July 12th 2015
Today I am back in Cardiff. I graduate from University tomorrow morning so tonight I’m sleeping on the sofa of the friends I have from Maths that still have another year left at University.
They have another year left because they all did placement years at Lloyds bank. And although I’m technically a year in front of them; I’ve graduated Uni, they have a year left. I feel so far behind them.
One guy, Jake, has already been offered a post-graduate job for after he graduates next year. £29,000 annual salary with up to £6,000 in “flex salary” whatever that means. I’ve been sat here with the four of them and they’re all talking about their post grad schemes, and salaries, and placements, and interviews, and they’re sorted. They’re all sorted for life. They’ve done their year in industry. They will do this last year of Uni and then go back to industry. And they’ll walk in to jobs. Easily.
And not because I don’t have the same prospects, or placements, or post grad schemes.
It’s because I don’t want them.
I don’t wanna be the guy in the suit commuting an hour to work at 7am every morning and not getting back until 12 hours later. Even if he’s earning 40, 50, 60 grand. Saying that, Jake’s talking about applying for investment banking and suddenly we’re not talking in thousands any more.
Even though I’m a year ahead, I’m so far behind. 12 months from now when it’s Jakes turn to graduate he’ll graduate in the knowledge that he has a £30k job waiting for him in September.
I’m saving my £6.50 an hour at Pizza Hut so I can go travelling around Europe for three of the next four months.
After that’s over then I’ll have to grow up. I’ll be 22, a graduate, having just seen the world (or at least one significant part of it) then I’ll have no excuses but to start living the rest of my life.
The depressing thing is that I’m not going to be living the life I want for a while. I’ve made no secret, on here at least, that I want to write for a living. Except, what does that really mean? I’m not going to get home from travelling and suddenly get a job in writing. That’s not even a thing. I’m going to have to get a job that can afford me the luxury of being able to write on the side. And when will I be in the financial position where I can give up a job so that I can try to make writing a career? 25? 26? 30?
Suddenly I’m ten years older and I’m still in ‘the job’ because I’m scared and I’m lazy and I’ve never got anything published because when I get home from my 7am-7pm job all I want to do is take off my suit and watch an episode of Suits.
And now I’m that guy that I didn’t want to become. I’m the guy I told myself I’d never be. And I’m stuck. I’m stuck in that job, in that office and I can’t leave because I can’t afford to. And yes I’m on a decent wage with decent prospects but I’m not happy because I’m not doing what I want to do. And why aren’t I? Because I just expected a job in writing to fall from the ceiling and I’d pick it up and boom, book deal, film rights sold, and I’m living the dream.
Until tomorrow, I hope a dream isn’t all it will be.