theguardian: What I’m really thinking – the recent Graduate

Why should my parents fund my tea-making placement?’

The most important thing, everybody keeps saying, is not to let it get you down. But when you submit one carefully considered application after another, only to watch the months, and deadlines, drag by with not so much as a mail-merge rejection, this becomes impossibile. You start to believe in your own invisibility.

I would be happy with answering phones, bar work: any employment that pays. But employers for these jobs deem me “overqualified”, while for those higher up the ladder I’m “underexperienced”. It’s a double bind that some claim an internship will break. I’ve done three. Besides, I got into thousands of pounds worth of debt studying English at university so that I would be qualified to get paid work and get my life going, not live in some perpetual state of childhood with my parents providing room and board. Why should my parents fund my tea-making placement? (Of course, for many in my position, it’s not just a “why” but a “how”).

Living in this perpetual limbo, I’ve started setting myself simple creative tasks each day: making clothes, baking and drawing. If I keep reminding myself I can do things, I can keep believing I’m a strong person who has a future.

“It’s hard at the moment,” everybody keeps saying. But it was hard last year, too. Some of my university friends (many with postgraduate degrees) have been out of work since graduating in 2009. What I’m really thinking? I’m terrified.


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