Life After Cambridge: Part Three

IZZY PRITCHARD gives you a final look at post-graduate life. This time, she discusses her puppies and her breasts. They’re different things.

babies broody Facebook Graduate grown up husbands Izzy Pritchard London puppy regents park running single

Catch up on part 1 and part 2 of Izzy’s journey into the real world.

I removed a spider from the bath yesterday. It wasn’t a big deal; in fact, I was entirely untroubled by it. I did not even think to call for my Dad. Like an adult I assessed that it needed doing, and with my very own bare hands, I got the task done.

There comes a point when you sit back and think ‘Shit.  I am in my twenties and I am a Grown Up’.  I have reached my full state of maturity. My brain cell count is at its peak. I am the prettiest I will ever be. My eyes are at their brightest, my teeth at their whitest and my energy at its highest. And yet, like a 13-year-old girl longing for her breasts to grow just that little bit faster, I still feel there is plenty more room to develop. A few bra sizes, at least.

Is this really who I am going to be as an adult? Is this me at my most vibrant moment, before I face the rapid downward trajectory over the Thirty-Year-Old-Hill?

What is more, this is a fairly high pressure decade, as decades go. Apart from establishing a career and severing the apron strings once and for all, one must also be sure not to be single by the end of it.

Imagine it. In a few years, the weddings will start. I envisage myself, a bridesmaid decked in an awful shade of aubergine, longing for the attractive best man to ask me to dance, before remembering that the last invitation that came through my letterbox was to his very wedding.

I’ll never get married…

The good ones will be snatched in hysteria similar to levels witnessed at the Oxford Street Topshop store on 1st January. Hit 30, and the clock steps up a gear. You’re past it. You will be a barren spinster for eternity.

To be honest, although far from being the settling-down, baby-loving kind, this image scares me.

My Facebook newsfeed is no longer littered with pictures of friends’ wild drunken nights. They are being speedily replaced by photos of their latest offspring, wedding receptions and country walks. A school friend has already spawned her second bundle of joy. As my outraged housemate pointed out: ‘She has two babies?! I haven’t even got one degree yet!’

The university bubble helps you to isolate yourself from the threat of childbirth- but once the bubble bursts, you begin to notice babies screaming at you from all angles: on public transport, in the supermarket, and on the streets of London. They become inescapable. I am at risk of sounding like a broody psychopath from which men will run in terror. In the hope of alleviating some of these fears (and snagging a good husband before my time is up), I have found the answer.

Running through Regent’s Park (my new local park, don’t you know) I came upon a quite scrumptious solution. It was a baby, true- but of the canine variety: a fluffy, bouncy puppy who still greeted me enthusiastically, despite being puce of face and dripping in sweat (my goal of Regent’s-Park-Runner-Chic remains in the pipeline).

I have realised that if I am to be an adult, then I definitely need a dog. If I have a dog then I don’t even mind being an adult. Operation Canine Child is a plan more beautiful and well-rounded than Nigella herself. Husbands and babies will wait, and bugger the biological clock.

Illustration by Esther Harding