Neoclassical economics, profanity and weak coffee make us angry. Glorification of laziness gets us furious.
As recent graduates, we couldn’t ignore a catchy title of an article that referred to what happens to you immediately after you graduate. Half-expecting some form of a sarcastic list of life events, we discovered more, much more than anticipated. We found out that as recent graduates we can easily be categorised as:
Hungover individuals living with their parents, doubting the choice of a university degree, bashing the success of others, furious about our low pay, questioning why we have travelled the world, condemning the idea of doing a master’s degree as a waste of time/money, reminiscing of A-level results day, refusing to read a book for the following 5 years, having a 21-year-old boss, buying dinner with money from selling old textbooks, doing a dead-end job (and several repetitions of being poor and miserable).
As a start, we don’t deny the existence of such recent graduates, especially after the prompt response to the article of dozens of charming tweets cementing those views by the cheerful ‘Well done mate, what a great article’. We don’t have a problem with someone’s sense of humour, nor with the lamenting voice and occasional bitter self-pity.
What we have an issue with is the celebration of failure in a glorious, self-promoting, laddish, YOLO way. We refuse to be put in a stereotype of today’s generation as semi-employed boomerang kids that have a maturity level close to zero.
That’s why we came up with our own list: The real life of recent graduates.
- We identified what career paths we want way before graduation. Co-founding a start-up or getting onto one of those bespoke Grad schemes, we have put the effort to get to where we are.
- We earn decent salaries and while we look forward to our forthcoming promotion, we know well what our current level of experience is and how much more we need to achieve.
- We do care about the world we live in – we’re embarrassed when we hear MPs voicing ideas about the UK stocking up with nuclear weapons to protect itself from Russia and we are angry when we read about the ridiculous bubble the London housing market is in.
- We indeed read books and we are subscribed to journals, magazines and newspapers that tell us more than the daily gossip.
- We didn’t pick a university subject for no apparent reason. Even if we are not working in the area from our studies, we make the most of the skills and networks we have developed.
- We already have a master’s degree or we know at which point it will be beneficial to do one.
- We couldn’t care less about the A-level results day when we were 18. We have achieved much more than a few As since then.
- We would hate to go back to the same clubs and bars we used to go to as students, simply because we know we can do so much better. No sticky floors, no skimpy clothes my dears.
- We couldn’t care less about the hoodie someone is wearing. We wear suits.
- We would much rather see a play in the Shakespeare Globe than watch endless episodes of MIC.
- We have some money in the bank account and while we’re happy to save, we find the low interest rates discouraging.
- We have dinner parties. With real food and plates.
- We’re ok with drinking two glasses of wine on a Saturday night. Because we know that the YOLO approach will not get us very far.
- We aspire to be successful entrepreneurs and inspiring leaders. Glorifying sitting on the sofa isn’t part of our plans.
We strongly believe that solid education is not just about improving our employability skills. It is about making informed choices. A good education should provide tools for personal growth and brand new perspectives on one’s own capabilities and options.
While at this stage of our life we have chosen to be City professionals, we are fully aware of many other options ahead. The rhetoric of self-aggrandisement does not appeal to us. Neither does the glorification of idleness.