So, university has finished. You have finished your examinations for the Summer and now you’re back in your hometown with family and the impending realisation that you’re not here for a weekend back home has dawned on you. You’re back home for what will seem to be an eternity. A LIFETIME. So what do you do now?
If you are in any sort of similar situation to myself, you’re sitting around watching Jeremy Kyle and Come Dine With Me. It’s gotten to the point where you’ve started to make it into a routine for everyday. You’re also broke because you spent your money on clothes, makeup, food, or alcohol (or perhaps all of them). Well, here’s the initial reaction you’re probably receiving from your family members: GET A JOB. It is a challenging issue let me tell you that much.
As someone who cannot sit still for too long before feeling an immense amount of guilt, I intended to get a job. Although I’ve had two previous jobs in customer service that I disliked, I enjoyed the money I was receiving which helped toward the addiction I have of buying clothes from ASOS or River Island. These jobs were not disliked because of customer service – of course not, because I actually enjoy customer contact – but rather because of the disorganisation and hierarchy that was pre-developed before my arrival. It is an odd situation being an adult and re-entering a work atmosphere that resembles secondary school. My last job was in a cinema. There were many staff of mixed ages, but the dominant age group of the staff was from 17 to 23. This age group was seen as perfect to me because I partially enjoyed speaking to people who were my age and therefore had similar interests and life experiences. The issue however with having a seasonal job with this age group is that most of this group will be looking at this job as a career, not simply a way to get money. With this in mind, the fact was that a structure had been formed in the working environment. The younger people had formed their own little group of friends and when newcomers entered, although they tried to make conversation, when in their entire friendship group, the outsider would remain just that. There was no welcoming invitation or direction for conversation. Not even a glance of eye contact. It was quite a daunting experience to come from university, a place where people don’t really have these sort of groups, you talk to anyone, and then to return to my hometown and acknowledge that the university experience might be a rare one in terms of social etiquette.
Such experiences can usually put a person off of working if they’re quite drawn back from uncomfortable situations. Myself on the other hand, simply chose to use it as a tool to be knowledgeable of what I wanted in future working environments and what I did not want. What I knew I wanted the most was MORE MONEY. I did not want to be working for £5.30 per hour when I had a friend who was working for £8.30. I also wanted something more challenging and customer-facing. My applications from then onwards were directed to two segments of employers:
- ANYWHERE I COULD GET
I did not want to be at home doing nothing for too long. I needed to keep busy! My CV was flying in all sorts of directions across the internet and in stores.
2. INTERNSHIPS RELEVANT TO MY FUTURE CAREER.
Any internships that related to Literature appealed to me. This included editorial work, publishing work, social media and marketing, administration, even getting work experience at a local sixth form college. I knew I wanted to be a University Lecturer so I knew anything that involved education and being involved in the publishing industry would benefit me – anything that would show I was involved in writing, because to be a lecturer they expect of you to have published work. I considered this to enforce my CV.
To get a job when you’re off of term time however is sometimes not appealing to students. They want to relax, they want to ENJOY their Summer. I completely agree with this, but the pressures of family members seeing you on the sofa all day is something that can trigger nagging and judgement. It can also trigger self-guilt for being so lazy. If you’re not going to get a job, it’s important to keep yourself active. Go to the gym, travel, volunteer because you don’t even have to do this consecutively – it can be a one off! Just do anything that gets you out of the house and stops your brain cells being lost by the bickering on Jezza. The problem with work as well, is that most of the time if it isn’t specified to simply being weekend work then most of your time is going to be taken up – you might not be able to see friends as much. The issue is that it’s all about personal preference and priority. What do you think is better to do? Do you want money or do you have enough money to survive the Summer? What else are you going to do if you’re not working?
Just don’t waste a Summer indoors. That was my goal, at least!