It’s a universal truth that is widely acknowledged; having no money sucks. Big time. I hate the words ‘I can’t afford it,’ and I hate not being able to have the things and do the things I want due to lack of funds. I hate having to say no to things I, ok, don’t necessarily need, but want all the same. I hate not being able to go anywhere because of my cash flow issues. I hate owing money to my parents and I truly DETEST window shopping. It makes me jealous. Most of all, I totally abhor the fact that being down in the dough dumps means I can’t move out of my parents house and get on with my life. I want lots stuff but I cant have it, and this quite frankly pisses me off. As you can see there are quite a few things about my current penniless situation that I don’t like.
At this exact moment in time I don’t have a job due to an ongoing medical condition, pending operations blah, blah, blah. I won’t bore you with the details, but (hopefully) this problem will get sorted out pretty sharpish and I can get on with conquering with magazine world. Right? Hmmm not so fast.
I graduated from the University of Lincoln with a very respectable 2:1 after studying journalism for 3 years. After leaving I hit the ground running in terms of securing some work experience, because if you want to get started in magazines that is what will get you noticed. I applied for internships, some paid and longer term, some unpaid and shorter term, I applied for junior writers positions and assistant positions and so far so unlucky. You wouldn’t think it would be that difficult really, I am educated and qualified as well as hard working and determined.
The problem is, I graduated straight into a recession, as did all the other students that year. This of course put me in the same boat as lots of other recently graduated twenty somethings in the country. There are some who have been lucky enough to secure wanted positions as soon as they graduated, but for the vast majority of graduates employment has been elusive. Despite the fact that I/we, are highly educated, we are forced to take on jobs that hold no interest to us and that we are way over qualified for just to get a wage. And then there are those that can’t get a job at all. It’s currently estimated that one in ten graduates are unemployed. However we have been told that things are getting better and that the worst is over, and I for one would like to believe that this is true. On the other hand, this new budget and all the cuts that go with it has seen job opportunities and available positions dwindle. (Thanks Tory government!) Job freezes, salary freezes and no chances of promotion don’t really paint a pretty picture for my future prospects.
The medical problem I am having to deal with has got me incredibly frustrated as essentially I am standing still on the job front. I see all my friends moving on and applying for jobs and I am grounded by this issue. I would love nothing more than to be able to apply for job, and go to work everyday knowing that I have worked hard and earned my wage. I would love to be doing something that I loved even if that meant I was working as an intern making the tea, fetching the sandwiches and doing all the shitty jobs no one else in the office wanted to do. I honestly wouldn’t care. I’d love it, because at the end of the day it’s still a job in an environment I could progress in.
Since graduating I have interned at two popular magazines (unpaid unfortunately) and loved every second of my time at each. And yes, I even loved it when I was making hot beverages for the features team and fetching and carrying for the fashion department. It’s all experience. So trust me when I say I am not jobless for want of trying or due to the fact that I am unwilling to work my way up.
At this moment in time applying for jobs is futile. No one will employ me due to the fact that I cant walk properly, I would constantly need time off for hospital appointments and a considerable amount of time off for operations etc. So I am in a bit of a tricky situation as I would love nothing more than to be employed. As soon as I possibly can, thanks to the trusty journalism job website Gorkana, which keeps me in the know, I will be applying for as many journo jobs as they are advertising. Ideally I will be looking for a paid internship or junior position at a magazine, and while the pay might not be that great, a jobs a job at the end of the day and it will also be my foot in the door. But what worries me is how easy will these be to a.) find and b.) get, as due to factors already discussed people are not getting promoted and therefore not creating any space for newbies like me.
My cash strapped situation is the worse it has ever been. Never before have I had to worry about money (mainly thanks to my parents.) Now, more often than not, I find myself saying those dreaded words : I can’t afford it. I have started watching what I spend with an eagle eye and if I do go anywhere or buy anything I feel incredibly guilty. I haven’t spent anything in Topshop for AGES. They must be missing me because their profits must be down. But on a serious note the situation is bad. As mentioned my parents have done a lot for me in terms of money. While I was at uni I never had to pay my own rent and if ever I needed helping out I knew I could always ask my folks. Be that as it may, this just doesn’t sit right with me anymore. I am now at a point where I want to be independent. A proper grown up. I don’t want to have to ask my parents for cash. Case in point: I have just had to borrow money off my mum to upgrade my phone and renew my contract, I’m going to pay her back but that isn’t the point. I didn’t want to have to do it in the first place.
Unfortunately for my parents they are going to have to put up with me for a while longer as I am one of the 1.7 million twenty-something kids who have boomeranged it back to mum and dads. After graduation as much as a glamourous apartment share with friends in London sounded, it just wasn’t realistic. Instead I headed back home to check into hotel mum and dad. With no job, no wage and £20,000 worth of student debt there wasn’t really much in the way of choice. I blame the credit crunch and it’s dream dashing ways. It’s just lucky for me that my parents were (and still are) so generous, and I truly am grateful for the roof over my head and the food in my belly, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t miss the independence I gained while living away at uni.
Quite rightly, since they are supporting me financially, I’m back abiding by the ‘while your living under our roof you’ll do as we say’ rule. At the end of the day my parents could have told me to find somewhere else to live, but I miss the fact that when living with friends at uni there were no rules. No one nagged, bothered or got on my case, I was pretty much left to my own devices. On the up side (always look on the bright side and all that jazz) I get on really well with my ‘rents. I am super close to my mum and 99.9% of the time we get on like a house on fire. Having her around is not only good fun, it’s also kind of useful (maybe I will take her with me when I move out.) Me and my sister on the other hand is a whole different story. We have got too good at getting on each others nerves. I mean as twins (she has been in the same boat as me) we have been stuck together for 21 years, it’s about time we had our own space and got out of each others faces.
I will be the first to admit I am a little bit anti-social, I like spending time on my own and being left alone and being back living in a house with your mum,dad and twin sister is not conductive to this. I pretty much feel like any independence I had, I left at the door when moving back home, I mean I’m 21 for Christ’s sake! I want to live on my own! I will reiterate again how grateful I am for what my folks have done and continue to do for me. They have done so much for me that payback is definitely going to be a bitch. All I can do is promise that one day I will make sure they go into a fabulous old peeps home. 😀
What I want more than anything is a little London apartment, nothing grand or fancy, just something cosy and neat. That would suit me down to the ground because over everything else it would me mine. A place of my own. The reason this is totally unachievable to me right now is due to the fact that I don’t have any money, why? Because I don’t have a job. Which brings me full circle back to the beginning of this post.
If I had three wishes here is what I would wish for:
1. A magazine job.
2. That nice cosy London apartment.
3. A Lottery win. (Don’t roll your eyes, you’d wish for this too.)
So here’s to everyone else in a similar situation to me, boomerang kids and all (and I know that there are a lot of you.) I am sending out good vibes, positive thoughts and lots of (desperate) wishing that our luck changes or at least that someone takes pity on us and that jobs, apartments and (lots of) money come our way soon. Oh and that we do manage to be actual, proper, independent grown up’s before we leave our twenties. Good luck!