UK

Introducing the ‘sad grad’: They’ve got a job but are still desperately clinging on to uni life

@ing companies on Twitter because it’s easier to deal with their problems rather than your own

University is the best three years of your life. You met new people, went out all the time and managed to scrape a 2:1, which promises a life of prosperity and happiness.

But now you're in the real world. You now have a job, your friends all now have jobs, you all go to these jobs because that's what you're supposed to do. But you can't quite let go of uni. You're caught in between being a real-life adult and the second year you who woke up at 1pm and ate crisps three meals a day.

To be clear, you're not sad, your life is just a bit sad. How can you still not be quite sure whether it's safe to reheat rice so have to text your Mum every time. You still wear your uni sport stash because it reminds you of the good old days.

Does this look like the plate of a grad who has their life together?

If you can relate to any of the following things, it’s quite likely you’re a ‘sad grad’.”

1. Still living with your parents and spend most of your life commuting

Living independently is expensive, and after three years of freedom at uni, you return to your family home. You hardly pay any rent, Mum cooks your dinner and does your washing, life is pretty easy but ultimate soul destroying.

Within six months you'll move out and pour 50 per cent of your salary into a grim bedsit not that much closer to work but just because you can't deal with your family any more.

2. Moving out after six months at home into a box room even more depressing than your sad sad room at uni

Your light definitely doesn't have a lampshade and you will never get round to buying one. If you look on the other side of the mattress there's definitely a weird stain on it but you forgot to tell your landlord when they were doing the inventory.

Honestly, how bleak

3. All your bedroom walls are just like graduate life – desolate and lacking joy!!

Having a photo wall is too uni (and reminds you too much of the good times) and that gap yah wall hanging has gone in the bin. Now you're walls are just empty, BARE. You should probably get a poster of some art from a gallery, that would be sophisticated, but would also involve knowing what a good bit of art is and that is just completely beyond you.

4. Eating A LOT of penne

You need something delicious, nourishing, a meal to take your mind off another stressful day of being a cog in the corporate machine. But you're too tired, you lack the culinary skills, so you're just going to stuff your mouth with penne pasta. Again. Just as you have nearly every night since you embarked upon your 'career'.

5. Definitely owning a copy of Jamie Oliver 5 Ingredients

Sure, you still despise the man who banned Turkey Twizzlers, but your mum is concerned that you're looking kind of grey, and wondering if you're eating enough fruit and veg.

6. Signing your life away to an accountancy grad scheme…

There is nothing more sad grad than working hard and getting good A-levels, scraping a 2:1 at a good uni and having a medium-to-large amount of fun, only to say fuck it and sign your life away to become an accountant.

You tell yourself and literally anyone who will listen that you're only going to do this for ten years and then you'll quit and do what you really want to do with your life.

7. …or the ultimate sad grad employer, Teach First

Nothing screams graduate crisis like signing up to moving to Stockon-on-Tees to teach a load of problem kids about the Tudors.

8. Your house chat from uni is still as fire as it was when you were actually there

None of you can let go of the glory days when you all lived together and really LIVED. Now you just exist, someone owns you between the hours of 9-5, Monday to Friday, but your house chat reminds you of a time when you could eat cold chips leftover from the night before and waste the day away in front of the telly with zero regrets.

9. And the group chat is most active at 7:30am

During second year you couldn't have imagined a world where you were all up that early and chatting away on your group, but now you fill your soulless commute with the same in-jokes from your uni days and screenshots of cringe Insta posts from people you knew back in first year. Clinging on to the memories that hold you all together until life slowly rips your friendships apart!

10. When you actually do meet up with your old pals, all your conversations are basically "do you remember at uni when…"

You have about ten funny anecdotes from your time together at uni that you just recycle again and again every time you meet up.

11. Texting Mum very basic life questions at least twice a week

How do I book a dentist appointment? Can I reheat rice? Who's my GP? How do we pay our water bill? I've left some chicken on the side for eight hours, will I die if I eat it? Do we need a TV license?

Tbh I wish they offered 'what can and can't go in a microwave' at GCSE.

12. Deciding to have hobbies again

Maybe you'll take up netball again, or download Duolingo and learn French. We all need something to fill the void ahaHAHAHA.

13. Spending about 90 per cent of your weekdays either talking or thinking about lunch

"What are you having for lunch? Ooh did you make that last night? What's in it? That sounds nice."

The same conversations about lunch. Every. Single. Day. The worst thing is you kind of enjoy it, and enjoy obsessing about lunch. This is what your life is now. Don't worry, only 60 more years until you're dead and you wont have to worry about what to have for lunch ever again!

14. Still being in your overdraft despite having a salary, where does all the money go?!

Spoiler: you spend it all on lunch.

15. Joining a gym and you actually go regularly

At uni, you joined the gym and went about three times. This was a good thing. It meant you had better, more fun things to do. But now you sit at a desk all day, slowly getting a bit fat, and worry that you'll die alone if you don't at least attempt to stay in shape.

Importantly, you have a flexi gym membership, keeping things as non-committal as possible because any sort of commitment is basically death.

16. Still regularly wearing your uni stash

Yeah, pretty cool that you were in the Leeds Rugby 3rd team. Sure, you swanned around the library in your stash letting everyone know there were at least 30 other people at uni better at running around in the mud than you, but you're in the big wide world now, LET GO.

17. One of your top three favourite things is still drinking pints but you just can't quite enjoy them as much as you used to

It's a Saturday, all 'the boys' are back together again. Someone's got the first round in. Eagerly, you all quaff your pints, it's just like old times. But after the third one you start to feel a bit full. Two more and now you're really tired. Now you just really want to go to bed. Pint number eight and you have a little sick on the walk home. You are a shadow of the person you once were. You are no longer fun.

18. Going back to your uni town within six months of graduating to try and recapture the magic

"Oh, but it's Chris' graduation, it would be rude not to go up for the weekend." Except everything is already 'not the same' and there are loads of fresh faced kids surely too young to be at uni ruining all the places you used to go.

You bump into a familiar face, explain your very valid reasons for being back a mere five months after graduating and make an unconvincing case for just how together your life is and that you don't desperately miss being at uni.

"We'll get the 18:04 from Kings cross after work on a Friday, have some train tinnies, it'll be just like old times!!"

19. When your uni email eventually gets deactivated, a little part of you dies inside

Don't lie, you definitely kept checking them after you graduated.

James Blunt, Back To Bedlam, Track Four

20. A lot of your tweets are now @ing companies complaining about something

You can't sort your own problems out so taking to Twitter to complain to companies about the times they fuck up is a very cathartic way of just about holding everything together.

"@VirginTrains I did not pay £54.60 to sit on the floor on the 16:05 to York. SORT IT OUT."

"@Pret the filling in my baguette had basically all fallen out, my lunch was ruined and now I'm really sad."

21. Having a Twitter bio either mentions the fact that you're a graduate or an 'aspiring' something or other

Fashion graduate = unemployed. Aspiring documentary filmmaker = unemployed.

22. Being really into podcasts now

Getting really into podcasts is a sure fire sign that you're already completely done with your commute and hurtling towards middle age. You want to enjoy learning again, you tell your mates, before telling them about ten podcasts they should definitely definitely listen to because they are so so good.