I’m fed up of seeing posts like ’20 pieces of advice I should’ve listened to when I was in my 20s’. Some of them, may well contain small snippets of good advice, for example, leave a job if you aren’t happy. The majority of these posts though? They just allow for the writer or sharer of them to lecture you in something THEY think that you should be doing. This doesn’t just go for posts either, I also mean when it happens in real life conversations too. When someone asks you what you are up to and the moment, and the reaction is a ‘sigh’ or a ‘well if I was you…’. Well that’s just it – you aren’t me.
6 years out of school, 4 years out of sixth form, a year out of university, and a job change later, it has finally hit me that school, and university failed to adequately educate me for most aspects of adult life. You run out in to the big bad world, ready to be the best adultiest -adult there is, to fulfill the dream of being a proper grown up you have since you were 4. Only then, do you realize that actually you are completely, woefully under prepared for your next big adventure.
By the end of our degrees, most of us are desperate to be finished, whether that be because we want to get out in the big bad world to finally earn some pennies, or because education has simply begun to lose its appeal.
However, the question that most graduates fear answering is the “so…have you started job hunting yet?’’ Combine that with the inevitable ‘’Well what do you want to do?’’ and it’s enough bring you out in a cold sweat. Right on cue, the quick mumblings of ‘’oh well I’m not sure, I’m sure I’ll work it out’’ surface, and you will then get flooded with a barrage of suggestions of far flung careers that you may be suited too. Thanks, I always knew I might have wanted to work in [insert ridiculous job title here].
As if you didn’t have enough to think about with the looming dissertation, excessive amounts of reading and exams. As if you weren’t already crying inside about leaving your friends behind, you’re now being forced to think about the real world. It’s like reliving the dreaded final year of sixth form and being badgered about university and UCAS – oh the nightmares! Only this time, there aren’t any teachers to help you, no one to draft your personal statement for you, and suddenly it seems, nowhere to turn when you realize you don’t have the foggiest what’s going to happen come July and that lovely graduation hat lands on the floor in front of you.
Moving home post university – it all seems great at the time. You finally get to leave the mess of a student house behind. No more dirty dishes! Finally some pans that you can use without having to wash first! The fridge will always be fully stocked with treats. Hurrah! No sad looking lettuce salads any more. If your late on your rent because you went out boozing and schmooz-ing last night, its fine because your parents are much more understanding than your landlord or agent. No more noise from the raucous student neighbours next door who never bothered to invite you over. And the most important one – you will finally be able to put the heating on or have an extended shower without a heated row over bills.
Just over 6 months on from moving out from a student house, I can honestly say I miss it more than first thought. As adult life now well and truly begins to set in, I thought now might be an appropriate time to reminisce about some of the perils and perks of student house sharing.
Having worked in retail since the tender age of 16, and this having been the first New Year where I haven’t, it seems only right to see off my past career with this post. So here it goes – a small selection of realisations, types of customers, redundant questions and general horrors that I am sure every retail worker will have encountered, whatever it is you sell.
- The realisation that the customer is NOT always right.
In fact, they rarely are. If ever.
You can argue with me all you want. You still won’t be right, and the more you argue with me, the less inclined I will be to fix your problem.
It is quite possibly the most British solution to any problem faced. Stressed? Have a cup of tea. Ruthlessly dumped? Tea will make it better. What is the first thing people do when they get in to work – often even if they were late? Make a cup of tea. What’s the best kind of procrastination? Making a pot of tea.
I wrote this earlier in the week to post today before the terror attacks on Paris this weekend. I’m still going to post it, because given Friday’s awful events, the message I wanted to convey now seems even more poignant than it was 3 days ago – as humans we should be there for each other in whatever capacity we can be: whether than is in one individuals time of need, or an entire nations. The images of Parisians queuing up to give blood, and opening their homes to keep strangers safe shows how, as humans, we have a unique capacity to come together in times of crises. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt this week is that small acts of kindness can help us though dark days. #PrayforParis – but let’s also take a moment to remember other countries being affected by terrorism every day. We’re all humans, whatever nationality or religion we are.