dragon’s Den, you’ll find a crazed shadow of their former self cobbling together scrap metal in their garden shed, claiming to have invented a time machine.
The eternal student
Every university seems to have one of these people. The person that should have graduated years ago but somehow manages to still be there. They promote for every one of your uni’s student nights, still play for the sports teams, creep on every new batch of freshers and are always lurking around somewhere. Every generation of student that passes through the university will know them and pity them. It’s time to cut the cord.
There comes a sad moment for most graduates, when you realise that mornings are for going to work and not for lying with your head in the toilet vomiting up last night’s box of wine. Lunchtime isn’t a boozy brunch, it’s a warm salad sat at your miserable desk. But not for the “alcoholic” – instead of moving on from the student lifestyle, this graduate takes comfort in old habits. Aside from the fact that comfort drinking is a pretty slippery slope to start on anyway, it’s an infeasibly expensive hobby and one that, with all your friends employed, will be a solo one.