Growing up I always had an idea of the life I wanted to have as an adult, professionally and romantically. I was exposed to a volatile and at times violent relationship between my parents so the need for my life to be structured and perfect was everything to me. My mum is an amazing woman I know this is biased but I believe when it comes to our mums we can be. Everything about this woman I admire. It all sums up to her strength, her ambition, her termination and her love. My mum and dads relationship was nothing short of bullshit. My mum was and still is in a completely different league to my dad. He was not a part of my life for the best part of the 10 years he lived at home. He was a consistent cheater (creating a few children from his infidelities) and he did not play an active role in my life. To be very honest the only time I saw him was when he eventually came home from a few days of absence to argue with mum, to eat, bathe and sleep. In my mums words she was nothing more than his cook and bottle washer. Thoughts that must run through your mind are why did she stay with him for so long? I asked her the very same question and her reply was she was young, naive and did not want me to grow up without a father like she did. It’s such a cliché but I gained an understanding to her reason. Eventually after my dads destructive downwards spiral at the age of 10, my mum finally got rid and we started a new life without my dad.
Once we moved away my mum moved mountains on her own. She always had her own business but she continued to blossom, making various amazing achievements that for a single mother of two would have been seen to be unachievable. Because of my mother’s ambition and achievements I gained an idea of the type of woman I wanted to grow up to be. I knew that once I finished high school I would go to college to study media and then go on to university to continue studying media. I knew that I wanted to be that media industry woman that loved her job and had the privilege of mixing business and pleasure at the same damn time. I knew from a young age that I wanted to love what I do as a career, make great money and make my mum proud. I knew that once I was settle in my career I would want to buy my first property on my own, fall in love with someone that loved me back the same way, if not even more. I knew I wanted to travel the world with that person, fill our hearts with joy and amazing memories before settling down to the world of parenthood.
However I am now 25, I have completed studying media at college and university, but my career as the media industry woman has turned out to be more challenging than I thought. Throughout my study years I applied myself to do unpaid internships with top media companies and although these times was challenging mentally and financially, I always thought and was told that I would be rewarded of my hard work by getting the dream job I wanted once finishing university. No one warns you that before you start university getting a job within the degree you worked so hard for will be damn near impossible. No one warns you that it literally is going to be survival of the fittest or in real terms survival of who you know within that company of the job you want. In this day in age it doesn’t matter what qualification you have or how many unpaid work experience you have done, or what you know about the job you want. It all boils down to whom you know. If you know someone in a company that can get you the “hook up”, you my friend have won the jackpot!
Since finishing university the growing pains for the past two years has been tedious. As the days, weeks and months fly by I can’t help feeling more bitter towards the education system. I feel that I was mis-sold a dream. The dream of accomplishment, the dream of getting what I want. I was made to believe throughout my education years that if I followed the structured plan of completing a degree, I would be rewarded with the job I’ve always wanted. I feel that as a fellow graduate, we were sold this idealistic notion that it is the right thing to do to get you where you want to be. But in actual reality we was just placed within this system to buy time for the government on where to place us. Once young adults finish college there is a high percentage of unemployed people in need of work, so what better way to buy time for the government to shorten the benefit job seekers lines and also bring in extra revenue with the enticement of loans available. I cant help thinking that if I didn’t go to university and went straight to work after college, I would be much further than I am today. Out of all of my friends not one of us are in the career we studied for at university. Many had to restructure their entire career path and learn new skills or a trade. Many are still in underpaid, unqualified jobs that they were in whilst they were studying. Searching for a decent paid job and getting nowhere, when I’m aware I am an educated hard working woman is the most frustrating feeling I have ever experienced. I feel trapped like a caged bird.
Two years, hundreds of media job applications, joining countless recruitment agencies, a lot of tears and frustration I have resorted to try other avenues for a career. You know that saying ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket.’ Well with that said I decided to try applying for any job that pays well just so that I can start living. With the extortionate property prices in London and the low salary I am currently on, moving out of the family home right now seems like a myth. As it stands my struggle is still ongoing. I am still trying to get a decent paid job so that I can leave the underpaid local government job I am currently in. Like many, currently career/ financially I am not where I want to be. As deflated, soul crushing and inadequate this career searching journey has made me feel, I fully understand it was my choice to go university. It was my dream to have this accomplishment and make my mum proud.
Although my degree and debt seems all in vain, I have to remain positive and have faith that it is going to happen for me…… just not the way I imagined.