‘Post-Graduate Fear’: When it hits

Breakfast show Nerve Radio

I’m sat here sipping the tepid remnants of my fifth cup of tea of the day, staring lifelessly out of my window at a grunting, scruffy-looking delivery driver. He’s just posted a delivery note through the letter box opposite without even knocking to see if anyone was in. Classic. Raindrops chase each other down the window pane and I’m pondering over why I didn’t choose a degree like finance or law. Who wouldn’t want greater job prospects and a hell of a lot more money? This is the epitome of pathetic fallacy.

Its happened, the post-graduate fear has hit me like a freight train and I’m not okay.

As a final year journalism student, I can safely say that applying for graduate jobs is soul-destroying. It’s the same feeling as walking into the student shop on a Friday afternoon, knowing all too well that Lollipop tickets are sold out. Nevertheless, you ask anyway, only to be greeted by the cashier’s laugh of disbelief at your ridiculous request. 

During my first introductory lecture on the course, we were warned about the decline of the print journalism industry. The disgrace associated with being a ’churnalist’ was constantly drummed into us. And finally, that the competitive nature of journalism jobs was truly like the final ‘Way of the Warrior’ round on that CBBC show, Raven. Failure was expected with the utmost certainty. 

Optimism, where art thou?

However, being the naïve, optimistic first year that I was, I was certain that I was going to get a top job as a writer for Glamour magazine (RIP monthly issue). Equally, I was obviously going to rent a house in London with all of my journalism pals, because having a journalism degree automatically meant a job. Right?

Now we’re all here wondering what on earth we’ve been doing for the past three years? We look at the self-starters on our course who have incredible portfolio’s with slight resentment. Imagine what we could’ve done if we’d put in more effort… All the while we have nothing to show employers. Unless they’re impressed by seven successive attendances to Lollipop, and a cracking rapport with the staff in Mega Kebab? We are screwed.

Why does this have this awful feeling of dread have to burden me with its company now? I’m three months away from finishing my degree and it is  hindering me from enjoying myself. It’s preventing me from savouring the last few weeks of comfort in the ‘university bubble’, safe from the ‘real world’. 

“I’ll only stay here until I find something better!”

Truthfully though, do you want to know what fills me with the greatest fear? Moving back home and saying to myself, “Oh I’ll just get a job in retail to tide me over while I apply for *insert degree title* jobs.” Next thing you know I’ve become one of those bitter retail workers stuck in a job for 20 years because ‘nothing came up’ and I ‘needed the money’. 

Applying for graduate jobs…

Being led on by journalism job descriptions is worse than receiving the discount code emails from Deliveroo. You think “Yes!  That’s dinner sorted for a couple of days.” Only to discover that you have to spend £10 before a certain date to receive the two codes…

You see the job title and think, *ooh yes that sounds like a bit of me!* Read the job description and requirements: ‘must have a degree or relevant experience etc..’ You murmur to yourself, “yeah I reckon I could get away with that!” Then you see it.  Possibly my favourite sentence: 

‘Minimum of two years experience required.’ 

Following this you have two options: cry, or do what I do in that situation, close my laptop and get into my dressing gown. (Because are you really in a uni house if your dressing gown isn’t always within reaching distance?) Then I open up Netflix and put on Bridget Jones to revive my faith in journalism job hunting. If Bridget can get a job after sliding down a fire pole and flashing her derrière on live TV, there might be hope for me yet.