The graduate’s guide to London
Just please don’t call it Landan
What you’re like at uni will probably determine how you spend the rest of your 20s. If you think that’s depressing, get a load of this – we’ve planned out your whole graduate life according to the awful uni stereotype you belong to.
University without the lectures and feminism? Is this a dream? No, it’s Clapham, and it’s where rugby players go to prolong their glory days. If they aren’t suiting up for a “safari supper” dinner party, they’re slipping into a onesie and some fluorescent wayfarers for the rugby Sevens. Avoid like the plague – Clapham is London’s answer to Wednesday night at uni, and everyone thinks they are the Vombardier. Strong.
Job: Insurance, banking/stop-gapping in recruitment until they land a job in insurance or banking.
Lives: Clapham, and they will be there ’till they die
Where they go out: A place with the vibes of an SU cafe
What they will cry about first: A Wilfred Owen poem on Remembrance Day
Everyone’s got their struggles, and for these girls it’s finding somewhere that sells Diet Coke and superfoods on the way into work. Not that they’re that hungry, but you’ve got to keep yourself entertained when you’re just refreshing the Daily Mail website at work and waiting to leave at 6pm on the dot.
Job: PR or PA
Lives: Notting Hill
What they will cry about first: Being used for a booty call.
Vibesy public school boy
London’s drug market owes a lot to the well mannered boys of the Home Counties. Moving to London after uni was never a choice, it was the only option. Not much has changed – only now they’re spending Thirsty Thursdays sniffing their k around a well set dining table.
It’s hard to tell which shithole the public school boy will gentrify next, maybe Seven Sisters?
Job: Whatever their dad does
Where they live: Brixton or Peckham, for now.
What they will cry about first: Not having a number for gack.
Northern gal in the big city
There will be some moaning about drinks prices along the way, but once they’re settled, London, or LDN as they insist on calling it, is literally the best place they have ever been to. Northerners are fascinated by all things metropolitan like Pret, Monmouth coffee and the tube so imagine what food markets and rooftop bars are doing to them. Go to Shoreditch gals, there’s loads.
Job: An official grad scheme.
Where they live: Foxtons recommended Camden.
What they will cry about first: Homesickness – Greggs don’t sell pies down here.
As the prosecco-soaked memories of garden parties fade, the aristo drops anchor in London’s hollow centre, the only part of the capital which can rival the History of Art department for grandiose architecture and a lack of poor people. If you’re lucky enough to know one, you can look forward to spending your weekends in the company of the only Londoners under 40 wearing bow ties and taking black cabs.
Apart from that, it’s all the same: still dining in members clubs? Check. Still sitting in dusty rooms with old, white men? Check. Still suppressing their true sexuality? Er…
Lives: Kensington or Mayfair, somehow.
Job: Sotheby’s, the investment fund for a morally dubious Emirate, a Strategic Consultancy.
What they will cry about first: Coming to terms with the fact they are gay.
No, you haven’t seen the last of them. London will only make these woo girls Snapchat and Soundcloud even more. They migrate to the most obvious places of the capital where pouting is part of club etiquette. They exclusively originate from Newcastle and Liverpool and make a beeline straight for Oxford Circus, because they’ve heard of it.
Job: Junior account executive. Advertising or Social Media.
Lives: Shepherd’s Bush, Angel.
What do they cry about: Not knowing anyone on Happn.
Where they go out: Clubs with booths and official photographers.
After years of parental pressure and MBAs in Strategic Business Management, he’s landed the plum job in investment banking. The pride back home is matched only by the workload on the ground – 18 hour stints are the norm, and weekends are a rarity.
Sometimes, when stuff gets really busy, they take part in a ritual known in banking circles as “the magic roundabout”, where a taxi takes you home, waits for you to have a shower and change, and takes you straight back to work. But hey, it’s serious money, even if it only works out at 10p an hour.
Lives: One of those gated compounds in Bow, or a Docklands flat.
Go out: Lunch at Sushi Samba.
What they will cry about first: Sleep deprivation
Ah, the Thespian dream: A lonesome Merlot at brunch, E. E Cummings of an afternoon. He learnt most of what he knows from French literature, but drama school taught him how to be misunderstood and constantly on the poverty line. This romantic hides in the shadows of “real” London, the towering concrete of The City is no place for him. His Manor Park warehouse has zero transport links, bunk beds and a communal shower and he doesn’t care – it’s at the heart of the capital’s rich, authentic culture.
Job: Barista/Barman/Bum/Life drawing model. Who cares, money is fickle.
Lives: A place you’ve not heard of, maybe Morden, or somewhere notoriously dangerous like Tottenham.
What they will cry about first: Hamlet, for the fifth time.
The young fogey
Life’s simple when you’ve had it planned out for you and your girlfriend from the beginning. He’s got his MA from Warwick, bagged the solicitor’s training contract, and (crucially) he’s in control of his girlfriend’s life too. Why would she want to go out on a Friday when they can curl up with a boxset and post couples photos on Facebook? If they do go out for dinner, it’s 2 for 1 vouchers at Pizza Express, because the Fogey is oddly stingy. Why? He’s saving for their gloomy suburban future, and with interest rates at their current level…
Job: Solicitor, accountant, or (if they went to a shit uni) the Metropolitan Police.
Lives: Chiswick, Barking, Golders Green.
What they will first cry about: His girlfriend trying cocaine
Having lost his personality years ago, he lives by the inspirational quotes on his wall and talks in robotic business jargon. Networking is all he knows, whether it’s at a social enterprise fair, down the takeaway at 3am, or at lunch with his mum. Surely he has nothing to gloat about – he’s in more debt than Liberia and the “the Tinder of iPhone screen repairs” is an app that no one needs in their life.
Job: His Facebook profile says “Works at Me: CEO and Founder of Quabble.”
Lives: Bermondsey, Canary Wharf.
What they will cry about first: Being overlooked for the Evening Standard’s 1000 Most Exciting Young Entrepeneurs.
Like uni, the capital has its share of endangered middle-class anarchists – and they think they can bring the Parisian revolution of 1968 to the streets of London. It’s a little hard to believe when they’re preparing for the coup from behind a desk in Greenpeace’s head office. Unlike at uni, you will never bump into them – they live in a dull suburb with a chain-free high street.
Job: A charity press office. Policy researcher at a Libertarian think tank.
Where they live: An ex-council flat, probably Leyton.
What they will cry about first: The police.
Go out: A cheap, quiet pub.